Norma Redfearn has vowed to fight against poverty if she is re-elected.

Mayor Redfearn was first elected to North Tyneside's top job in 2013, when she ousted Conservative Linda Arkley, but her second term is now coming to an end.

Next May she will be standing again, saying she still has work to do.

She said: "I have started things and I am desperate to finish them. When someone new comes in they change the journey we're on and the fantastic things we are doing haven't been finished."

Mayor Redfearn said she counts the multi-million pound regeneration of Whitley Bay as one of the things she has been proudest of during her time in office.

She continued: "For a long, long time many of our towns had been left and we were watching them die.

"When I first came in it was awful, when I asked about it, people were ashamed. We made a really good start on Whitley Bay and I want to finish it.

"I want to finish the promenade at Whitley Bay. People are very positive about the town they live in."

The former head teacher said Wallsend business facility the Swans Centre for Innovation, which opened in 2016, was another high point from her time in office so far.

If Mayor Redfearn gets back into office, her plan for the future includes introducing a new poverty intervention fund and an action plan to get the borough to net zero carbon emissions.

She also aims to have 3,000 units of social housing built by 2023 and wants to finish the Wallsend regeneration project, start the revamp of North Shields, and continue investment on road and pavement infrastructure.

Mayor Redfearn said she would like to see the return of Sure Start Centres.

The centres provided early learning and childcare in the poorest communities, as well as parenting advice, health services and links to training and employment.

She continued: "People talk about equality but you have children in some areas and their families struggle from day one.

"Sure Start centres helped them move on as a family and develop their children.

"How we make it more equal is to have something like Sure Start, which was a great support to families and young children.

"In the future I would like to get something similar back."

Mayor Redfearn also pledged to hold Government to account.

She said: "I have got no qualms about holding central Government to account. The North doesn't stop at the M62.

"At the end of the day I always believe people know me, and I am out there quite a lot of the time talking to them.

“I am standing on my record of delivering for North Tyneside even through a time of national Tory austerity, and I’m standing with a plan to build a better, fairer and greener North Tyneside for the future."

She said she felt "extremely honoured" to be elected as mayor for two terms.

She added: "I'm a people person, the greatest pleasure is when you work with a group of people and you know there is a problem and you find a solution.

"It's the type of job where you don't do it if you don't love it. I'm extremely honoured to be the elected mayor of North Tyneside, the people are amazing and it is a fantastic place to live and work."