If there has been a recurring theme across the whole of Rural West Ward in the last few months it has been grass cutting and weed killing. Photographs have been landing in Councillors’ email inboxes that show some really disappointing sights and it has been a very significant and consistent campaign by Parish Councils, residents groups and your ward Councillors to find a swift and effective
solution to this ongoing problem.
The key message from Hartlepool Borough Council has been just as consistent. A shortage in staff resources has had a very significant impact on these works being carried out across the town.
The response from the local authority has in recent weeks been to add a further 8 temporary staff to the existing 5 environmental operatives and to begin a Apprenticeship programme for a further 12 employees. This has been welcomed by your ward Councillors and we hope that this will result in a more expedient approach to the maintenance of public areas across the ward and wider town. As one resident correctly suggested,
“it makes the whole area unsightly and causes people to want to move out of the town.”
As part of the work that is ongoing through the local authority, officers have confirmed that the stage-two process of herbicide treatment is happening across the town and the key message is that the new employees will be starting as soon as they are recruited. Until then the local authority are aiming to cut grass in the ward every 10 to 14 days.
The weather has played its part in all of this but it is important that for the future that the local authority plan in additional seasonal workers across the summer months so that these issues do not arise again. We as your ward Councillors will continue to monitor the situation so as to avoid issues as shown in the picture below.