As summer draws to a close, it's time to reflect on another busy month.
Our festival programme has proved as popular as ever this year. Even the unseasonably wet weather hasn't put people off, with our spectacular line-up of live music, entertainment and family-friendly events drawing crowds from across the borough and beyond.
We were delighted to honour musician, singer and songwriter John Miles with a commemorative Blue Plaque at the Customs House. It is a fitting tribute to the 'Jarra lad' who became an internationally-renowned artist and musical talent.
I'd like to congratulate all our students on their exam results, with more than 98 per cent achieving grades A*- E at A Levels and more than 63 per cent of GCSE pupils achieving grades 9-4 in both English and maths. They should be really proud of their achievements and I wish them well with their future plans, whether they are continuing in education or beginning work or an apprenticeship.
We were delighted to secure £60,000 from the National Citizen Service to provide opportunities for those young people in the borough who are not in education, employment or training and those who are home schooled.
The funding will allow teenagers to benefit from experiences to prepare them for adulthood and the world of work, including activities to foster skills development and improve their understanding of the community and how they can contribute positively to it.
We are continuing to target support to make things fairer and help residents through the cost of living crisis. As we prepare for a new academic year, more than 1,000 families have benefited from extra financial support towards the cost of school uniform. In addition, every school has been given a payment of £600 to support families who aren't eligible for free school meals with the costs of uniforms.
We've announced exciting plans for the site of the former Chuter Ede School and community association, which is proposed to house a new extra care development of around 120 apartments, incorporating a café and multi-use spaces for activities that will be open and accessible to the general public.
The site will be developed and managed by Karbon Homes as part of a partnership to bring forward much needed accommodation for adults with care needs across South Tyneside.
With plans for another extra care facility at Hebburn having already been submitted and expected to be considered in the coming weeks, we are making real progress on our ambition to help people stay well and healthy throughout their lives and supporting those who may need care and support to live independently in the community.
There has been so much exciting activity over the summer season and Autumn promises to be just as busy. I'll continue to keep you all updated on how your council is delivering for you.
Councillor Tracey Dixon
Leader of South Tyneside Council