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Mike Hill MP: Council responding to demands to improve estates is welcome

The RAF flowerbed in Greatham Village. Picture by Frank Reid
The RAF flowerbed in Greatham Village. Picture by Frank Reid

Many congratulations to the residents of Greatham on winning the trophy and gold medal for the Best Village in the Northumbria in Bloom competition.

An accolade the community can rightly be proud of and respect goes to Brian Walker, the Greatham in Bloom Committee and all the residents for making it happen.

Talking about communities; it clearly is welcome news that the council is responding to increasing demands to improve our estates.

Fixing the roads, tackling anti social behaviour, targeting boarded up properties (which are a blight on the town) and keeping the streets clean makes all the difference, lifts people’s spirits and restores pride in our neighbourhoods.

On the subject of which, I have literally just been told that the amazing people who took it upon themselves to litter pick South Road near my office last weekend and clean up the fly-tipping, were none other than Fiona Wilkins and ‘Plastic Free Hartlepool’.

My utmost respect goes to them for promoting the important issue of plastic pollution and showing an excellent example of community spirit in action.

The residents of Dalton Piercy are quite rightly upset about slow progress in the roll out of broadband to the village.

Promises and deadlines from BT Openreach have come and gone and villagers have literally been left in limbo over this important lifeline.

I’m more than happy to support the parish council in pushing for something which, let’s face it, the majority of everyone else in Hartlepool takes for granted.

Community action is exemplified by the coming together of residents on Bishop Cuthbert to demand a safe crossing on Merlin Way near Sainsbury’s.

In light of further property developments planned at the top of this fast road onto the estate, it looks like their lobbying might be making good progress and a pelican crossing could be on the cards. I sincerely hope so, and well done to the residents’ association for pushing it.

Of course, while Greatham and Dalton Piercy are amongst our oldest communities and Bishop Cuthbert is amongst the most recent, there are new conurbations springing up.

The new housing developments at Wynyard Park, and further towards Hartlepool the estates being built behind the Wynyard Business Park, are enormous and are growing in size without any amenities or infrastructure, or even a safe crossing across the busy A689.

I have visited the development at the request of a constituent worried about the dual carriageway to see for myself and even tried to cross the A689 on foot at a busy roundabout in order to access the shops and school on the Stockton side of the dual carriageway at Wynyard Village.

I was pleased to have been asked along to look at the site and it was a real eye opener. There are literally hundreds of homes being built on the land. I have been a regular commuter on the A689 for years and to be honest, without turning left heading up from Sedgefield, you wouldn’t even know they were there. Yet each and every property has a Hartlepool wheelie bin and clearly pay top whack Council Tax to the local authority.

I have already asked Highways England about the issue of a safe crossing on the A689 and apparently it’s not their jurisdiction as it’s neither a motorway or a trunk road.

I will therefore be asking Hartlepool and Stockton councils to do something about it; hopefully before there is a serious accident or fatality on what is a very fast moving dual carriageway and I sincerely hope they step up to the plate.