Thursday, July 18, 2024
Local News from North & South Tyneside

Hundreds Join the Conversation

Almost 1,000 local people offered their opinions and suggestions about future plans for Hebburn.

Residents and businesses were invited to give their views on the town during the ‘Our Hebburn Conversation’, launched last November.

During the eight-week consultation people were asked how and why they use the town centre and surrounding area, as well as their ideas and suggestions for its future.

Three areas were identified as sites for discussion: the town centre, the riverside and the wider surrounding areas.

The consultation outlined the strengths and challenges facing each area and offered potential options for regeneration and improvement, including pop-up stalls, covered walkways, art or sculpture trails, better lighting and CCTV, play areas, coffee kiosks, family activities and wildlife features.

A greater and better variety of shops and restaurants, more activities and amenities for young people and families, and improved safety and security emerged as the top themes.

Cllr Margaret Meling, Lead Member for Economic Growth and Transport, said: “We had a great response from 984 residents of all ages, and we’ll be using that feedback in our masterplanning for the town.

“Some major themes came out. We know that residents really value the facilities at Hebburn Central, with more than 15 per cent of visitors to the town centre citing leisure as their reason to be there.

“However, around a third of respondents said that more restaurants, better shops, including artisan and pop-up retailers, and youth and family-friendly activities are needed to boost footfall.”

In all three areas, better security and lighting were among people’s top priorities, with anti-social behaviour and environmental issues including littering and fly-tipping highlighted as issues.

Cllr Meling added: “We are aware that anti-social behaviour is a concern for residents, and we are already working hard with our partners to tackle it.

“Hebburn town centre is a dedicated patrol site for the council’s Community Responders, who, equipped with bodyworn cameras, target hotspot areas proactively and reactively, acting in both an engagement and enforcement role.

“We have been holding regular meetings with local businesses and there is ongoing work with the tenancy enforcement and youth justice teams where we have identified offenders.

“Better security measures such as CCTV and lighting were a high priority for a lot of people who took part in the Conversation,  and we will take that on board.”

A masterplan will be brought forward later this year.