Sunderland people need to be heard

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A recent correspondent made some valid points regarding people not being heard but also has some misconceptions about the seafront redevelopments.

Firstly I must say that the meeting to which she refers was not organised by the city council it was organised by Fulwell ward Conservative Councillors.

Yes, it was a decision quickly made, not one of panic, it was because the council was not prepared to consult further over the implications of the scheme.

Yes, there have been at least two exhibitions held at the Seaburn Centre, which gave the public a visual idea of what could be done, however, there were many people who expressed fears about the inclusion of so many houses in a prime area when they were of the opinion that the seafront was for families.

We Conservative councillors have never shirked from our responsibilities in representing the voice of the people and their needs and aspirations as to what they wanted at the seafront.

Indeed a petition of more than 300 signatures signed by locals and visitors alike based upon the hoped for needs such as a swimming pool, ice rink and an indoor bowling green facility were collected.

It is now several months since this was presented to the council and a reply is expected any time.

The correspondent complains that the meeting was arranged quickly and that a wider distribution of information should have been carried out.

In the event more than 200 leaflets were give out by volunteers, who braved the weather and gave up their time for the meeting to be held at all.

There was little time to organise it better due to the fact that the council was keen on getting the re-vamped scheme started before there was any more opposition to the plans. Another reason why we felt we needed to get the public involved and hear their thoughts expressed in an arena that was within the footprint of the refurbishments.

I agree with the correspondent’s comment, which is central to the whole mis judged plan: “The council doesn’t seem to want to know the views of the people from other parts of the city!”

However, is that hardly surprising when it has dominated the political scene for more than 40 years.

Coun George Howe,

Fulwell ward