AS part of the Mail’s 2014 local elections coverage, we will be focusing on all 11 wards in Hartlepool where seats are up for grabs.
The Mail will be profiling the 49 candidates who want your vote and examining the issues that are affecting local residents ahead of the election on Thursday, May 22.
Our coverage continues with the Seaton Ward
MILLIONS of pounds has been pumped into sea defence work at Seaton Carew recently and residents and businesses are benefitting.
Hartlepool Borough Council carried out the multi-million pound scheme to combat coastal erosion and flooding, with work to strengthen the sea defences along a 700-metre stretch of coastline from the Station Lane access ramp to Seaton coach park.
The total cost was around £4.3m, with the Environment Agency paying the lion share of £3.5m and the other £800,000 from the council and Northumbrian Water.
Residents and businesses in the Seaton Ward say it is great to see the work finished, with it helping to bring more people to the area.
One major concern remains the derelict Longscar Centre. However, in March, the owners unveiled ambitious plans to transform the site into a hub of restaurants, pubs and arcades.
It has stood empty for a number of years, leading to calls from various councillors and resident representatives for the building to be flattened.
The council confirmed they had held discussions with representatives of the owners about their plans, adding that the site had been identified by the council as a “key priority” in the ongoing effects to breathe new life into the resort and forms part of the Seaton Carew Masterplan.
Wendy Hudson owns Cards ‘R’ Hudsons at The Front, in Seaton Carew, and is full of praise for the regeneration of the area.
Wendy told the Mail: “It is great that work to complete the promenade is finished and it has made a big improvement.
“Anything that attracts even more people here can only be good. The main concern of people that come into the shop though is always the Longscar Centre and the future of the building.”
Married mum-of-two Sue Gibson lives in Lingdale Drive and works in Hartlepool Borough Council’s child and adult services department.
The 47-year-old said: “They have done a wonderful job down by the front.
“Seaton is a really nice place to live and all of the businesses here seem to be making a real effort to improve the area. The improvements to the area mean more people will come back here, that is a good thing.”
Jodie Edwards lives in Danby Grove, Seaton Carew, and works at Seaton Gift and Rock Shop.
The 27-year-old said: “We have seen a lot of improvements down at the front and that is great, both from the point of view of living and working here.
“One thing that would help boost business further is if more could be done to tackle the problem of empty shops.”