Party call for town ‘vision’ to be greater

The Central Lower Promenade in Whitley Bay which the council is looking to sell.
The Central Lower Promenade in Whitley Bay which the council is looking to sell.

CALLS have been made for a ‘vision’ to be drawn up for Whitley Bay.

Labour’s Whitley Bay ward councillor Pamela Brooks believes that following on from the outline planning application for the Spanish City site a larger proposal for the town should be developed.

She believes there is now the opportunity for North Tyneside Council, residents, businesses and Spanish City Dome developer Robertsons to come together to create something that will re-energise the town.

Coun Brooks said: “The exciting plans for the Dome and surrounding area gives us a real opportunity to create something very special for the local community.

“We need a vision for Whitley Bay which genuinely involves local people, community groups, local businesses and Robertsons.

“This vision needs to be co-ordinated by the council and I am determined together with the other Whitley Bay councillors Sandra Graham and John O’Shea to drive this forward in the coming months.”

Labour’s deputy leader Coun Norma Redfearn added: “I’m very supportive of this local initiative.

“We need more people to visit the town which will help in regeneration and enhance the local economy.

“It’s essential that any new initiatives are innovative and sustainable and, importantly have the support of the community.”

But Mayor Linda Arkley said she had already drawn up a vision for Whitley Bay and the whole coastal area of the borough.

“We’ve drawn up this vision for the last three-and-a-half years,” she said.

“We have entered into partnership with Robertsons, we’ve engaged with residents and businesses.

“We’ve got the new Joint Service Centre shooting up and there is the Big Local £1m fund, which our community is taking forward, and there is £1m for the promenade.

“After all these years we’ve driven this plan forward and the regeneration of Whitley Bay.”

Mrs Arkley admitted she was frustrated at not being able to regenerate some sites, such as the former Marine Park and Coquet Park first schools site, which was still in private ownership.

She added that the vision for Whitley Bay and the coastal strip was in the Widening Horizons magazine and on their website.