Hartlepool Mail | 14274
Labour councillors Christopher Akers-Belcher and Stephen Akers-Belcher have spoken of their “pride” to hold the top two positions at Hartlepool Borough Council under major changes to the way the authority is run. They represent the first civil partnership in the country to hold the positions of leader of council and ceremonial mayor. Christopher, who is Labour group leader, will become leader of the council from Monday while partner Stephen, who is currently chairman of the council, is set to be confirmed as ceremonial mayor next week.
Christopher, who represents the Foggy Furze ward, said: “We are really proud to be the first civil partnership in the country to hold both roles and it just shows how progressive Hartlepool has become. It has got to the point were nobody really cares about our sexual orientation, all people are really concerned about is whether we can do the job. People assume we morph into the same person when you are a couple, but the roles are very different and we are both really looking forward to the challenge.”