Fuming resident demands action

END OF HER TETHER: Deborah Kirton
END OF HER TETHER: Deborah Kirton

A DISABLED woman says she is at the “end of her tether” after more delays in housing regeneration projects.

Deborah Kirton, 47, says life in Perth Street, in the Dyke House area Hartlepool is “unbearable” and thinks no-one should live in the conditions she says she is having to put up with.

She says she has had three attempted break-ins, has to deal with her home being riddled with dampness and was forced to get some electric heaters to get through the arctic winter conditions.

She doesn’t even let her three young grandchildren visit because she doesn’t want them spending any time in the house.

The fuming resident, who rents her home from a private landlord with her husband, Leonard, 49, said another family on the street who have two children and are expecting another can’t even go into the bathroom of their home because they are scared of the ceiling falling through.

Another resident in the street hasn’t had any gas or heating for four years.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s housing market renewal programme aims to transform the Perth Street as part of a multi-million pound scheme.

But the scheme stalled when private landlords opposed council plans to use Compulsory Purchase Orders to buy the remaining properties and a public inquiry had to be held.

Mrs Kirton says she was told she would be moved out of the area by the end of February, but a month later and still in the property, she claims she has had enough.

“If I could pack up my things and get out of here within the next two hours I would,” said Deborah.

“We are just getting pulled from pillar to post.

“One minute we are told we are going to be moved, then nothing happens.

“Nobody should have to live in conditions like this.”

Mrs Kirton, who is a mum of two and step-mum of three, added: “I am scared in my own house, it should never get to that.

“I suffer with so many illnesses, and living in this hole doesn’t help.

“If we could afford to get out, then we would move tomorrow.”

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Residents have been offered clear advice, on a one-to-one basis, as to the progress of this scheme and the timescales involved.

“Once a public inquiry concludes, it is the norm for the inspector to have an eight week period to write a report which is then submitted to the Secretary of State for consideration.

“There is then a prescribed timescale for the Secretary of State to make a decision on the use of a Compulsory Purchase Order.

“The public inquiry held in relation to this scheme which took place at Hartlepool Civic Centre, ended on February 18.

“Pending a final decision by the Secretary of State, we are continuing to offer support to those residents who wish to have it.

“Individual home visits are undertaken on a regular basis and the site is checked several times per week by regeneration officers who deal with management issues and report problems, including issues to landlords and owners where the properties are not owned by the council.”