As we get into 2015 and reflect on the two day engagement event at the Whitley Bay Library on the Master coastal plan for Whitley Bay and read residents comments, it is essential that North Tyneside Council digest these and suggestions which were entered on cards at the event and verbally, regarding all aspects of this ambitious plan to now further regenerate the seafront area.
The visitors centre, which we believe will be privately run, at St Mary’s Island is a good concept but must be in the right position so it does not dominate this beauty spot but blends in with the environment and is commercially sensitive to a host of issues which the public are commenting on.
The Broadwalk Cafe is still relevant and there is much public opinion that this site should be preserved, the building could be lowered to a single storey with an enlarged terrace area for people to enjoy the views of the sea as there is a need for public seating at that end of the promenade.
The plans look exciting but also some of the existing character of the Whitley Bay promenade area have to be maintained and the question of the existing shelters yet to be decided, noting what it will cost to pull them down.
This Master Plan will cost vast amounts of money and the second stage of the Heritage Lottery Grant will be eagerly awaited so it is difficult to comprehend the recent news that councillors are to get a substantial rise for their services to the community.
This is not a popular vote, coming at a time when we read how cash strapped the councils are, redundancies planned, services minimised.
There are many council tax payers in North Tyneside who do outstanding community work on a purely voluntary basis as they have a calling to do this and the Council will also rely on these voluntary groups to supplement and integrate services in all sectors of community and social work and activities.
These volunteers in every sector of society have never been rewarded financially for this and give freely of their time, talents and money to a whole range of projects.
Voting against the proposed councillors’ rise would have been a gesture of togetherness in these difficult financial times when sacrifices are having to be made.