New policy chairs to take up key positions on Hartlepool Borough Council

Published Monday, 13th May 2024

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Leader-elect Cllr Brenda Harrison has wasted no time in announcing four councillors who will support her in their role as Chairs of key policy committees.

The appointment of Cllr Harrison as Council Leader and that of the four Chairs and other key appointments are expected to be confirmed at the Annual Council meeting on Tuesday 21 May.

After the meeting, Cllr Gary Allen will take over as Chair of the Adult and Community Based Services Committee, with its key focus on the support and care for those most in need.

His background as a learning disability nurse in the local NHS as well as previous experience as the Council’s Mental Health Champion means that Cllr Allen has the relevant skills and experience to serve this committee. The new Labour administration has proposed developing an older people’s forum to ensure the voices of older people are heard.

The Council’s Children’s Services Committee, will be led by Cllr Rachel Creevy, and is charged with supporting and nurturing Hartlepool’s young people. She has extensive experience working with young people as a Chair of Governors for a local Hartlepool primary school with special responsibilities for SEND provision and safeguarding, as well as working with care leavers in a professional capacity to offer them support and guidance.

Cllr Creevy is keen on enhancing the voice of our young people through the development of a youth council as well as supporting officers with the challenges faced by Children’s Social Care.

New committee chairs

Cllr Brenda Harrison (centre) with (left to right) Cllr Karen Oliver, Cllr Pamela Hargreaves, Cllr Gary Allen and Cllr Rachel Creevy

Cllr Pamela Hargreaves will oversee a new look Economic Growth Committee. Proposed changes to the Council’s Constitution will see a wider and enhanced remit for the committee, which will focus on supporting the new administration’s mission for ‘building for growth’ by supporting Hartlepool’s businesses, industry, skills and jobs.

Cllr Hargreaves owns and runs her own Hartlepool-based business and brings significant experience in enterprise and regeneration to the role. One of her agenda items will be the delivery of key capital projects such as Highlight, with construction well underway on the town’s new active and wellbeing hub, and backing Hartlepool businesses to keep more of our money in the town.

Neighbourhood Services Committee will be chaired by Cllr Karen Oliver and will focus on improving our communities to make Hartlepool an even better place to live.

Cllr Oliver’s background as a former Neighbourhood Services Manager with the Council, provides her with the knowledge, background and skills to improve Hartlepool. Key focus areas for the committee will be to look at the possibility of introducing landlord licensing as well as abolishing the Household Waste Recycling Centre’s, also known locally as the Tip, appointment booking system.

Reflecting on the appointments, Cllr Harrison, said: “Councillors’ Allen, Creevy, Hargreaves and Oliver have been appointed to these key roles because of their experience and expertise in these critical areas of delivery for our Council and town. These are incredibly difficult times for residents and the financial position of our Council is extremely challenging. That means we need the best people for the job and that’s exactly what we have here. I know they will work tirelessly for our town.

“Every Labour councillor knows that we were elected to deliver on our promises and that is what every single one of us will be working towards. Hartlepool people deserve a Council that they can trust and that’s what this new administration will deliver. Accountability, transparency and hard-work - those will be our principles of governing.”

There will be further appointments to other committees and roles in due course.