1,760 sign petition calling for inquiry

Christine Blakey outside the Civic Centre with her petition. Picture bY FRANK REID
Christine Blakey outside the Civic Centre with her petition. Picture bY FRANK REID

HUNDREDS of fed-up residents have signed a petition calling for changes at Hartlepool Borough Council.

Christine Blakey, a resident representative, launched her campaign over a number of issues which she believes need to be addressed in the town.

Her petition, which has been signed by 1,760 people, read: “The shocking news of huge pay rises for Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief executive, the mayor and directors at this time of global economic crisis, we also see revelations of hospital, tall ships, environment, transport interchange controversy and over spend on top of huge budget deficit.

“So we need to ask, with severe government budget cuts, our money should have been managed much better, not to increase salaries at the top.”

The petition then goes on to ask residents, workers and friends of Hartlepool to demand accountability and change.

Ms Blakey, 43, of the town’s Bishop Cuthbert estate, is calling for a full independent investigation into the issue because she feels “public concerns” are being ignored.

Ms Blakey handed her petition to council bosses after collecting signatures outside the civic centre yesterday.

Ms Blakey, a mum of one, said: “There are a lot of people with genuine concerns.

“We have our eyes open and ears to the ground and we are listening to what people are saying because they want their voice heard. The main aim is to hold people to account. We want to maximise the potential of the money in the Civic Centre.”

The petition by the recently-formed Hear ‘n’ Hartlepool group, which has the catchline “See the problems, Hear the problems, Solve the problems,” also raises concerns about the tall ships budget deficit and calls for public money to be spent more wisely.

The council has confirmed that any petition with more than 1,500 signatures will be presented at a meeting of the full council.

Ms Blakey said: “I would like to thank everybody who has taken the time to sign the petition.”

A council spokesman said: “Any petition with more than 1,500 verified signatures is presented to a full council meeting.”