MOUNTING support for a new retail development in Prudhoe has spurred a local resident to stand for election on the town council.

Chris Barrett is standing to fill the vacancy on Prudhoe Town Council for the Prudhoe Castle and Eltringham Ward in today’s election.

He said he had decided to stand largely because of his frustrations with the current town council, which voted by a majority to object against a proposed retail park in Low Prudhoe consisting of shops and a drive-through restaurant.

Keen to show this objection did not support the views of residents, he conducted a survey of people in the town with more than 450 people taking part and 91 per cent of people saying they were in favour of the development.

The detailed plans are set to go before the county council’s strategic planning committee this year.

“I am standing as an Independent candidate as I don’t believe Prudhoe Town Council should be a showground for politics,” Chris said.

“If successfully elected I intend to shake things up, bang some heads together and hold the town council accountable to residents.”

Standing alongside Chris for the vacancy is fellow Prudhoe resident Lee Robinson, as a Labour candidate.

He said he wanted to give something back to people in Prudhoe, after many of them supported him when he fell on hard times after his marriage ended.

“I want to give something back to the wonderful people of Prudhoe by being a voice for them and encouraging a forum to work together and be able to talk about our issues.” He said his priorities were improved support for mental health and dementia, clean streets, better investment for young people, improving Prudhoe Front Street and support for those claiming Universal Credit.