South Tyneside Council reveals new-look cabinet following the 2024 local elections

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A new-look cabinet has been announced to help steer South Tyneside Council through the next year.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of the council, confirmed eight lead member positions in addition to her own role at the annual meeting of the local authority on Tuesday, May 14.

Local authority bosses noted each portfolio is aligned to an area identified as

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being important to both residents and businesses, and supports the borough’s 20-year vision to enable people to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

The cabinet includes some new faces and follows the departure of several senior councillors.

This includes deputy local authority leader Audrey Huntley and cabinet member Joanne Bell, who lost their council seats in Fellgate & Hedworth and Boldon Colliery respectively to independents at the local elections on May 2, 2024.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council Leader (front left), with her Cabinet members at South Shields Town Hall. Photo: South Tyneside Council.Cllr Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council Leader (front left), with her Cabinet members at South Shields Town Hall. Photo: South Tyneside Council.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside Council Leader (front left), with her Cabinet members at South Shields Town Hall. Photo: South Tyneside Council.

Cllr Dixon, speaking at the annual council meeting, said: “There is no denying my cabinet has been impacted by the recent local government elections.

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“As a consequence, I have identified a number of changes to my cabinet team who I know will support me and help us as a council really deliver for the people, the communities and the businesses here in South Tyneside.”

The new deputy leader of the council was confirmed to be councillor Jane Carter, who will also take on the portfolio of governance, finance and corporate services.

New faces on the cabinet include councillor Liz McHugh who will take on the role of being lead member for children and families social care & education and skills.

Meanwhile, councillor Judith Taylor will join the cabinet as lead member for culture, leisure and the visitor economy.

Other cabinet members include:

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  • Adults, health and independence – Councillor Ruth Berkley
  • Neighbourhoods and climate change – Councillor Ernest Gibson
  • Economic growth and transport – Councillor Margaret Meling
  • Housing and community safety – Councillor Jim Foreman
  • Voluntary sector, partnerships and equalities – Councillor Paul Dean

Council leader Cllr Dixon added: “I have great faith and confidence in the team of councillors to make up my cabinet, who have the experience, knowledge and the passion to lead the council with me and deliver our ambitions for our residents and our communities.”

The council leader also confirmed that ‘member champions’ will continue, which includes some South Tyneside councillors “acting as advocates for specific areas for the council’s business”.

This includes “encouraging communication and positive action over the issue they represent”.

The new list of member champions is:

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  • Democracy and equality, inclusion, diversity and LGBTQ+ – Cllr Shane Smith
  • Youth engagement, skills and sport- Cllr Stephen Dean
  • Domestic violence – Cllr Angela Lamonte
  • Town centres and villages – Cllr Joyce Welsh

It was also confirmed at the meeting that the leader of the main opposition on the local authority, the South Tyneside Alliance Group, will be Primrose ward councillor David Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Beacon and Bents ward representative councillor David Francis will continue as leader of the Green group on the council.

Speaking after the meeting, Labour’s council leader Cllr Dixon said looking ahead to the new municipal year the area has “much to be excited about”.

She added: “Every year brings new challenges in local government and last year was no exception.

“The people of the borough are our key priority, and we continue to work hard to ensure we deliver the best possible services for them.”

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