Councillors on the committee were unanimous in the actions of the trust leaders for not attending.
Coun Rob Cook said: “I think it is an absolute utter disgrace that way they treat everybody in Hartlepool.
“They should resign from their position or should be made to resign or be some intervention from the Government to ensure these people are no longer allowed to take us for a ride.”
Main story: ‘A massive slap in the face’: Hospital bosses slammed for snubbing Hartlepool meeting
Coun Alan Clark added: The hospital trust just treat the people of this town with absolute contempt.
“They should be in this chamber and should be taking questions from the public.”
Union representatives were also disappointed after attending to ask questions of the trust.
Royal College of Nursing spokesman Jake Turnbull said: “The RCN, the public, the local MP, our sister trade unions, and the local council representatives all attended this important meeting. It was disappointing therefore that the trust did not send anybody to answer the questions to which we all want answers.
“Specifically, the trust has claimed that the closure of this excellent unit is due to the fact that they can’t recruit sufficient staff to the unit.
“But they were able to recruit to the unit as recently as May 2015, and in the three months to December 2015, they made no effort at all to recruit to the unit.
“If the real reason that they are closing the unit is because they want to remove a range of services from the hospital, then they should say so. They should also have a full public consultation, not do this on the sly.”