Senior councillors back 20-year vision for 'happy, healthy' South Tyneside

Leading councillors have backed a renewed 20-year vision for South Tyneside, with a focus on creating “healthy, happy, and fulfilled” communities.

Town hall chiefs recently outlined their vision for the next 20 years which includes working with key partners and focusing their ambition, energy, and resources on tackling the biggest societal issues facing residents.

This includes health inequalities, poverty, the impact of crime on local communities, access to job opportunities and more.

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The vision has the key goal of South Tyneside being a place where people live “healthy, happy, and fulfilled lives”.

South Shields Town Hall.

The document went before South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet for endorsement on Wednesday, November 2, and was met with unanimous support from councillors.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “A lot has changed over the last decade and we need a new vision that is grounded in a very different context.

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“This is more than just a vision document, it’s a clear plan for how we’re going to make the most of our influence and resources to make the biggest difference to the lives of our residents.

“There is no doubt we have a lot of work to do and it will not always be easy, but with this plan we are well positioned to face the challenges and opportunities of the coming years ahead.”

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South Tyneside Council leader Tracey Dixon and chief executive Jonathan Tew.

The vision came following engagement with thousands of residents, businesses, partners, council employees and elected members over the past six months, aiming to “put local people at its heart”.

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Councillor Adam Ellison, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said the blueprint was a team effort which came after involving as many people as possible in drawing up the vision.

He said: “It’s something that belongs to everybody, we’ve done it with the community, we’ve done it with elected members, we’ve done it with various different stakeholders.

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“It’s all part of the whole team effort in South Tyneside that we’ve achieved it.”

The vision is based on five core ambitions which include South Tyneside residents being financially secure; healthy and well throughout their lives; connected to jobs, skills, and learning and part of strong communities.

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Underpinning all of this, the council also wants to target support and resources to “make things fairer” for borough residents.

Councillor Ruth Berkley, portfolio holder for voluntary sector, partnerships and equalities, added one of the best things about the vision is the work carried out with residents.

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She added: “It’s about getting that message out to our own residents and trying to tackle some of the negativity there is, actually showing that they’ve had a voice in helping to deliver this.”

Meanwhile Councillor Joanne Bell, cabinet member for governance, finance and corporate services, said it will act as a “golden thread” through all of their strategies moving forward.

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Councillors also stressed how the vision is a “living” document and gives the local authority the “resilience” to change direction if needed.

Following cabinet’s endorsing of the 20-year vision, the document will be presented to a borough council meeting later this month.