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MAYOR DROPS MONKEY SUIT AND GETS SERIOUS

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Hartlepool BC's newly elected mayor Stuart Drummond plans to set up a coalition after discarding his monkey costume...
Hartlepool BC's newly elected mayor Stuart Drummond plans to set up a coalition after discarding his monkey costume in favour of issues facing the council.

Mr Drummond has left his job as a credit controller in a call centre to take over the£54,000 role as mayor and has to decide how to spend the council's£106m yearly budget.

The new mayor has spent the week meeting representatives from all political parties to select a cabinet .

He said it is imperative all parties work together for the benefit of the town and that the cabinet should represent all political parties as well as an independent element.

'I've met the outgoing ceremonial mayor and handed a cheque of£500 to the disabled supporters' association at the football club. It's been fantastic. I've met the three leaders of the main political parties and they're all behind me,' he said.

Cabinet meetings could be open to the public for the first time. Mr Drummond said: 'I have indicated to the chief executive that I think all cabinet meetings should be open to members of the public. The council is accountable to the local community and I think people should be able to go along and listen to key debates.'

Mr Drummond said tackling crime will be among the council's top priorities.

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