EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Have your say on what your vision for our community is
South Shields has so much to offer, but when it comes to the regeneration of our town, our voices have been stifled and the vision and leadership needed has been absent or unimaginative.
The way we shop and socialise has changed.
We need to capitalise on our strengths, our heritage, our culture, our arts, our hospitality industry, the emerging green economy and of course our breath-taking coastline.
Many of you know that I share your frustration, that as your MP I have had no direct influence over what has been happening in our area.
It is no secret that I was not supportive of the 365 project.
It demolished a lot of our historical buildings, cost millions and has failed to deliver on its promises.
Everyone I speak to knows that we need to be offering something that is not just unique to South Tyneside, but to the whole of the North East.
The energy and passion is here, with us, but rarely has the opportunity been available to have a say in how our vision can be delivered.
Now it is.
Historically, most Government bids for regeneration have been the soul preserve of senior local councillors, but for "levelling up” bids there must be a collaborative and partnership approach to the schemes proposed between the council and MPs.
I was very pleased to be able to play my part in ensuring that South Shields has been placed into the priority list for this funding.
I know from years of speaking with my constituents, with businesses, and planners as well as experienced developers, what people would like our bid to look like and how it could work.
Timescales are tight and the bid must be in by June 18.
Last week, along with my colleague Kate Osborne, MP for Jarrow, I asked local people to share their own ideas before 5pm this Friday.
I am now really excited about this new opportunity to work with our dedicated and hardworking council officers to make a real difference to our area.
Please make sure, if you haven’t already, to let me know your views and ideas by emailing me at: