Hartlepool Councils use of cash questionable

I read (Mail, January 10) that Hartlepool Borough Council is raising the council tax by 4%.

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 10:52 am

Don’t believe the story that the council has not raised council tax for the past six years.

The real reason it wasn’t increased was because central government gave the council several million pounds every year not to do so.

We are told by the council leader that it will have the income from central government reduced by another £10million by 2020.

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This is £3.3million per year.

Yet I am led to believe that the council gives approximately £2million away each year to charities and organisations in Hartlepool?

I hope someone from the council will correct me if I have been misled and am wrong.

Another complete waste of council taxpayers’ money, which could have been used to supplement the loss of income from central government, is the ludicrous amount spent on the 20mph scheme in side streets off Elwick Road, Park Road, Grange Road and Hart Lane, and which will soon be implemented in the streets off upper Hart Lane.

How many people actually observe these 20mph signs?

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of council taxpayers’ money was spent building parking bays behind the houses on the north side of Hart Lane.

A 20mph zone was created and yellow lines painted on the road and pavement on the north side of Hart Lane, with signs erected indicating “no parking, waiting, stopping, loading or unloading”, in order to enable a smooth flow of traffic.

Traffic still proceeds along Hart Lane at 30-35 mph.

Residents, visitors and commercial vehicles still park on the yellow lines.

To date no-one appears to have been prosecuted. Why not?

Because there is no-one to enforce it, and every motorist knows it.

Another project dreamed up by the council (which could have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds – maybe even more) is the Transport Interchange, a project which, like the purchase and demolition of Jacksons Landing, has proven to be nothing more than a drain on council taxpayers’ money.

It was recently announced in the Mail that the council has been granted £1.9million to upgrade the outsides of all businesses in Church Street.

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t all the businesses in Church Street privately owned?

If so, why is it that taxpayers’ money is being used to upgrade private properties?

Surely that is the responsibility of the owners of these businesses?

Only three and a bit months to the next council elections.

I can hardly wait.

Edward Powell,

Birchill Gardens,

Hartlepool.