Independent candidate for North Jesmond announced

This May Jesmond residents will have their say in the running of NE2. In the run up to the election, we will meet all the candidates running for council seats in Jesmond. Today, the independent candidate for North Jesmond: Michael Charlton.

Michael Charlton – Independent

Michael Charlton hails from the north east, where he attended King’s College Tynemouth as a boy. Following time spent as a student at Northumbria University he spent 11 years in the event and promotion industry of nightclubs in student areas around the country. He then settled back home in the region and lives in Jesmond which he calls “the greatest place ever on the planet”. Charlton is now a business owner, setting up his own company specialising in digital applications and website building in Newcastle.

Charlton has been interested in politics since he was young, and was a former member of the Labour Party, attending Young Labour meetings. His father was a Conservative councillor in South Tyneside, and he describes his mother as a Labour supporter. Having come from a mixed political upbringing Charlton is standing as an independent candidate for the North Jesmond ward, saying he believes Labour and the Conservatives have both got it wrong.

He says that politics need to be more accessible to everyone and that he has been “watching how the political landscape has changed.” Barack Obama’s first US presidential campaign stood out to him in particular in the way it re-engaged the youth with politics through social media. Speaking about how inaccessible everyday politics is, Charlton said “I have to go out of my way to make myself aware of these things”.

When it comes to Jesmond Charlton is aware of the main issues concerning residents: Acorn Road, communal bins and student-resident integration came high on his list. He also wants to be able to give Jesmond tailored consideration and actions from the city council because of its unique demographics. He says special measures should be put in place to assists residents in the area at times such as the end of university terms when 40% of the area’s inhabitants all move out on the same weekend.

As well as this, Charlton is keen to introduce some form of recycling programme by which unwanted items, particularly those left by students, can be reused.