History made as Hartlepool elects first ever BAME councillors

Published Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

The recent local elections marked an historic moment for Hartlepool Borough Council as it welcomed its first councillors from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Councillor Quewone (Que) Bailey-Fleet, whose family are from Jamaica, and Councillor Aaron Roy, who hails from Kerala, India, were elected in the Rossmere and Hart wards respectively.

Both have expressed their profound gratitude to voters for the faith they have placed in them, and they have also described their pride in making the new Labour Council the most diverse in the Borough’s history.

Both councillors bring talent, specific expertise and new ideas to the Council.

Councillors Bailey-Fleet and Roy

Councillor Quewone Bailey-Fleet and Councillor Aaron Roy

Councillor Roy is a registered nurse, with experience as an operations specialist, and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic and Healthcare Management. He is also an elected Public Governor for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “It is truly humbling to have been elected to serve the people of Hart ward and I’m already getting down to work supporting the people of our great borough. My Indian background gives me a rich political heritage, which takes an inclusive and collaborative approach to public service. To be elected, along with Que, as the first BAME Councillors in our borough is truly an honour and I will work tirelessly to repay the public’s faith in me.”

Councillor Bailey-Fleet is a law student at Teesside University, as well as being a successful entrepreneur and a dedicated social activist. She brings a wealth of diverse perspectives to local government, having led social development programmes in Jamaica and New York.

Having married a Hartlepool man, she has chosen Hartlepool as her adoptive home and together they are raising their young family here. Her focus is addressing the pressing issues that affect the Borough.

She said: “I'm deeply honoured to serve Rossmere residents as their councillor, marking a historic moment as the first Black individual to hold such a position in our borough’s history. The challenges we face are huge. From child poverty to the closure of businesses on our high streets, and the need for better management of public facilities, I am dedicated to seeking solutions. We need more police to tackle the crime and drug epidemic, greater investment in education to empower our youth and improved healthcare services, as well as preserving our borough’s rich heritage.”