New South Tyneside Council leader 'honoured to take the reigns' after officially being voted in at first full council meeting since pandemic

A new leader of South Tyneside Council has been formally elected.

By Chris Binding
Friday, 15th January 2021, 1:18 pm
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 1:19 pm
South Tyneside Council leader Cllr Tracey Dixon has officially been voted into office
South Tyneside Council leader Cllr Tracey Dixon has officially been voted into office

The former deputy leader, who represents the Whitburn and Marsden ward for Labour, has been serving as council leader on an interim basis since.

At a virtual meeting of borough council on January 14 – the first to be held since February 2020 – the councillor was formally elected as leader.

Cllr Dixon set out new appointments to her cabinet, who have been serving in the positions for several months.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank colleagues for appointing me to the position of leader,” she said.

“I’m honoured to be taking the reigns of this fantastic council and I want you to know that I intend to do this and make sure that this position is used to drive positive change for our local communities.

“Of course, a leader is nothing without the right team. I’m glad to say that after some careful consideration, I have identified a cabinet who I have full confidence will be able to ensure, that together, we can really deliver for the people of South Tyneside.”

Cllr Dixon added: “I have great faith in the team of councillors who have joined me in the cabinet.

“We’re stepping into these positions at what continues to be a very challenging time as we respond to the difficulties of a further lockdown.

“We also need to look ahead to the considerable economic and social recovery work on the horizon.

“However, despite the challenging context, I know between us we have the experience, the in-depth knowledge of local communities and their needs and the passion to lead this council well.”

Cllr Dixon was elected as council leader with 39 votes in favour and five abstentions.

Independent opposition councillors John Robertson, Paul Milburn, Keith Roberts and Glenn Thompson and Green Party councillor, David Francis, abstained from voting.

Leader of the opposition at South Tyneside Council, Cllr Robertson, said: “In connection with the vote for the leader, I have spoken to the independent councillors and we have decided that we will be abstaining from the vote.

“Cllr Dixon has reached out since she became leader and has stated publicly that she wants to work with the opposition, we do trust that she does want to do that.

“But because of the workload that she has obviously endured since she took over, none of that has come to fruition – although we now have direct contact with the leader when she isn’t busy, we have got direct contact with the chief whip and other Labour councillors.

“We do look forward to working together in the future and ideally by the time the next election comes, things will have happened and we will have the confidence to vote in favour of Tracey Dixon.”

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