Park grafitti plans

Coun Ray Wells
Coun Ray Wells

PROPOSALS to put a “graffiti wall” inside a popular park have been axed – much to the delight of a local councillor.

Hartlepool Borough Council was considering plans to use an area of wall inside Ward Jackson Park, off Elwick Road, as a community mural.

But officers say the plans will not now go out to consultation, as originally intended.

The proposals had been slammed by Conservative group leader, Councillor Ray Wells, who labelled plans for the graffiti wall as “lunacy”.

The Park ward councillor feared it would lead to other problems in the park, with yobs targeting other buildings and benches once the wall was full.

There were no firm plans in place for the wall, but he argued it would have been better to spend the money on something else and has expressed his delight that “common sense” has prevailed.

A meeting between Coun Wells and council officers about the issue is still due to go ahead this Friday.

Coun Wells said: “I am delighted that this lunacy has come to an end and common sense has prevailed.

“This would have involved a full consultation exercise with local residents’ groups and hours of officer time, at a time when they are pressed and the local authority is cutting back on costs.

“We could, I’m sure, find better ways for the funds that would have been used to be spent.”

Ward Jackson Park was subject to extra police patrols over the summer months in a bid to curb yobs causing anti-social behaviour and setting fires.

In calling for the plans to be axed, Coun Wells said: “My fears were that when the wall was full, budding artists started on nearby houses.

“I wanted it to be stopped before we wasted any money.”

A spokesman for Hartlepool Council said: “A suggestion was put forward to consult interested parties about using a problematic neighbouring electricity sub station wall as a canvas for a schoolchildren-led community mural.

“But following a discussion among officers this will not now be going forward for consultation.”

Ward Jackson Park, which opened with public money in July 1883, is listed in the National Register of Historic Parks & Gardens.

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