Calls for Government cash boost for community hubs and leisure centres in Hartlepool

Councillors have called for funding support from the Government to help protect areas such as community hubs and leisure centres in the town.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 8:00 am
Hartlepool Civic centre

Hartlepool Borough Council officers said underlying budget pressures faced areas such as community hubs, leisure centres and care for adults with learning disabilities.

Currently the areas are being funded from one-off underspends and care grants, but councillors warned sustainable funding is needed to enable future planning.

It came as council finance officers updated the Hartlepool Borough Council Adult and Community Based Services Committee on the financial picture for the coming year.

Although the department is currently on track for its 2019/20 year funding, councillors warned future help is needed in regards to leisure facilities and social care.

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Coun Stephen Thomas said: “It is of concern that we have continuing pressures around, sports, leisure, recreation and the community hubs going forward.

“Particularly given the importance our community places on leisure facilities, our libraries, I think it’s important we do find some solution going forward.

“I think it is very regrettable given the clear crisis there is in social care up and down the country we have this short term sticking plaster approach from central government.

“Until there is absolute certainty of social care funding going forward there will always be this uncertainty about.”

Councillors also stated more funding is needed from government to support looked after children in town, with increasing demand impacting the council across all areas.

Coun Marjorie James said: “It is appalling that central government are treating individuals and groups of individuals in such a shoddy way.

“It also means the care industries as a whole and those that manage contracts like councils do, cannot long term plan.

“I think it’s appalling everything being loaded on to the local taxpayer and I don’t accept that’s the right way to do things, and there has been no corresponding action from government regarding child care.

“Child care continues to break through budget limits and is sucking money from other parts of the council.”

Coun Sue Little said: “The government has to see, especially in Hartlepool, we have over 300 looked after children, the service is massively overspending and something needs to be done.”