Why have anything less?

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I AM writing to appeal to Hartlepool Borough Council and other bodies concerned with the sea defences of Hartlepool.

Having read initial reports and concerns of the Borough Engineers department (Mail, February 16, 2009), I am at a loss to understand why, after two and a half years, we are still discussing the same problems with no positive progress having been made.

Obviously during this period we have had a change of head engineer and national government, compounded by financial difficulties.

Nevertheless this subject should have been made a top priority and addressed by all concerned.

Now it appears that the council, following the Mott MacDonald report, is set to accept the easy and cheapest option of demolition of local landmarks, despite the feelings of locals and taxpayers alike.

The promise of £6m from Defra towards any costs saves them a huge headache, with only £800,000 to find.

Not an easy task these days but that is no excuse for second best service.

I also notice that Redcar Council is to open a shop on the Esplanade to “showcase” £75m worth of regeneration in its area.

This figure includes £30m for sea defence work, £1.8m for a new pier and £31m for leisure facilities.

Where are we going wrong?

As the Mott MacDonald report stated, option three (cost £15m or just less) is the preferable choice in the long term.

So why have anything less?

Perhaps our local officers, etc, should talk to colleagues at Redcar to see how they have secured their funding as we appear to be the “Aunt Sally” in this case, missing out yet again on grants, etc.

Also if the facts of rising water levels and climate change are correct, the Redcar project appears to be a waste of money which could be better spent by protecting the higher ground on the Headland.

I apologise to the good folk of Redcar and wish them well.

My complaint is the manner in which I think the council has dragged its feet regarding this matter, possibly leading to missed funding and wholesale vandalism to the promenade.

Please listen and think again.

As often quoted in the council chamber, it’s a “no brainer” – a terrible expression.

Alan Hodgson,

Redwood Close,

Hartlepool.