This morning I joined councillors Peter Craig and Jonathan Wallace for a street surgery on Oakfields Road in Whickham. There is a proposal to turn an unused shop into a NISA convenience store. Residents have two main objections. The first is about the light pollution from a proposed illuminated sign. The second is that the applicants have sought an alcohol licence until 9.30, after withdrawing an early application for even later hours.
We were there to listen to local residents, the first duty of politicians. The overwhelming view was that residents didn't object to the new shop but wanted it to close earlier in what is a very residential area. It goes shortly to Gateshead Council but there is still time for residents to give their views.