A DOZEN trees and attractive landscaping has brightened up a residential area thanks to the efforts of ward councillors.
Labour councillors Paul Beck and Jean Robinson, who both represent the Hart ward, used some of their individual ward member budgets last year on the landscaping scheme at Birkdale Close, in the Clavering area of Hartlepool.
Individual ward member budgets were introduced by Hartlepool Borough Council last year and each of its 33 councillors receive £5,000 a year to address specific resident and ward issues.
Councillors Beck and Robinson both wanted to improve the Birkdale Close area - and in doing so said the residents now feel much safer.
Coun Beck said: “Previously there was an overgrown hedge that acted as a screen and resulted in quite a lot of anti-social behaviour in the area.
“This has been replaced with 12 beautiful ash trees and attractive landscaping which has opened the whole area up and made residents feel much safer.
“I fully support the ward budget scheme as it gives local councillors the flexibility to respond to the needs and wishes of local residents and bring about schemes to improve local neighbourhoods.”
Coun Robinson added: “Residents living in Birkdale Close now have a much better outlook and a clear view of the impressive floral displays on Clavering roundabout.
“The improvements have also made it much easier for the police to monitor the area.”
Delighted resident Emma Gibbon-Hayes, who lives in Birkdale Close, said: “I’m really pleased with the improvements and delighted that councillors have responded to our concerns.
“We have a completely different outlook now from our homes which is great.”
Meanwhile, residents of the Hart ward can have their say on the area at a ward surgery meeting this Saturday at the Gillen Arms, in Clavering Road, from 10am-11am.