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Leader wins elected mayor candidacy

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Labour has named Redcar & Cleveland BC’s leader Sue Jeffrey as its mayoral candidate for the Tees Valley.

Cllr Jeffrey (pictured) defeated Stockton-on-Tees BC councillor Chris Barlow in a ballot of party members.

Labour has minority control of Redcar & Cleveland and outright control of the conurbation’s other councils, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees BCs so she will be the front-runner in the mayoral election which takes place on 4 May.

Cllr Jeffrey said in an acceptance speech: “For the first time ever we are bringing powers back to the Tees Valley from London, giving us the freedom to do things for ourselves.

“My aim will be to ensure that our economic recovery and growth is sustainable and delivered to all parts of the Tees Valley. We are planning for new jobs but they must be high quality well paid jobs. My goal will be full employment built on local investment, diversifying our economy and reducing our dependency on foreign capital and labour.”

In an interview with LGC in November, Cllr Jeffrey spoke of the need to be a collaborative mayor in order to give residents and councillors confidence in the system.

Cllr Jeffrey was formerly executive director of the now defunct Yorkshire and Humber Regional Assembly and has served as chair of Tees Valley Housing.

Meanwhile, West of England Labour members have chosen Lesley Mansell for May’s mayoral contest for an area spanning Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

Ms Mansell has served as a member of Peasedown St John and Westfield parish councils and works as a manager in the NHS.

Here website pictures her with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and describes her as a “campaigner for social justice, employment and equal rights”.

She defeated local lawyer Karl Brown and Bath & North East Somerset Labour group leader Robin Moss to secure the nomination.

Labour controls Bristol but is only the third largest party on the other two councils.

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