Political activists have taken to the streets in part of South Tyneside to find out the issues affecting people’s lives.
Pot-holed roads, litter and decline of local business and shopping, have come out on top as the main gripes of those living within the Beacon and Bents area.
The survey was carried out by the South Tyneside Green Party asking for people to give their top three issues with their area, and more than 200 surveys were collected. Rhiannon Curtis, who will be standing in the local elections next May, said: “The main thing we noticed when walking round Beacon and Bents was the litter. We are not sure where this is coming from but we have to find out and deal with it.
“Small business decline is an issue right across South Tyneside and we need to be thinking about investment in smaller business rather than trying to attract big chain stores.
“People make the mistake of thinking that the Green Party doesn’t care about the roads just because we are a party based on environmental sustainability. This is wrong.
“The Green Party have a commitment to maintaining existing road infrastructure for many good reasons, including the fact that sound roads are needed to expand public transport.”
In the survey, the top issue was the state of the roads (14 per cent) with litter second (12 per cent) and the decline in local business and shopping (11 per cent).
Ten per cent of those responded raised parking-related issues.
Coun John Anglin, Labour Coun for Beacon and Bents said: “The ward councillors have been looking at the issues identified and work has been ongoing to rectify them. In the past year there has been more road repairs in and around the area than there has been in the past several years.
“The roads are not perfect, but we are getting out there and knocking on doors. We are aware that there are certain roads that still need to be looked at, and over the next three months there is going to be a number of roads which will undergo repair work.
“As far as the litter is concerned, a lot of it is down by the seafront, where there are a million or so visitors a year, We have re-organised how the clean-up of the areas are managed and introduced hot spots, which are visited every day. We are also working to identify those who leave litter so that they can be fined.
“Where car parking is concerned, we have created 100 free car parking spaces in the town centre.
“We can’t do an awful lot about the parking issues in residential areas where people have two and three cars as the streets were not built for that. However, where we have been able to we have created free car parking spaces, most of it along the back of Ocean Road. For small businesses, we are supporting them where we can and small businesses are growing, in particular on the seafront.
“As a council we welcome constructive criticism but these issues are already being addressed.”
• The South Tyneside Green Party is extending its survey to other wards and you can do the survey online here: https://southtyneside.greenparty.org.uk/survey-of-the-south-tyneside-wards.html