Thank you to all of the 1456 local residents who voted for me last week. I’m really honoured that I can continue to represent this part of North Shields as your local councillor.
The role of a local councillor, as I often point out, has two sides to it. There’s the case work I do which is generally on a direct one-to-one basis with individual residents. Then there’s also the bigger-picture work, around “policy” and “scrutiny”. As I’ve already been your councillor for four years I already have plenty of case work to be getting on with, with dozens of cases on the go dealing with all sorts of things including noise complaints, parking problems, footpath and paving repairs, back lane cleanliness and lots more…
Being up for re-election has also given me time to reflect on what I’d like to achieve over the longer term too. Here’s just a few of the things that are on my mind at the moment:
- Improvements to Bedford Street. Many of you have told me that whilst you are pleased to see Northumberland Square looking much better than it has done for decades you think that the main shopping corridor down Bedford Street urgently needs attention. It has always been part of the ‘Ambition for North Shields’ that we would see improvements to this part of the town. Whilst the council isn’t in the business of opening shops I am confident that off the back of the new Transport Hub opening we will be able to deliver some major improvements to Bedford Street. Watch this space!
- Sixth Form provision. Together with my colleague Cllr Cath Davis I have been pushing for action on local Sixth Form provision. This suddenly became an issue in 2021 when, without any warning, Tyne Coast College closed down the Queen Alexandra College and re-located to Battle Hill. We have several great high schools in the area but sadly they don’t have sixth forms so our teenagers are having to make long, inconvenient and expensive journeys to continue their education. We think local young people deserve better. I’m now part of a sub-group looking into how we can fix this. Again, watch this space!
- North Shields’ 800th Birthday. In the year 1225 the Prior of Tynemouth granted permission for humble accommodations (known to as Shiels) to be built by the river in the area that is now Clifford’s Fort. The anniversary is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate all that’s great about our town. It’s a time for remembering our proud past but also for looking to the future too. 2025 isn’t far off now so I intend to give a chunk of my time to seeing what can be done to get some really uumph injected into the planning process. Please do get in touch with me if you have any good ideas about what could be done to mark the occasion.
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