Mayor gets chance to vie to keep hold of job

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BATTLE lines are now being drawn in the contest to be North Tyneside’s next elected mayor after Linda Arkley was given the thumbs-up by her party to fight to keep her job.

North Tyneside Conservative Federation last week announced that current mayor Mrs Arkley had been chosen as their candidate for the post after a unanimous decision by members.

Federation chairman Karen Johnson said: “We all feel that Linda has been a very successful and well-respected elected mayor in very difficult economic times.”

Mrs Arkley, looking to hang on to the post she won at 2009’s mayoral election, the borough’s first, said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support, and I will seek to continue to deliver on the priorities that matter most to the residents of North Tyneside.

“This will build on the successful work that I have carried out during my time as elected mayor.

“I have sought to represent the whole of the borough by bringing jobs, new investment and development through working with the business community and government.

“My ambition is to bring more jobs to the area, see further investment in the borough including thriving town centres, and retain our excellent standards in schools with more opportunities for young people.”

Mrs Arkley will be up against the Labour Party’s Norma Redfearn, currently a councillor for the Riverside ward in North Shields.

Mrs Redfearn, a former teacher, said: “North Tyneside has some real strengths.

“I want to use those strengths to build a more prosperous future for all who live here.”

She and Mrs Arkley are the only candidates to have thrown their hats into the ring so far for the election, expected to be held next spring.