When it comes to Making a Difference in your community, you know you can trust the Hartlepool Mail.
It is Local Newspaper Week, the annual celebration of the part local newspapers and their partner websites play in keeping their communities reliably informed with the latest news, sport and adverts.
This year’s theme is Making a Difference, highlighting the role your local paper plays in reporting the news that matters to you and your family.
From councils to courts, whether it be in the pages of the paper or on our popular website www.hartlepoomail.co.uk, we’re there day in, day out, first with the big stories.
Recently we highlighted the row over a council blunder which saw carpets in a new £4million building having to be ripped up and relaid at a cost of £13,500.
A number of floor coverings in the new Centre for Independent Living were said to be “unsuitable for people with dementia and autism”.
The new building, in Burbank Street, was specifically intended for use by disabled people and had been three years in the planning.
A council spokesman confirmed the carpets were unsuitable for the dementia and autism friendly environment that the authority was seeking to create.
The response from readers was scathing, with was scathing, with dozens of people commenting on the story on the Mail’s website including catalan who said: “Congrats to the Mail for giving this the publicity it deserves. Unbelievable”.
It’s true that justice should not just be done, it should be seen to be done, and we play a vital role in ensuring you know what is happening in the courts.
The horrific killing of vulnerable Angela Wrightson was one of the most disturbing cases in years.
Two teenage girls had denied murdering the 39-year-old alcoholic in her Hartlepool home and a jury at Leeds Crown Court took seven weeks to convict them.
We covered every day of the trial, providing unparalleled and in-depth coverage of a case which raised a number of serious issues.
And just this month we highlighted the case of a former councillor who ripped off more than £137,000 from a community association, forcing it to close, and has been ordered to repay £1.
Angela Wilcox was jailed last year for fraud against the Manor Residents’ Association in Hartlepool, which she managed.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court: “Ms Wilcox has no realisable assets, so we are seeking a nominal order of £1.”
One of the most important roles of any newspaper is keeping an eye on our local services and we have used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover a wide range of issues of local concern.
Recently we revealed that Hartlepool Borough Council was still owed millions of pounds in Council Tax arrears.
At the end of the last financial year, the authority was owed a whopping £3,032,992.64 in unpaid tax.
Over the past three years, the council had issued 34,485 summonses for non-payment of a total of £10,512,439.
Independent councillor Paul Thompson said the figure was evidence that residents in the borough were facing increasing financial difficulty.
“The high figures reflects the state of the economy at the moment,” he said. “People are struggling. They are struggling to pay all their bills, not just Council Tax.”