THE deputy leader of a council has resigned amid a row over the possibility of building a nuclear waste facility in the region.

Conservative councillor Mike Young resigned last night as the deputy leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Last week, the Conservative councillor admitted he helped facilitate meetings between the council and local organisation The Wharton Trust about a proposal to build a nuclear burial site.

READ MORE: Hartlepool could be site for ‘nuclear waste dumping’ under new plans

At the time, Ben Houchen said it was “hugely disappointing" that Cllr Young had taken part in talks over plans to bringing the facility to Hartlepool

Yesterday, Cllr Young, who represents the Rural West Ward, said it would have been “remiss” of him not to look into the opportunity to bring “hundreds” of jobs to the town.

He said it “was clear” he lacked support of more senior Conservatives in the region.

His statement in full said: “In recent weeks it has become clear I lack the support of more senior Conservatives in the region.

“Having been approached with information from Wharton Trust and confirming that the information conformed with policies from Central Government, I engaged with the Government’s arm of Radioactive Waste Management.

“The proposal included up to a ten-year consultation process ending in a binding vote made by the people of Hartlepool, who would have had the final say in the outcome.

"As a town, we face losing the nuclear power station along with its jobs and income within a few short years.

“It would have been remiss of me to disregard an opportunity that had the potential of creating hundreds of jobs along with the non-domestic rates that would match that lost from the power station’s closure.

“It is more than apparent that local politics doesn't afford you the level of decision making that you'd have thought.

“I, therefore, wish to tender my resignation from the Deputy Leader and Deputy Mayor positions of Hartlepool Borough Council with immediate effect.

“I will continue in my other democratically elected roles and continue to strive to serve the electorate of the Rural West Ward as I have always tried to do.”

Responding to news of Cllr Young's resignation, Mr Houchen said: "As mayor I will continue to weed out who at Hartlepool Borough Council was involved in plans to turn the town into a dumping ground for nuclear waste. 

"The council is looking at the FOI I submitted and if it reveals more councillors were in contact with the Wharton Trust and Radioactive Waste Management, then regardless of political stripes they should be held to account.

“Mike Young’s decision to resign as Deputy Leader of the council, after making his involvement in the plans public was the right decision given his role in this saga.

“I will always fight for the town and make no mistake, for as long as I am mayor I will not allow Hartlepool to become a dump for the country’s nuclear waste.”

The Labour Group on the council, as well as Mr Houchen and Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer, have all submitted FOI requests to the council asking for any correspondence relating to the nuclear waste facility.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054