There have been some major milestones during the month of November, and much to celebrate.
We were given the fantastic news that we'd been awarded £20m in Levelling Up funding, to support our ambitious plans to transform South Shields town centre and riverside.
This follows the announcement of £20m after the borough was named a Levelling Up Partnership Area, and a further £20m for Jarrow from the Long Term Plan for Towns fund.
We have an excellent track record in securing external funding to support our regeneration projects, and this is more important than ever in the current economic climate.
Sadly, there was little in the Chancellor's Autumn statement that will ease the extremely tight financial envelope in which we have to operate, with nothing to address the financial cost of big demand-led services like adults' and children's social care, which account for around 70% of our discretionary budget.
Nevertheless, we continue to forge ahead with projects that will help us deliver for our residents.
This month, we opened a scheme at Borrowdale House, in South Shields, which will help people live independently at home for longer.
The facility, will be used by people discharged from hospital who need additional support to return home, including reablement therapy and assistive technology. The move is in line with our 'home-first approach to adult social care following feedback from residents who said they wanted to live well at home, rather than go into residential care.
I was delighted to see two of our flagship renewable energy schemes, at Hebburn and the Viking Energy Network at Jarrow, complete and become operational in the last few weeks.
The two pioneering projects will cut our annual carbon emissions by almost 1,400 tonnes, making a major contribution to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
At Holborn riverside, we're making great progress transforming the disused docks and old industrial land into a thriving community. The latest phase of housebuilding is underway by Cussins, who'll build 144 houses and apartments with fantastic views over the Tyne. More than half the homes delivered in the first phase are already occupied.
We're partway through 'Our Hebburn Conversation', where we're asking residents' views and suggestions about the future of the town centre and surrounding area. The feedback we receive will be used to help shape a masterplan, so I'd encourage as many people as possible to get involved.
On a more sombre note, the borough once again paid tribute to the nation's war heroes with a series of Remembrance parades and service. I was proud to see so many members of our communities gathering together to pay their respects to the armed forces both past and present.
And now the festive season is in full swing, with the Christmas lights switched on in all three of our towns and the Winter Parade promising to be as spectacular as ever next week (8 December). I hope you and your loved ones are able to enjoy all that South Tyneside has to offer.
Councillor Tracey Dixon
Leader of South Tyneside Council