AN MP has waded into a row involving the replacement of cobbles in Yarm.
Stockton Borough Council is investing £500,000 in Yarm High Street, and part of the work is replacing the cobbles around the town hall area with a flat stone surface.
But the move has been controversial and almost 1,000 residents have signed a petition objecting to the plans.
Now Stockton South MP James Wharton said he had asked the chief executive of Stockton Council to delay the plans to replace the cobbles, but said he had not had a response.
At his MP’s surgery on Friday he said a “large number” of residents raised concerns about the cobbles and the overall scheme.
The Yarm Residents Association and Chamber of Trade have also objected, saying there was not enough consultation about the plans, and that the scheme would detract from the historic setting of the Town Hall.
“Residents came to see me on Friday and I have had a large number of emails and letters,” said Mr Wharton. “Clearly many people knew nothing about the scheme and feel their concerns are being ignored.
“Stockton Council should reconsult and ensure people are given a say.”
Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook said: “Contrary to some suggestions, we are not planning to replace all of the cobbles in Yarm High Street but provide improved access to the war memorial and Town Hall, which houses a disabled toilet.
“The cobbles in this particular area of the High Street are in a poor state of repair and this scheme involves the installation of high quality paving, new lighting to illuminate the Town Hall at night and a thorough cleaning of the war memorial, all in time for the town’s First World War centenary commemorations in August.
“Not only have we developed the scheme in close liaison with the democratically-elected Town Council, we have also carried out letter and leaflet drops and provided displays in Yarm Library. We have also consulted with Yarm Chamber of Trade and the Showmen’s Guild.
“Our discussions with these bodies have been very much a two-way dialogue – we have listened carefully and made revisions to materials, timescales and even colour schemes in line with the views expressed. The response has been broadly positive in every case.”