THE deputy leader of Castle Point Council has announced he will be stepping down at the next elections and could launch a campaign to run for Castle Point MP. 

Steven Cole, People’s Independent Party deputy leader at Castle Point Council, insists he has been inundated with requests to run for MP since announcing he would stand down. 

He will quit as a councillor ahead of the May elections after growing frustrated at the long-running saga surrounding Castle Point’s housing plan and national policy around building on brownfield sites.

Mr Cole believes he could have a greater influence on these issues as MP, and will also campaign to rid Castle Point of potholes and see a new hospital built in south Essex if he chooses to run.

He said: “I’ve had enough and will not be standing for re-election in May. I’ve got to the point where I’ve been doing it 15 years and have had enough, especially of the way things are going such as the local plan.

“Another thing is waiting for brown field sites to come available. For me it was about serving our residents.

“Dave Blackwell, the council leader wants me to keep going as a councillor but I cannot keep going and it is a shame.

“I’ve done a training programme towards becoming an MP and am pleased with what I achieved by setting up the People’s Independent Party.”

Last May the Canvey Independents and People Independents shot to power, taking control away from the Conservative party for the first time in nearly two decades.

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Mr Cole added: “I’ve been asked lots if I will stand for MP and will consider it. There’s lots of support for me to do this and I think I could do it. I would like to make an important contribution and if that means standing as MP to get better road quality, a new hospital I need to consider it. I think the Tories would be petrified if I was to stand.”

Dave Blackwell, leader of Castle Point, said: “I am a bit surprised and a bit upset he’s said the local plan and brownfield sites. If he wants to stand as MP, I am sure lots would support him.”