A string of high-profile Middlesbrough firms including AV Dawson and Cleveland Cable Company have publicly backed local businessman Andy Preston in his bid to become the town’s Mayor.
In an extraordinary joint letter drawn up and signed by 36 companies, they say in charity leader Mr Preston “there is an outstanding candidate who we believe has the vision, skills and experience to bring desperately-needed jobs and investment”.
The letter has been signed by well-known business personalities including Gary Dawson from AV Dawson, Bill Scott from Wilton Engineering Services and Alastair Powell from Cleveland Cable Company.
Pictured (above) is Haaroon Iqbal of Smooth Print, Keith Miller of Ecco Finishing Supplies, Saheed Rashid of Smooth Print and Mark Smith of SMC with the letter of support.
It states that the signatories from the letter come from “many different backgrounds and industries”.
The letter says: “In Andy Preston, there is an outstanding candidate who we believe has the vision, skills and experience to bring desperately-needed jobs and investment and give us real hope for a better, brighter future.
“Some of us are supporters of a political party, while others have no party political allegiance.
“Some live in Middlesbrough, others work here or have businesses and employees who live in the town.
“We are united in a belief that Middlesbrough would be better served by the leadership of someone with a fresh outlook and new ideas, rather than handing the reins back to the same people who have failed us in the past.
“We are immensely proud of our town, but want to stop making the mistakes that have failed to prevent it from becoming one of the most socially and economically deprived in the country.
“We are not motivated by self-interest, but by a shared desire to play our part in building a better town for all of us.
“Andy Preston has demonstrated his determination to make this a reality and we are convinced he has the passion, expertise and contacts to deliver on his promises.”
The full list of businesses included in the letter are:
Gary Dawson (AV Dawson)
Alastair Powell (Cleveland Cable Company)
Martin Barber (Evolution LLP)
Bill Scott (Wilton Engineering Services)
Zeynel Badak (E-Max Systems
Danielle Bloom (Calm Digital)
Jamie Brown (Endeavour Partnership)
Phil Carey (Careys)
Andy Carr (The Kids Are Solid Gold)
Paul Davison (Erimus Insurance Brokers)
Simon Hatfield (Club Tiny)
Terry Goldspink (Evolution Finishing)
Junior Massandi (RU Listening)
Paul Griffiths (Industrial & Marine Hydraulics)
Keith Miller (Ecco Finishing Supplies)
Lee Flanagan (Bespoke Financial)
Kevin Hynes (Tees Fire Systems)
Alison & David Irvine (BioForce NE)
Erdal “AJ” Kuzgun (Al Forno)
Steve MacDonald ((MacDonald Offshore Solutions)
Shan McDonald (ESCS)
Michael McGeary (McGeary Media)
Karen Matthews (Butterflies Florists)
Mike Maguire (Marton Pharmacy)
Brian Nunn (Erimus Web Creations)
Bernard Ord (Fairfield Industries)
Sarah Porteous (Sporteous UK)
Karl Pemberton (Active Chartered Financial Planners)
Saheed Rashid (Smooth Print)
Chris Petty (Cornerstone Business Solutions)
Simon Scotchbrook (Agile Group)
Daniel Smith (Erimus Productions)
Mark Smith (SMC)
Sam Tate (Vintage Chartered Financial Planners)
Chris Tomlinson (HT Fitness)
Gary Watts (WH Watts & Son)
There are six people contesting the Middlesbrough Mayoral election, which is on Thursday (May 7). They are: Dave Budd (Labour), Mike Carr (Independent), Lloyd Cole-Nolan (Conservatives), Len Junier (Independent), Andy Preston (Independent) and Dave Roberts (Independent).