Under-threat service ‘invaluable’ to Hartlepool, says MP

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright is a firm supporter of the HVDA.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright is a firm supporter of the HVDA.

AN MP has described the under-threat Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency as “invaluable”.

Hartlepool politician Iain Wright told the Mail that without HVDA, the town would have missed out on millions of pounds over the last 28 years since it first opened its doors in 1986.

Its staff expertise has meant that millions of pounds have flowed into Hartlepool, money which the town might not otherwise have received.

Iain Wright, Hartlepool MP

Mr Wright told the Mail that he would throw his support behind the organisation.

He said: “Hartlepool is a close-knit community and the voluntary sector is an invaluable and much needed part of our town’s unique spirit.

“In its 28 years HVDA has assisted 600 groups and something like 10,000 individuals, whether it has helped a residents’ association set up to combat anti-social behaviour or give a person experience to help them get a job.

“Its staff expertise has meant that millions of pounds have flowed into Hartlepool, money which the town might not otherwise have received.”

He added: “The voluntary sector is needed now more than ever.

“I don’t run Hartlepool Borough Council and don’t make spending decisions by the local authority.

“However, since 2010, this government has slashed 40 per cent of the council’s budget and has stopped other grants, such as the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, which were given to voluntary groups.

“These cuts and the neglect from the Government to communities like ours are having a direct and adverse impact upon the viability of voluntary groups.

“I would be very keen to work closely with HVDA to ensure that European funds, which can amount to millions of pounds and be matched by lottery funding, can be obtained and used in Hartlepool so that this vital resource for our town is not lost.”