LETTER: Church Street revamp is a vanity project

Church Street in Hartlepool
Church Street in Hartlepool
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WHAT is it about some politicians?

Some of them lack the ability to tell it like it is, whether it be politicians in central government or local, part-time politicians who have turned a part-time vocation into full-time employment.

Once again there appeared a pretty picture in the Hartlepool Mail of what Church Street will one day look like, and of how it is now a done deal (providing, of course that central government gives Hartlepool Borough Council the millions of pounds it needs for the project).

The pretty picture shows a fully pedestrianised precinct in Church Street.

However, in the fine print in the accompanying article, it clearly stated that the council is going to retain the road way.

So now the plan is to have a widening of the pavement area for pavement cafés and the planting of trees, and right in the centre will be a narrower road with parked taxis and vehicles running the gauntlet between our famous transport Interchange and Mainsforth Terrace.

But, and there is always a but, the council has no money in the kitty.

It will have to apply to central government for the wherewithal to transform Church Street.

Now it is the easiest thing in the world to spend someone else’s money, just ask the Greek Government.

For the council this is an easy option.

Democratically-elected councillors can simply resign and walk away without worry or fear of retribution if things do not go according to plan.

The building of Church Street commenced in the 1850s, with the Athenaeum being built in 1851 on what was once known as The Slake – an area of swamp, bogs and sand hills, which were supposedly drained prior to any building taking place.

Anyone under the age of 50 may not know about the two tunnels at the bottom of Church Street, one leading to the docks and the other leading to Old Town.

Now a very strange occurrence would happen to these two tunnels in Church Street, and in the cellars of the properties in and around Church Street whenever there was a spring tide or a tidal surge.

The water table would rise and the two tunnels and the cellars of the buildings would flood with sea water.

These buildings in Church Street are now 165 years old and have been subjected to flooding by sea water for more than 100 of these years.

Before any taxpayers’ money is spent on what I would call a vanity project, I would like to know from the council if any survey or inspections have been carried out on the foundations of the buildings in Church Street.

Or are the taxpayers of Hartlepool simply to have blind faith in everything the leader of Hartlepool’s council tells us?

Edward Powell,

Birchill Gardens,