Residents have ‘no confidence’ in council support

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Angry residents have hit out at the lack of action to crackdown on anti-social residents affecting their quality of life.

And those living in North Parade, Whitley Bay, have called for a limit to the number of bail hostels in the street, which is creating a damaging view of the town to visitors.

They say the situation is near breaking point and Whitley Bay is struggling to cope with anti-social problems.

Residents have called for a private meeting with Mayor Norma Redfearn to discuss their concerns but have been told to raise issues at a ‘Mayor’s Listening Event’.

The open meeting will take place at the Whitley Bay Customer First Centre on Thursday, August 28, from 6pm to 8pm but residents say it is not what they want.

Lorraine McDonald, of North Parade, said: “Why has North Tyneside Council ploughed so much money into regenerating Whitley Bay yet are quite happy to fill it with bail hostels?

“Why would you want to bring your kids to somewhere where there are drug addicts and ex-criminals?

“The view people have of Whitley Bay now is police turning up, roads cordoned off, stabbings, and general anti-social behaviour.

“The council are sticking their heads in the sand. They just don’t seem to care about us. We want our voices heard but not in an open forum. There is a real feel of no confidence in the mayor.”

Residents in a nearby town centre street say they are plagued by one family making their lives hell, but despite contacting the council and Northumbria Police, the situation has not been resolved.

Resident Frank Austin raised the issue in a question at a council meeting, asking the mayor to meet locals.

Mrs Redfearn said: “I am aware of residents’ concerns around anti-social behaviour in Whitley Bay and the council is working with Northumbria Police and others to tackle the problems.

“Mr Austin asked if I would meet those residents and business people who were being affected. I agreed to a meeting. Despite asking Mr Austin for contact details I’ve still not been provided with them.

“I have therefore gone ahead and, with Northumbria Police, arranged a special ‘Mayor’s Listening Event’.

“The council works in partnership with the police and regularly carries out joint visits to nuisance households.

“Anyone concerned about premises acting unlawfully as bail hostels can report this to the council’s planning team for investigation.”

Whitley Bay Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Jonathan May said: “We’re aware there have been issues with the premises in North Parade in the past and have worked very closely with the organisation that owns the building to address these.

“Measures have been put in place to ensure those who are causing trouble are dealt with by police and action taken to curb their behaviour.

“By working in partnership with the owners we have seen a reduction in the number of incidents at the premises over the past few months, however, we will continue to pay this area attention and monitor the situation so further action can be taken if necessary.

“We are always keen to hear the concerns of local residents and I would ask anyone who has concerns to get in contact with us so we can discuss these.”