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Bill Crosby

Councillor Crosby - East Bedlington Parish Council By-election

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As some of you may know, there will be a by-election for two vacancies on East Bedlington Parish Council. Both vacancies lie within the Bedlington East Ward. The election will take place on Thursday 4 July 2019. There are four candidates for the two positions, two Labour Party and two Independent candidates. As you would expect, being an Independent Councillor myself, I am fully supporting the two Independent candidates, Keith Scantlebury and Helen Bradford.


I have known Keith for many years and he has always had an interest in his local area. He is currently Chair of Burnside Estate Residents Group, which has been instrumental in raising funds to enhance the lives of the residents and children that live there and has been so successful that they have seen a drop in the level of anti-social behaviour on the estate. He also sits on Bernicia’s Community Investment Panel and has been a regular attendee at the East Bedlington Parish Council meetings, so he has a good idea of what would be required.


I have known Helen for less time but since I took over the Chair of the Friends of Gallagher Park two years ago she has served with me on that committee trying to make the park better for the community. She has been an active member in organising the planting of wild flowers and tree pruning to make the walking trails more accessible and she has also been very proactive in helping to raise funds that has enabled the construction of a new play area in the park, work which is underway currently. This is the play area, as some of you may recall, that the Labour-led East Bedlington Parish Council refused to support when asked for a contribution. Helen is currently employed with HMRC but also finds time to assist her partner with his motorcycle training school which is based here in Bedlington.


Compare these two active members of the local community, who are funding their own campaigns, to the other candidates, who have just been chosen because they are party members. It’s not easy to put yourself forward and stand as an Independent candidate. I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to be up against a party machine and all the resources they have at their disposal, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you look at recent local elections in Bedlington, you’ll find that the national party hasn’t done all that well. Could it be that the public realise that it’s not about party politics but local issues that matter?


There hasn’t been an election for a seat on East Bedlington Parish Council for ten years. It has been dominated by the Labour Party who have been more than happy to endorse the party line even at this level of politics. There should be no place for party politics at parish level and you can help change the dynamic of that council so that there are more independent thinkers to challenge the old guard.


I am proud to throw my support behind these two hard working, community minded individuals.


Let’s take the party out of local politics. Vote Independent on July 4.


Vote for Helen Bradford and Keith Scantlebury.


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