£200,000 war chest to make Hartlepool cleaner and safer

Members of the Council's Cleansing and Enforcement Teams pictured during an action day in the De Bruce ward.
Members of the Council's Cleansing and Enforcement Teams pictured during an action day in the De Bruce ward.
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Almost £200,000 of council funds are set to be spent on a range of initiatives to improve the local environment.

Almost half of the money will be used to employ two new enforcement officers whose role includes clamping down on environmental crime and make neighbourhoods cleaner and safer.

After all the cuts something positive like this shows we are out there trying to make a difference for our residents

Councillor Jim Ainslie

The funding pot was allocated to Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services department, after the council was £596,000 in the black at the end of the last financial year.

The council’s Finance and Policy Committee previously decided to use £400,000 of the unused cash towards paying back a loan the council took out to buy former shopping mall Jacksons Landing.

Councillors on the Neighbourhood Services Committee supported a range of spending plans for the £196,000 allocated to it.

They include £96,000 for the two new enforcement officers within the car parking and environmental enforcement teams ,which are due to be merged.

Alastair Smith, assistant director, said the increase of staff from nine to 11 would enable a more reactive response and target hot-spot areas up to 8pm.

The remainder of the funding is planned to be £32,500 for grass edging works, £27,500 for pavement and verge improvements, £20,000 for more dog and litter bins and £10,000 each for maintaining benches and shrub removal.

Councillor Jim Ainslie, who represents the Headland and Harbour ward, said: “I very much welcome the additional money. I think it will be money well spent.

“After all the cuts that have been carried out to be doing something positive like this shows we are out there trying to make a difference for our residents.”

Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, for Manor House ward, particularly welcomed the boost to grass verge and dog bin improvements.

He said: “I’m really pleased the money has been allocated.”

The proposals will now be referred to the full council to grant the final approval.