Chief sets out five key priorities for shaping future of 'wonderful' South Tyneside

Ten thousand new jobs, hundreds of homes, a green revolution, and making the best of our natural assets – the new top boss at South Tyneside Council has set out her key priorities for making the ‘wonderful’ borough a better place to live, work and visit.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:00 am
Council leader Tracey Dixon said she wants to hear as many views as possible on plans for South Tyneside.

South Tyneside council leader Cllr Tracey Dixon took over the hot seat in late 2020, and says she has used her first 100 days in office to ‘listen to the needs of communities and shape further positive change’ in the area.

Now she has set out five key areas to make priorities, but wants to get people’s views to make sure the best job is done for the borough. The five key areas are:

Supporting young people in need

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Including:

:: A new children’s home for young people who can’t live with family

:: A £300,000 extension in respite care for children with additional needs

:: Extra school places for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities

:: Bringing the former South Shields School building back into use and supporting learners up until the age of 25 years

Support families and older or vulnerable people

Including:

:: Three new schemes to provide homes for older people who can’t live at home

:: 800 new affordable homes for rent or for sale

:: A new team to tackle domestic violence

:: Continued support for food banks and Mutual Aid groups

Create the conditions for economic recovery and investment

Including:

:: An Economic Recovery Plan to help create future growth and prosperity, delivering 10,000 jobs to the region over the next five years

:: Support to schools and further education to equip young people with skills to secure new jobs

Support town centres, villages, high streets and hospitality

Supporting the economy to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic by:

:: Creating a new town centre, villages and high street recovery and improvement team

:: Extending free family-friendly cultural events

:: A new business support and funding hub

:: Investment in the riverside area, with new homes and the ‘Glassworks’ office space supporting 1,500 jobs

Investing in the natural and built environment

Including:

:: An £8million ‘decarbonisation’ programme

:: Renewable energy schemes, including Hebburn Minewater Scheme, Jarrow’s Viking Energy Network and at Middlefields and Holborn, South Shields

:: New recycling initiatives

:: Tackling litter, fly tipping and dog fouling

:: Improving roads and footpaths, including realigning the Coast Road between Whitburn and South Shields to safeguard against natural erosion

:: Improvements to the crematorium

:: Improving Monkton Stadium

:: Planting 3,000 trees each year

Cllr Dixon said she wanted to have an open conversation with residents and businesses, and setting out the priorities above is the first step in the discussion.

“We can’t change things overnight, despite how eager we are to do so,” she said.

“I want communities to tell us if we don’t get things right and work with us to make things better. I want to lead the council with residents and businesses by our side, by working together I know we can make a real difference to this wonderful borough of South Tyneside.”

Cllr Dixon said the priorities are based on ‘what we already know, and what residents and businesses have told us to date’ but the conversation ‘doesn’t stop there’.

“As restrictions ease, I intend to reach more communities to find out what is most important, particularly as we start a much-needed recovery from the pandemic,” she said.

“Whilst we want to deliver, we also want to ensure that we are delivering those things that really matter to our communities. Especially as we have a long and difficult road to recovery ahead of us.”

A community survey will be commissioned when conditions allow, and residents can get involved directly now through community area forums, which are being reshaped to make them more fit for purpose.

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