New mayor, flip-flops ban and new-look opposition - a look ahead to South Tyneside Council's first in-person meeting since pandemic began
A new mayor and a new-look opposition are due to get their first outings in South Tyneside next week as the world edges more towards normality.
South Tyneside Council business is set to resume on Tuesday, May 18, following a break for local elections, with South Tyneside Council’s Annual Meeting to kick off the municipal year.
It will also mark the first ‘in-person’ meeting of the council for more than a year, after the coronavirus pandemic forced proceedings online.
While Labour largely escaped the battering it took in many areas of the country in the May 6 polls, the party wasn’t totally spared in the borough, losing four seats but still maintaining majority control of the council chamber.
Defeat in West Park saw serving deputy mayor Galdys Hobson replaced by new Green councillor Peter Bristow.
Ms Hobson had been expected to be elected mayor on Tuesday, meaning a new candidate will now have to be found.
As well as appointing new and previously serving councillors to committees, the meeting’s agenda also includes an update to the local authority’s constitution which could ban councillors from attending meetings wearing baseball caps, t-shirts, jeans or flip flops.
Councillors will also be asked to back a motion calling on the Government to provide more financial aid to families struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting will take place at Temple Park leisure centre to help with social-distancing, with more room for members and officers to spread out than the historic council chamber at South Shields town hall.
The council had made the move to virtual meetings using video conferencing technology which allowed business to continue and members of the public to watch proceedings from home.
But powers allowing this lapsed on May 7.
:: South Tyneside Council’s Annual Meeting is due to take place on Tuesday, May 18 from 6pm.
Due to social distancing measures, spaces for the public are strictly limited to 60 and attendees will be required to wear a face covering, unless exempt.
Anyone wishing to attend should apply via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/annual-council-meeting-tickets-152844894193