Plans to open up Carlton Adventure and Summerhill Country Park to more Hartlepool youngsters
Calls have been made for a meeting to be set up to help support deprived Hartlepool families by enabling them to visit nearby activity and adventure centres.
Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council Adult and Community Based Services Committee highlighted the benefits Summerhill Country Park, in Hartlepool, and Carlton Adventure can have for young people attending.
Carlton Adventure, is based at Carlton-in-Cleveland, near Stokesley, but operated by Hartlepool Borough Council.
Both centres provide a variety of outdoor activities and opportunities for people to take part in.
Councillors called for a joint meeting to take place alongside the Children’s Services Committee to look at providing disadvantaged children with the chance to go to such locations.
Coun Marjorie James said: “When you represent a ward like Manor House there are lots of families, and I’m talking about hundreds of kids, that will never go out of Hartlepool, very rarely come off the estate at all.
“I would love to see a programme of involvement that is structured but actually takes children, even if it is on a daily basis, to places like Summerhill and Carlton and for them to get a flavour for what happens there.
“It is a way of providing those short respite type breaks that a lot of young families would really enjoy to have, and the fact it’s not that far to travel should make it possible to get there.
“It would get some of those kids off the estate and give them a hope that there is something more than running around the streets during the six weeks holidays.”
She also added she would want the meeting to take place soon in order to look at arrangements for the next summer holidays.
Gemma Ptak, council assistant director for preventative and community based services, backed the idea and said talks are ongoing about increasing visits to both sites.
She said: “There is a lot of work at Carlton at the moment around that wider business planning and understanding how we can increase the usage.
“The same with Summerhill, we are seeing over the past seven years, double the number of people start to go up there.
“Obviously a lot of these things depend on capital investment.”