2021 has been another challenging year, filled with uncertainty for many of us. And while we move into the New Year with some doubt about what lies ahead, we can at least be confident that together we will rise to the challenges that we face.
I want to take the time to thank residents and businesses who play a part, day in, day out, to make South Tyneside an outstanding place.
We have a lot to be thankful for; our beautiful borough provides us with a rich variety of things to see and do. But more so, it is the exceptional people of South Tyneside and our civic pride that define us.
As we hope to spend time with loved ones over the festive period, I want to take the time to thank everyone who continues to work to provide vital services that our communities rely on. To all key workers, volunteers and of course the NHS working on our behalf, I offer my heartfelt thanks.
The pandemic has shone a spotlight on those who need help most and our communities have responded, with many people helping others in our towns, villages, and neighbourhoods.
I offer my personal thanks to the many volunteers who continue to step forward and contribute to this community effort across the borough. In doing so, they will be helping to provide things like food, support, and companionship to those who need it most. That kind-heartedness and solidarity is vital all year round – but it is especially important at this time of year.
Their spirit is exemplary and demonstrates why South Tyneside is such a great place to live, with people caring for and supporting each other.
I pay particular tribute to our care workers who continue to work in very difficult circumstances to look after our most vulnerable residents, and to social workers who have worked to protect and care for vulnerable children and support families.
I also want to offer my thanks to our own workforce and Elected Members for their commitment in providing valuable public services all year round, balancing business as usual with the continued covid effort.
While Christmas and New Year are often a time for reflection, they also bring us new hope. In 2022 we will continue our commitment to deliver on the council’s community priorities.
We will support you and your community and invest in our Borough’s future. We will also continue the fantastic progress we have made on delivering our climate change targets including further work on our three major energy schemes, planting another 3,000 trees, and encouraging others to join us on their own carbon neutral journey.
Together with both our public and private sector partners, the Council will be pledging to do all we can to help South Tyneside thrive in 2022 and beyond.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Look after yourself and each other.