A BUSINESS owner and tech expert is standing in Hartlepool’s by-election and local council vote.

Adam Gaines has pledged to protect children from food poverty by donating more than half his MP wages to Hartlepool food banks if he wins election.

He said “Some of the customers of my pub Rosie’s have unfortunately been made destitute by the lockdowns and are using food banks to feed their kids. This deeply troubles me and highlights the essential work the food banks are doing because without them people would starve. I’ve pledged to give more than half the MP salary to food banks to help support them.”

“It’ll also highlight the issue of child food poverty to government. I don’t think they realise how bad the problem is! It’s ridiculous that they are spending millions on media briefing rooms whilst people in Hartlepool starve. I can’t get my head around it.”

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Mr Gaines aims to address the central reasons for poverty in Hartlepool.

He said: “The fundamental causes of poverty are significant sustained funding cuts by central government, failed regeneration vanity projects and a lack of investment by businesses into the area. I’m standing as both councillor for headland and harbour and MP because we need a driven voice in both local and national government to address issues head on and drive change.

“Hartlepool is an easy target for central government funding cuts which has led to the council nearly being bankrupt, hospital closure and no police cells on a night. This is because the MPs and councillors are mostly party first, Hartlepool second. Most that are selected to run for MP have no connection to the area and won’t stand up to their party paymasters in fear of being deselected. I won’t have this mentality and will fight to highlight and end this neglect.”

He believes a key role of an MP should be to drive investment into the area. Before running his pub, Mr Gaines had various roles in the tech industry; he worked for phone application companies, in digital marketing and created e-commerce businesses.

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As an internet computing graduate, he believes the chance to go to a local university should be available to people in Hartlepool.

He said: “I can confidently drive investment and job creation as I’ve done it myself with my pub in Hartlepool. I know that businesses find a University an attraction when relocating or branching out into a new area. It’s critical that Hartlepool gets a fully-fledged university with a strong range of courses. Its fallen behind other local centre’s such as Durham, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle that have driven their local economy using university.”

Mr Gaines' other priorities if he is elected as MP, include restoring public services such as the hospital and police cells, ending lockdowns and getting tourists to Hartlepool.

He said: "Vulnerable adults have been vaccinated or offered one, and lockdowns cost jobs and bankrupt businesses. I’ll work to end lockdowns, restore civil liberties that have been taken away and vote to keep the right to protest and judicial review.

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"Hartlepool can have a great tourism industry by having a joined up digital marketing strategy to promote the various destinations as one."

If he is elected as a Councillor, he will focus his energies on ending vanity projects.

He said: “I aim to try to end child food poverty by enabling people to get a local education and attracting more jobs to Hartlepool.”

  • Jill Mortimer - Conservative candidate
  • Paul Williams - Labour candidate
  • David Bettney - Social Democratic Party candidate
  • Andy Hogan - Liberal Democrat candidate
  • Hilton Dawson - North East Party candidate
  • Samantha Lee - Independent candidate