New councillor can now support plans

I WAS pleased to see in the report on the North Tyneside local elections (News Guardian, May 10) that newly elected Labour councillor Sandra Graham paid tribute to outgoing Conservative

Michael McIntyre, who has worked tirelessly in the interests of the residents of Whitley Bay for more than 20 years.

Coun Graham said in her comments that Whitley Bay had been neglected for eight years. I am sure she realises for the first five of those the Labour group were in control of the council.

As a new councillor, I am sure she will be happy to learn that the planning application for the Spanish City area has been submitted to the council’s planning department, and that the Avenue pub site, which she also complains about, is included in the plans.

The remaining hurdle before work can start in the autumn is for the plans to go before the planning committee, where Labour hold 15 of 21 seats.

Since Coun Graham feels strongly that regeneration is needed, she will surely feel that the plans should be supported, and I trust she will urge her colleagues on the committee to vote in favour of planning permission being granted.

I am sure she will also be delighted that Linda Arkley’s administration has also succeeded in attracting a grant of £1m from the Lottery Fund to be spent in a specified area of the town centre.

Consultation will be starting soon on how this money should be spent.

Finally, she criticises the seafront area, and sharing her wish to see it improved, Linda Arkley and the Conservative cabinet had allocated £1.4m to be spent on the seafront this year.

However, one of the budget items which the Labour group used their strength of numbers to cancel was this very investment in the seafront.

As Coun Graham professes to feel strongly about this, could I suggest she uses her new position to lobby members of her own group and persuade them to give the people of Whitley Bay their money back?

COUN ALISON AUSTIN

Monkseaton North Ward