WHEN IS A COUNCIL HOUSE NOT A COUNCIL HOUSE? Sounds like a daft question, but it’s not. Many people still believe that social housing is still provided by the Council even though the majority of it is not, and in Hartlepool this has been the case for many years – ever since the management of Council properties transferred to Housing Hartlepool, who then became Vela Homes, who then became part of the Thirteen Group. Confused? Who wouldn’t be?

The reason I make this observation is because it is Thirteen Group, not the Council, who are consulting on plans to build homes on hospital land in Hartlepool. Plans which, by the way, have not been formerly submitted in the form of a planning application. Due diligence is obviously needed on what those plans mean in relation to the hospital and services run from there, because the local plan specifies the land can only be used for Health and Social Care purposes. I remain to be convinced that the name ‘Hartlepool Health Village’ is not just a red herring. I made my position very plain on this matter at a joint meeting of Easington and Hartlepool Labour Parties last Friday and I am pleased I have their solid support.


HARTLEPOOL UNITED are not dead and buried, but their ‘Never Say Die’ motto is likely to be tested for years to come despite the best efforts of people to put their shoulder to the wheel to deal with the immediate crisis. I, for one, have not given up hope, but things are getting tougher by the day.


IT’s A DREADFUL indictment of our society to learn that so called ‘Pauper Funerals’ have increased by 12% over the last 5 years. How on earth have we got into such a state as a country that we can’t even afford to give our loved ones a proper burial? It’s an absolute disgrace and yet another example of the uncaring Tory austerity agenda.


I MET with a Canoe Man last week. Not John Darwin of Seaton fame, but former World Champion and Olympic Coach David Train. Mr Train is a climate change campaigner who is on a mission to use his ‘paddle for life’ as a kind of environmental baton to be handed from the UK Government to the French and ultimately onto the biggest polluter on the planet, China. Sound eccentric? Well, so far the very same paddle has been signed by the likes of David Cameron, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson and many more. Next in his sights are Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn!



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