Hartlepool estates in line for at least Â£1.6million to improve roads and streets
At least Â£1.6m is set to be spent improving Hartlepool's roads and footpaths after councillors supported how to invest savings.
The cash is intended to be ploughed into improving the town’s estates and could rise to £2.5m for longer term schemes.
It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee yesterday agreed to use £100,000 of recurring annual savings to borrow between £1.6m and £2.5m.
Subject to approval from Full Council on Thursday night, the Neighbourhood Services Committee will decide on detailed schemes for how and where the money will be spent.
Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher, chair of the neighbourhood committee, said: “We should be very aware that our roads we’ve got a lot of challenges with the work that needs to be done to address the issues.
“This is the ideal opportunity to continue that work and make sure that we can make improvements across our town.
“I do believe this needs to be very estate based and that we look at our neighbourhoods and where people live and ensure it reaches all areas of Hartlepool.”
He added: “This would be an opportunity for the Neighbourhood Services Committee to look at the full scope of footpaths and roads.”
Coun Kevin Cranney, who is also the council’s chair of regeneration, said many communities feel neglected as recent investment has been focussed on Seaton Carew, Church Street and the marina areas.
He said: “Lots of the estates are saying ‘what about us?’ and ‘look at the state of our roads’ and ‘there is no investment in our wards’.
“I think this is a good way of showing that we are looking after the whole town and not just certain parts.”
Also welcoming the move, Coun Brenda Harrison said the poor state of neighbourhoods was affecting residents’ mental health.
The £100,000 is a result of loan repayment costs being less than the council previously budgeted for.
The recommendation for how to use the saving is said to be in response to Coun Mike McLaughlin’s recent pothole campaign.
Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “I think it sends a very strong message out that we have listened to residents’ concerns.”
Coun Shane Moore sought assurances that the council would not be hit if interest rates change by borrowing using fixed rates.