Hartlepool task force targets neighbourhood nuisances

From left, Hartlepool Borough Council neighbourhood caretaker Brent Atkinson, housing standards officer Michael Croft, Kate Ainger of the Community Safety and Engagement Team and Victoria ward Councillors Trisha Lawton and Carl Richardson, taking part in the day of action.
From left, Hartlepool Borough Council neighbourhood caretaker Brent Atkinson, housing standards officer Michael Croft, Kate Ainger of the Community Safety and Engagement Team and Victoria ward Councillors Trisha Lawton and Carl Richardson, taking part in the day of action.
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Hartlepool’s Victoria ward has been the latest focus of an ongoing campaign to ensure that neighbourhoods take pride in their area.

The Respect Your Neighbourhood campaign saw untaxed vehicles seized and officers looking into targeting environmental nuisances.

The campaign, led by Hartlepool Borough Council, but involving organisations, including the police and fire brigade under the banner of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, involves a full day of action in a particular area of town one day a month, aimed at improving local neighbourhoods.

Prior to the day, the key organisations involved worked with the ward councillors and public to help identify issues which needed tackling.

The Victoria Ward day of action concentrated on the area from Chester Road and Brougham Terrace to the north, Clarence Road to the east, the Mill House Leisure Centre car park to the south and Jesmond Road to the west. Among the range of activities on the day were:

• The council’s enforcement team patrolled the area, seizing four untaxed vehicles and issuing a fixed-penalty notice for dog fouling.

• The enforcement team also removed 15 bins which had been left out in back streets and carried out a letter drop in 13 streets, reminding people to store their bins on their property, rather than leaving them out in the back streets, where they block access to the council’s cleansing teams and become arson targets.

• Eight locations were drawn to the attention of the council’s Private Sector Housing Team for action. These include properties which were not properly secured, one with rubbish stockpiled in the yard, which posed an arson risk, and an empty house – which was notified to the police – where thieves had broken into the property and removed the copper piping.

• New permanent metal warning signs were issued in the back lane of Derwent Street to caution people that it is not to be used as a dog toilet and exercise area, and dog fouling warning stickers were put on signs and lamp- posts in the wider area;

• The council’s cleansing team carried out litter picking and mechanical sweeping and the hedges and bushes along Middleton Road were trimmed and fallen leaves were removed.

Councillor Marjorie James, chairwoman of the council’s Neighbourhood Services Policy Committee, said: “We have listened to residents’ comments and have taken prompt action on the things which concern them in their local area.

“One other issue which was flagged up to us was parking congestion around the Raglan Quoit Club and discussions are ongoing to find a mutually acceptable solution.”