I need some help to find the answers to a serious issue that has been gnawing away at my insides. To whit: Why Darlo? By that I mean who wants to live in Darlington when you�’e got the thriving seaside community of Hartlepool down the road with its thriving Marina, lovely coal encrusted beaches and delightful nightspots?
I have downloaded some official Government statistics to try and find out why the burghers of Darlo aren’t all snapping up the houses in the newly regenerated areas of Hartlepool – and I offer the results here for you all to reflect upon if you so wish.
I’m a Hartlepudlian and I love the town – but why is Darlington apparently doing better than we are? We have docks, a nuclear power station; we have a petrochemical industry right on our doorstep. I pick Darlington because it is fairly similar in population and is a self contained town similar to us. Here are the facts (for once not my opinion, actual facts):
Darlington is slightly bigger then we are; we have about 89000 residents and they have 99000 but that’s not the only way they score over us;
- 71.7% of houses are privately owned in Darlington, and only 63.0% in Hartlepool
- 7.5% of all men are unemployed in Hartlepool, in Darlington the figure is only 4.8%
- Crime rates are very different as well – in Darlo, violent crimes per 1000 of population stands at 19, in Hartlepool it is 35 – that’s double!
- We also have a higher percentage of people with a health problem, single parent families, and households with no car
- On the plus side we do have a lower percentage of houses without central heating – but that is quite probably because we have a higher percentage of council/housing association properties (26.7% as opposed to Darlington’s 18.1%)
I’m not trying to big up Darlington here – these are real figures taken from statistics for the whole of the Tees Valley. I’m telling everyone about them so that we can all reflect on why Darlington seems to (on paper anyway) beat us hands down as a place to live. The one consolation is that we beat Middlesbrough in just about all of these statistics.
Can anyone smell the reek of deprivation here or is it just me? I know I moan a lot about the town but I really do believe that Hartlepool is a good place – we just need the current generation of oldies to stop passing on their bad habits to the youngsters and them to stop passing those same attitudes to the latest batch of anklebiters. The stats seem to indicate that on average we are not as well educated or as financially secure as the residents of Darlington – leading to more crime and health problems.
As I said in my article a couple of weeks ago I’m proud to be from Hartlepool and want this place to be the best town in the UK and especially better than Darlington for heaven’s sake! So let this be a rallying call to all of us – Come on fellow Poolies! let’s not have Darlo beat us! we must start to act now, pull our socks up, get back out there and beat them in the second half!