As a local councillor I have to juggle quite a lot of different responsibilities. One of the most important of them is chairing a group called the “Economic Prosperity Sub-Committee”. Yes it’s a bit of a mouthful.
The group is one of seven sub-committees that meet frequently to undertake a duty called ‘scrutiny’. It means we look closely at the impact of the policies of the Mayor and her cabinet, how well they are being implemented and whether any improvement is needed. It’s one of the ways in which we ensure that when we say to local residents “we’ve got your back” we really mean it. Our job is to ensure the best interests of the citizens of North Tyneside are being looked after.
As the name suggests, my sub-committee is concerned with looking at economic development in North Tyneside. This can mean anything from big picture issues such as the regeneration of town centres, to very personal issues, such as whether council tax rebates are being redistributed in a timely fashion to struggling residents. Most frequently we talk about the local jobs market, and what progress is being made to deliver on the Mayor’s plan for a thriving North Tyneside. With a major cost of living crisis gripping the whole country it is really, really important that her plan works.
One of my tasks as chairperson is to agree what we call our ‘work programme’ – the list of topics that we will cover in our meetings. Together with my vice-chair, Cllr Walker, we run through different priorities, discussing them with senior members of council staff until we settle on list that we’re happy with.
Today I want to ask for your input on the issues we should be looking at. You may not think a lot about “The Economy” but you probably do think a fair bit about work, whether you’re in the right job, how you access training to improve your prospects, how you get to and from work etc. Or you might think about shopping, what kind of shops are available, how easy or difficult it is to get what your family needs. All these are things we can be looking into on your behalf.
I’d really like to hear from you. When you think of the local economy what stands out to you as being most important? What is working well? And what needs fixing? You can drop me a line at CllrWilson@icloud.com or leave a comment on my Facebook Page.