Residents hopeful for future generations at Vision for Hartlepool launch

Local business people at the morning meeting.
Local business people at the morning meeting.

BOSSES in charge of the vision for Hartlepool’s future were met with a mostly positive response from town residents who attended the public meeting.

Several members of the public had their say at the meeting at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, with most saying they were in favour of the vision and wished it success for the sake of the town and future generations.

There were also several concerns aired by residents, including maintenance of any new developments, access and ensuring the council consulted with people of all generations.

One woman at the meeting said: “I like the idea and I hope it comes off. I was here when there was a vision for Marina all those years ago.

“Now though, you walk around there and half the places are sinking into the ground. My question is what are you putting in place to ensure this is maintained after it is done because sustainability is important.”

Dave Stubbs, chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, replied by saying: “We’ve tried for many years to get the owners of the Marina to bring it up to standard.”

Damien Wilson, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director of regeneration, added: “They will either have to keep up with this vision or potentially lose out on their investors.

“This will be an incentive for them to keep up with the work we do and the maintenance we will certainly carry out.”

Another woman from the audience said: “The youth of this town will have visions of their own and to keep those people in our town in the future then surely their views on the vision will be absolutely crucial?”

Mr Wilson answered: “We want a broad set of opinions from all sections of society.”

Another man at the meeting asked about the potential for bridges to be built to link Hartlepool train station, the Marina and the town centre, to which Mr Wilson replied: “People won’t be prepared to walk from one place to another when there’s nothing in between but there’s different ways in which assets can be brought together, and we’ll be looking at those options.”

Dirk van der Werff, a freelance photographer, added: “I think the vision is fantastic and it’s what Hartlepool needs, and if you look back 25 years you would never think then the town has what it has now.”

Mr Stubbs added:“We are not going to end up a ghost town, we are not going to be screwed over the benefit cuts, we’re going to make this work so that the young children and their children have something to be proud of.

“I’m certainly not going to let it fail.”