HBC to "SAVE" Taxpayers Money
Published 12 June 2018
I would hardly call it forward planning, but it seems fortune can sometimes smile on the vain.
I am sure most readers will be aware of the visit by the Labour Leader early last year, when he arrived for a tour of the new £4 million Center for Independent Living. On arriving at the center Councilor Christopher Akers-Belcher was shocked to discover the carpets which had been specifically chosen to aid the centers autistic clients, didn't match the colour of his shoes (or whatever the excuse was).
The resulting Hissyfit made headlines at the Post and resulted in an excess of £13,500 (The Post had estimates of aprox £32,000), of newly laid carpet being pulled up and replaced with something more to his liking. Not surprisingly this caused considerable controversy, both in the center and among members of the public.
Questions were asked. The Labour Leader aided by the Chief Exec Gill Alexander, attempted to quell the controversy by rather hypocritically claiming that the fitted carpets were not suitable for the centers clientele and that having been carefully removed would be kept in storage and used again, some rainy day. All of this despite the Post being reliably informed that the carpets they recovered were not in a suitable condition to be reused. A fact which has been strongly denied by Gill Alexander.
Well we dont think it was rain, but it seems the building housing the Rifty project (Beloved of Labour Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners), has fallen victim to a flood serious enough to ruin all the carpets.
We await with baited breath the news that the carpets so carefully removed and stored for just such an occasion are finally to be put to good use. The Rifty building will no doubt be fully re-carpeted at no additional cost to the Hartlepool Tax Payer.
Or maybe not; As the case may be.
Published 12 June 2018
"Just two points Councillor."
"We don't perform 24/7 over development projects, and even if we did, your offer of payment with 'NearlyNew' carpets would be unacceptable!"
HBC'S GAZUMPING CAPERS
Published 11June 2018
Seems that there's been a recent twist in the tale of HBC's ever expanding property portfolio. When Stonham (a national organisation) put their block of flats on Church Street up for sale we doubt that they anticipated the events that followed.
The closing date for the sale was past, a price of £300,000 agreed with a keen buyer, the deal near completion and then … guess what? HBC rushes in - elbowing aside the original purchaser - and offers what is believed to be a five figure sum ABOVE the previously agreed asking price. Isn't that called gazumping? Rather odd behaviour, especially bearing in mind HBC's repeated claims of poverty & funding cuts.
As the property (Avondene) was previously used as accommodation and supported living to those at risk of homelessness, the Post wondered whether HBC wanted to run such a facility themselves. After all, there are plenty of people in Hartlepool needing a leg up in life. Or could they be wanting to offer more one bedroomed social housing? Word on the street is that neither of these scenarios apply, however. Once extensive (and probably expensive) renovations are complete, it appears the much more genteel concept of student accommodation may be on the cards.
So, just like the now defunct Inspirations café, aspirational 'visions' (and an unlimited cheque book backed by public funds) win hands down. Still, this is Hartlepool … the concept of the 'Cultural Quarter' looms large and must be endorsed at whatever cost.