Environmental workforce boost for Hartlepool

Published Monday, 25th June 2018

HARTLEPOOL Borough Council is boosting its work to keep Hartlepool clean and tidy with the recruitment of eight new staff for its environmental workforce.

Despite the significant reduction in local government grant which the Council has suffered in recent years, the new Chair of the Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher is committed to channelling additional resources into Hartlepool’s neighbourhoods where residents need them.

Councillor Akers-Belcher said: “We listen closely to what residents tell us about the issues which matter to them – including potholes, litter and grass-cutting – and in response the Council is putting significant investment into improvements to neighbourhoods and roads across Hartlepool.

“We have a very dedicated team who care about the work they do and are doing the very best they can in spite of the massive financial pressures and reduced resources we face, but they can only do so much.

“That’s why, as my first priority, we will soon be recruiting eight new environmental operatives to boost the existing team. With more staff we will be able to take more time on areas such as grass cutting and carry out ‘deep cleans’ in neighbourhoods, including gulley cleansing, removal of weeds from footpaths and replacing damaged paving, among other things.”

Flytipping photo

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher (left) and Garry Jones, the Council’s Team Leader, Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance, with environmental operatives Peter Rudge, Brian James and Brent Atkinson tackling fly-tipping

This comes hard on the heels of other major investment by the Council. It recently approved a £1.5m Neighbourhood Investment Programme, including a revamp at King Oswy Shops, road improvements at Stranton Cemetery, a new playspace on Coronation Drive and paving works in Whitby Street.

This is in addition to nearly £10m of revenue funding the Council has channelled in over the period 2013/14 to 2018/19 to maintain the town’s roads and footpaths, as well as £21m of capital funding.

A further amount of between £1.6m and £2.4m – from a saving on a loan repayment – has just been earmarked for road and footpath improvements.