December 2022

Posted by: Councillor Tracey Dixon on 23 December 2022 08:28

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council

As 2022 draws to a close, we have continued to deliver on our ambitions for the people of South Tyneside.

I was delighted to attend the official opening of Epinay Business and Enterprise School earlier this month. The school which caters for children and young people with special educational needs moved into its new home on the site of the former South Shields School earlier this year following an investment by the Council of more than £1.9 million. At the official opening the Sing and Sign group did an amazing performance and the Head Boy and Head Girl each delivered a speech. The children were inspirational. All our children deserve the very best and Epinay certainly offers that. This new school and its state-of-the-art facilities provide an outstanding learning environment which will undoubtedly make a difference to the lives of these young people and their families. Elsewhere we have supported staff at Council-run nurseries to gain a nationally recognised qualification to help them identify children with speech or communication needs and develop skills to support children's self-confidence, relationships, and self-awareness. This training will help staff in our early years settings to work more effectively with children and families so that all children can reach their full potential.

The Council-run Stanleys at Biddick Hall and Whiteleas has been rated Good by Ofsted and was described by inspectors as a 'caring and friendly' place where children are 'very happy' and where staff go 'above and beyond' for children

We've made significant progress on a number of major capital schemes across the borough. At Holborn we are transforming the disused docks and former brownfield site into a thriving riverside quarter for people to live and work in. The first phase will deliver 48 homes and a play area with the first properties almost ready to occupy. The next phase will get underway early in the New Year. We will also be implementing marine ecology improvements in two of the docks including floating reed beds, mussel ropes and fish refuge structures.

Our journey to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is making good progress. Between April and September this year there has been an 8% reduction in electricity emissions and more than a 15% cut in gas emissions when compared to the same period in 2021. However, we recognise more still needs to be done.

Work is progressing well on Hebburn's new energy centre, which will provide low carbon heat to residents and council buildings using air source heat pumps. The scheme at Hebburn, together with projects at Jarrow and Holborn will save over 3,000 tonnes of carbon a year combined.

I was also delighted that IAMP has made it onto the final shortlist to host Rolls Royce's first factory. IAMP is one of just three sites to be shortlisted as a potential location for the heavy manufacturing plant, which is expected to stimulate investment of £100-200 million.

If successful, the factory would create 200 skilled, sustainable jobs. We are already leading the way in low carbon innovation and this facility would position South Tyneside at the forefront of opportunities within the green economy.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and are able to spend some time with loved ones over the festive period. I wish you a very Happy New Year, 2023 is set to be another exciting year for the borough. The New Year marks 12 months since the launch of the South Tyneside Pledge. with over 150 businesses now signed up. The Pledge aims to boost local economic activity, reduce health inequalities, cut carbon emissions, and enhance civic pride for the benefit of the whole Borough. I want to thank existing pledgees for the difference they are making to South Tyneside and encourage all other businesses to come forward and sign up.

Councillor Tracey Dixon
Leader of South Tyneside Council

Last modified: 23 December 2022 08:29