New bid to help charity

Pam Hargreaves.
Pam Hargreaves.

PEOPLE power has helped persuade councillors to look for new ways of financing a charity hit by budget cuts.

They will now discuss how to find £33,000 to fund a voluntary organisation described as the “linchpin of the community”.

At an emotionally charged extraordinary meeting of the full council at Hartlepool Civic Centre last night, Hartlepool borough councillors told how they have received letters on a daily basis from members of the public pleading the case of Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA).

There is due to be no council cash for HVDA, based in Victoria Road, from May next year after a £70,000 contract was stopped when the authority agreed to slash its Community Pool funding.

But councillors last night expressed the need to “plug that gap” and support an organisation that assists 252 other groups.

They unanimously agreed that Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee finds a way of raising £33,000 for HVDA, nearly 50 per cent of what is being axed by the authority.

Councillor Pam Hargreaves said: “I would urge councillors not to think of this as a politics issue but an issue of economics.

“It would be wrong for the council to say it can’t support an organisation that supports so many other organisations in the town.”