What are your big questions on Sunderland’s future?

Council leader Paul Watson speaking at the State of the City debate at City Space, Sunderland University, at last year's debate.
Council leader Paul Watson speaking at the State of the City debate at City Space, Sunderland University, at last year's debate.
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Have your say

WEARSIDERS will be able to give the city’s chiefs a grilling at an annual debate.

The State of the City event will be hosted at Sunderland University’s City Space on Wednesday.

For the 11th year, a panel of speakers from Sunderland City Council and its partners will answer questions from the audience about issues affecting the area and its residents.

On the panel this year will be council leader Paul Watson, chief executive of the council Dave Smith, along with Dr Ian Pattison chair of Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group, Ken Bremner, chairman of the Sunderland Partnership and Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth from Northumbria Police.

Coun Watson said: “This is a hugely important event in our city, because it provides a forum for public discussion and debate on key issues.

“It gives us the chance to tell people how we are working together to address those issues, and to listen to people’s views and suggestions and how they would like to see things changed or improved.

“This year the city wide event follows on from the first ‘Your City – Your Say’ community events held in each of the five areas of the city.

At each of these events, residents had the opportunity to ask specific questions about things happening in their area.”

People have been submitting questions to the council and the most popular 10 will be put online via the council’s website for people to vote for the three they want the panel to answer on the night.

Voting will finish at 5pm on Tuesday.

The top three will be asked at the beginning of the night before questions are taken from the floor.

Coun Watson added: “Two themes which emerged at each of the area events were how we can all provide our young people with a better future, and how we can support people to be more involved with their communities.

“We will reflect on these points at the State of the City event.”

Mr Bremner said: “The State of the City event gives people in Sunderland another important chance to have their say.

“We all have to work together to make things even better in our city, and honest and open discussion is a vital part of that partnership approach.

“I hope everyone will take the time to come along and share their views and opinions with us.”

The debate will start at 6pm and run until 8pm, with a session after for people to raise local and individual issues.

The council’s website can be found at www.sunderland.gov.uk

Twitter: @sunechohannah