Concern at lack of local councillors on group to boost Seaton Carew

Seaton Carew, Hartlepool.
Seaton Carew, Hartlepool.

A regeneration chief was forced to defend the make up of a new coastal group for Seaton Carew after no ward councillors for the seaside town were selected to sit on it.

Hartlepool Borough Council was awarded £20,000 in Government cash in the summer to help attract investment to its coastal communities through two new Coastal Community Teams.

One has been formed for Seaton Carew and another for the Headland and Harbour ward to co-ordinate projects that attract jobs and drive growth and prosperity.

But Seaton Carew resident Graeme Measor submitted a public question at a full council meeting to the council’s Regeneration Committee chair, Councillor Kevin Cranney, asking why Seaton’s three councillors had been excluded from its team.

Seaton is represented by independent councillor Paul Thompson, Kelly Atkinson, of the Putting Hartlepool First party and Tom Hind of Ukip.

Mr Measor wrote: “As a very concerned resident of Seaton Carew, can you please justify your decision to exclude all Seaton Carew councillors from the Seaton Carew Coastal Committee?”

The coastal teams report to the Regeneration Committee and also include council officers and private sector representatives from the Seaton area.

The two councillors chosen to sit on the Seaton Coastal Community Team are Regeneration Committee vice chair, Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher and Fens and Rossmere councillor Jim Lindridge.

Coun Cranney said: “This is not a coastal committee, it is a coastal community team that is a working group and answerable to the regeneration committee where actually a Seaton Carew councillor is a member, and which is open to all councillors as well as the public to attend.”

After the meeting, Mr Cranney added: “The Government sets the parameters. You could only have two councillors on.

“It is also made up of a group of officers as well as from the private sector.”