Two Durham cabinet members not seeking re-election

TWO serving members of Durham County Council’s cabinet will not stand for re-election in May.

The candidates list for May 2’s election was published on Tuesday. Almost 380 names are included, fighting for 126 seats.

But two names missing were Labour’s Bob Young and Claire Vasey, currently cabinet members for strategic environment and children and young people’s services, respectively.

Councillor Young is a former Newcastle United vice-chairman and founder of haulage firms The Young Group and Hargreaves.

Coun Vasey had been tipped as a potential parliamentary candidate.

Elsewhere, several leading Labour figures are standing as independent candidates, including Brian Avery in Chilton, Alan Cox in Blackhalls and Dennis Maddison in Horden.

Kevin Thompson has left the Liberal Democrats to stand under the banner “Spennymoor Independents People Before Politics”, while sitting Conservative councillor Peter May and Rev Crooks, who left the Lib Dems for Labour in 2010, will stand as independents, in North Lodge and Deerness, respectively.

Bob Glass, husband of North-West Durham MP Pat, will contest Delves Lane for Labour, while Alex Watson, former Labour leader of Derwentside District Council, is an independent candidate in Consett North.

Council leader Simon Henig’s wife Katherine is a Labour candidate in Chester-le-Street South.

Husband and wife Joe and Barbara Armstrong are both standing for Labour in Esh and Witton Gilbert.

Anita Atkinson, best known for running the Royal Teas tea room, is an independent candidate for Tow Law.

The United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), the Green Party and the British National Party (BNP) are also represented.

Other serving councillors not standing for re-election include Brian Myers, who was the unitary authority’s first chairman in 2009, and Dawdon’s Charlie Walker.

Fifteen candidates will contest the Crook and Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall divisions.

The election is the first since an electoral review saw the county’s political map redrawn – creating divisions with one, two or three councillors.

The elections for county and parish councils will take place on Thursday, May 2, with the results announced a day later. The full candidate list is available online at durham.gov.uk The deadline for registering to vote is Wednesday, April 17. For more information, call 03000-26-212 or email: electoralservices@durham.gov.uk

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