THE Hartlepool Borough Council proposal to spend up to £650,000 on the first phase of re-modelling Church Square raises a number of questions.
It seems that this expenditure is connected to the fact that the new £53m Hartlepool College of Further Education is now in operation while the Cleveland College of Art has purchased the old Municipal Buildings from the council for £50,000.
The intention is to create an “innovation and skills quarter” which will improve and upgrade the area around Christ Church.
Phase two of the scheme will follow at a later date, which will mean more expenditure.
At a time of severe economic problems in Britain, Europe and the USA it is rather surprising that the council is thinking of spending more than £650,000 on a part of the town which is already an attractive area.
The 17 countries that use the European single currency, the Eurozone, are in a state of imminent economic collapse, and this crisis could severely damage the economies of Britain and the USA.
Unemployment is rising in Britain, with 111,000 public sector jobs lost in the last three months and over 250,000 gone in the last 12 months.
Inflation is rising and economic growth is negligible.
If the debt crisis in the Eurozone gets worse then the knock-on effects in Britain and the USA could produce a worldwide recession, which could even turn into a catastrophic global slump.
Is this really the time to spend upwards of £650,000 on upgrading Church Square?
Public spending on projects that produce a financial return is beneficial to the economy.
But beautifying Church Square is not, as I see it, justifiable in the current economic climate.