'Real sense of optimism around Hartlepool,' say chiefs as they draw up new blueprints for the town

There is a ‘real sense of optimism’ around work in Hartlepool, say town leaders as they move forward with forming the council’s plan for the borough for the next three years.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 11:19 am
Shining a light on Hartlepool's future.
Shining a light on Hartlepool's future.

The current Hartlepool Borough Council plan for 2017/19 to 2019/20 is coming to an end and councillors agreed earlier this year to begin preparations for a new document to be drawn up before the end of the municipal year.

The plan will look to identify a series of key priorities for Hartlepool over the next three years.

Following an initial consultation on what the priorities should be, a draft council plan has now been drawn up for 2020/21 to 2022/23.

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Gill Alexander, council chief executive, told the Finance and Policy Committee the work of the past three years means there is a strong platform to build on as they draw up the plan.

She said: “There was a real sense of optimism around the work that’s already going on in Hartlepool and the achievements that have been delivered over the past three years.”

A five-week consultation will now be launched on the draft plan, which will feature a short online survey, reports to council committees and a partners round-table discussion.

The draft plan has eight strategic priorities outlining areas to be targeted in the town.

These include growing a diverse economy, creating a clean, green and safe Hartlepool, and creating an attractive and connected Hartlepool.

Other priorities include developing a healthy Hartlepool, building better beginnings and futures for children, improving outcomes for adults with health and social care needs, and building and improving homes.

Finally the plan aims to ‘shape a well-led, safe, high performing and efficient council fit for the 21st century’.

Councillors on the committee highlighted several areas which they wanted to see expanded on in the final version of the plan.

Coun Dave Hunter said he wanted to see more in the plan about community wealth building, which redirects wealth back into the local economy.

He said: “Reading through there are some very good points, I appreciate it’s a first draft so there are a few areas that need significant development.

“We’ve not given any more than a nod of the hat to community wealth growth which can make such a difference, especially when we talk about a three year or four year plan.”

“We need to respond to businesses more. The tourism aspect certainly needs a major expansion on that.”

Coun Shane Moore, council leader, added community wealth building work and a focus on tourism has been ongoing and more details are to be included in the final council plan.

He said: “It does reflect a lot of the aspirations that we have as a council moving forward for the next three years.”