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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 June, 2003, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Row over beach facilities
Seaburn beach, Sunderland
Opposition councillors want more facilities at Seaburn
Council bosses in Sunderland have been criticised for not making enough of its sandy beaches.

The city boasts a pier, promenade and beaches at Seaburn and Roker.

But opposition councillors have condemned city leaders for allowing neighbouring areas, which are attracting summer tourists.

Conservative councillor Norman Bohill says the city' Labour leadership must do more to attract spending tourists to the area.

He said: "We need a back-up system to the magnificent beach we have here at Seaburn.

"There are elements that are rundown or simply don't work properly.

"We need a covered leisure facility similar to those that are in operation in neighbouring areas like South Shields to offer people things to do should the weather be poor."

'Go elsewhere'

Fellow Tory councillors John Walton added: "When people come in their thousands for the annual air show here they have nothing to do when it's over.

"Consequently they migrate to other areas such as South Shields, where there are better facilities, like restaurants and parks.

"We had all this 40 years ago, but there's nothing here like that today.

"The people of Sunderland want to be able to use facilities in their own city, not have to go elsewhere."

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: "The seafront and its development is an issue that the city council would like to look at.

"And while an earlier review highlighted urban play and games as a priority, it was generally recognised that the city's coast would benefit from new fresh thinking.

"There is every possibility the seafront strategy would be reviewed."

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