Quite a turnaround - £200,000 diverted from road roundabout budget to pay for new play facilities in Hartlepool

Swings and roundabouts – Hartlepool children are in line for better playgrounds after councillors voted to divert £200,000 from a road roundabout budget to pay for new outdoor play ‘hubs’.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23 July, 2019, 11:45
The play area at Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, which opened last year. Council chiefs want to see better play facilities across the borough.

Work to create ‘gateway features’ on Hartlepool roundabouts on key routes into the town has been put on hold so cash can be spent enhancing three play areas in the borough instead.

The first play area will be the Marine Crescent site, with two other areas to be identified in line with a ‘Play Strategy’ the council is developing.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said after talks with Coun Dave Hunter it was his ‘sincere hope’ Burn Valley Gardens will be the second hub, although officers are still working on the strategy.

Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee approved the cash diversion.

Coun Mike Young, deputy council leader, said: “We did a bit of a review when we came in to the leadership about what money is being spent on.

“I think the reallocation to play parks is an essential one, I think it speaks right to the heart of communities, if you’ve got good play equipment and good areas for people to go to it becomes a place for people to meet and families to enjoy their time.”

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Councillors also raised the importance that works to playgrounds include play equipment and benches for those with disabilities.

Denise McGuckin, council director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said the information around disabilities has been fed in to officers looking at the schemes.

The investment plan also states statues in Church Square, Church Street and the sculpture on Marina Way roundabout will be cleaned using funding from the roundabout allocation, which is anticipated to cost £30,000.

Councillors also agreed to widen its plan to install CCTV in the town, with the technology to be installed in Church Square, Church Street, Summerhill and the Waterfront.

It was previously agreed in December last year funding allocated for barrier works would be realigned to a project to install CCTV in Seaton Park, Rossmere Park, Burn Valley Gardens and Ward Jackson Park, and the same funding is expected to cover the additional sites.