June 2023

Posted by: Councillor Tracey Dixon on 30 June 2023 08:25

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

As we hit the festival season there is so much to look forward to this Summer in South Tyneside!

Our Summer event programme has already kicked off and we'll be welcoming thousands of people to the Borough every week. The This is South Tyneside Festival is one of the biggest and best free festivals in the country. I hope you're able to take the opportunity to get involved, I'm particularly looking forward to the Summer Parade and seeing our amazing community groups showcasing their talents.

Earlier in the month we hosted Armed Forces Day in Bents Park organised by the Bad-Landers, it is always wonderful to see our borough's support for military organisations. I know that this same support will be shown to the National Veterans' Walkway National Veterans' Walkway which will be created in North Marine Park made up of personalised stones bearing the names, regiment and years of service of both serving and former members of the armed forces. South Tyneside has a proud military and marine tradition. The Armed Forces is very close to my heart. My Dad, former councillor Peter Boyack is an ex-serviceman, and remains an active member of the Royal British Legion.

I'm really excited about some major projects that have come to fruition this month with council investment providing long term sustainability and facilities for the future.

In Jarrow we opened the doors to Monkton Stadium gym after a £700,000 investment. This brings the venue into line with our other facilities across the Borough following investment at Jarrow Focus, Hebburn Central, The Word, Haven Point and Jarrow Pool we now have state-of-the-art facilities borough wide, and a leisure offer that far exceeds that of other areas.

The exercise machines in the newly refurbished gym space at Monkton Stadium, convert user movement it into electricity that will help power devices connected to the local grid. Monkton Stadium is the first venue in the region to use third generation ECO POWR equipment.

In Hebburn, the Renewable Energy Scheme is progressing at pace, with the 272-metre pipe network and other infrastructure already complete. The construction of the energy centre is now well underway, the steel framework has been installed and now the internal build is progressing. The network will initially connect to residential tower block Durham court and Hebburn Central leisure centre, cutting carbon emissions by around 319 tonnes a year.

In South Shields demolition has started on the old Central Library which has been closed since 2016. This is the last of the sites to be demolished to facilitate South Tyneside College's proposed move into the town centre from its current Westoe location. We revealed our blueprint for South Shields town centre earlier this year following extensive public consultation to shape the plans. There are some really exciting things in there including pop up cafes and shops, a cycle hub on the ferry landing, green spaces, retail space for small businesses and more activity at the market place with a food hall and recreational activities. Next month we will be hosting drop-in information sessions at the Word so look out for details, come along, and find out more.

I'd also encourage everyone to take advantage of our new Family Hubs which have opened across the Borough. As part of the Start for Life programme, the hubs will offer better integrated services for families, young people, and children from conception up to the age of 19 or 25 for those with additional needs.

This is an expansion on what has been offered in the past from children's centres and I'm confident this investment in families will pay dividends in terms of enhanced educational attainment, wellbeing, and life chances. We've had a great response from parents and carers about the new provision so far. Parenthood brings all sorts of challenges but by offering the right support at the right time we want to help families build their confidence and skills to become knowledgeable and resilient. The Hubs will provide access to a broad range of universal, targeted and specialist services offering high quality information, advice, and support for families with teams located at venues right across the Borough.

I've also been lucky enough to be involved in some inspiring celebrations this month including  thanking our voluntary and third sector for their efforts during National Volunteer Week, recognising the incredible role some 15,000 carers in South Tyneside play in our communities as part of Carers' Week and awarding our brave competitors their medals at the Shared lives triathlon as part of Learning Disability Week.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to wish our LGBTQIA+ community a happy Pride month.

I'm so proud to serve the people of South Tyneside and am working together with people right across the borough to make a difference to our communities.

Councillor Tracey Dixon
Leader of South Tyneside Council

Last modified: 30 June 2023 08:26