Residents bowled over at surgery

BOWLING ALONG: Left to right, Owton Manor resident Michael Pounder, Coun Pam Hargreaves, Owton Manor resident Shelly Bland, Coun Angie Wilcox and Coun Marjorie James
BOWLING ALONG: Left to right, Owton Manor resident Michael Pounder, Coun Pam Hargreaves, Owton Manor resident Shelly Bland, Coun Angie Wilcox and Coun Marjorie James

COUNCILLORS have hailed an innovative idea to get residents talking a success.

Labour councillors Angie Wilcox, Marjorie James and Pamela Hargreaves challenged residents in the Owton Manor area to a game of carpet bowls at a ward surgery meeting.

The idea came from Coun Wilcox, who was determined to ensure her first ward meeting since being elected into the role was a success.

Around a dozen residents came through the door of the Manor Residents’ Association, in Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool, for the informal meeting which gives people the chance to air their views and concerns about the area in which the live and work.

Residents raised a number of concerns about anti-social behaviour and the lack of car parking on the estate.

Coun Wilcox, who manages the Manor Residents’ Association, said: “Marjorie and Pamela were quite competitive at the carpet bowls, but I had to give it up as a bad job because mine wouldn’t even stay on the carpet.

“It was good fun and there was about 12 people there which wasn’t too bad for my first meeting.

“I enjoyed it and hopefully we can build on that and get even more people next time.

“It was a bit different to the usual ward surgery meetings and people seemed to open up a bit more because it was more of an informal discussion.”

This month residents had the chance to try their hand at carpet bowls, but next month there will be a different activity.

Coun Wilcox, who was elected to the Owton ward in May, added: “I have asked residents to let me know what they want to do next time, so I am sure we will get a range of suggestions.”

At the May elections, Coun Wilcox received 625 votes from Owton residents, beating her nearest rival Peter Joyce, from UKIP, who received 113 votes.