Review Highlights First Year Progress Against Ambitions

Posted by: Press Team on 11 January 2024 09:59

South Tyneside Council is delivering on its commitment to make the Borough a place where people live 'healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.'.

The Council's new 20-year Vision was launched last year with five key ambitions for residents to be financially secure; healthy and well; connected to jobs; and part of strong communities. Underpinning all of this was a commitment to target support to make things fairer.

Good progress is being made across all five ambitions, although there is still much work to be done.

Actions taken to help people become financially secure include over £8 million secured through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which is supporting a range of initiatives such as the WHIST food Fare project and Hospitality and Hope community shops. The new Council Tax Reduction Scheme will see 10,000 residents receive support with their bills, 1,000 low-income families have already received financial support towards school uniform and £148,000 has been given to local food banks.

The Council has also laid the foundations for continued collaboration to help more people achieve financial security in the future. Going forward the Council will build on its partnership working, work together on funding bids, support residents to maximise take-up of benefits and other support and has pledged to continue to listen to those with lived experience of poverty to ensure services are designed based on evidence and insight.

With almost half of South Tyneside's neighbourhoods in the most deprived 20 per cent nationally, helping people to live healthily remains a challenge. One in six residents are smokers, more people are considered obese than the national average and feelings of loneliness are too prevalent.

However, there have been significant successes. £700,000 has been invested in facilities at Monkton Stadium with 10,000 visitors using its new 'green gym' within the first three months of opening, 300 new homes are being built to support adults with care needs and a network of Family Hubs has been launched. The package of support to foster carers has been strengthened to provide a boost to recruitment, work is ongoing to tackle loneliness and social isolation, including the development of 'chatty cafes' and accommodation has been provided to rough sleepers or those at risk of homelessness.

Priorities for the future include rapidly addressing areas for improvement in Children's Services, investing in facilities for both young and old people requiring care as well as those in crisis and helping older people stay in their homes for longer.

In a bid to connect more people to local jobs, the Council continues to push forward on regeneration projects that create the environment for business growth and job creation.

With 96 per cent of local primary schools and 75 per cent of local secondary schools rated by Ofsted as either 'Good' or 'Outstanding,' along with improved careers advice in schools, the Council is helping young people achieve the skills, confidence and aspiration to secure high-quality jobs.

Going forward the Council will deliver the South Shields Town Centre Masterplan, listen to residents and businesses to shape wider regeneration plans and identify and deliver projects as part of the £20million funding package that has recently been announced for Jarrow as part of the 'Long Term Plan for Towns.

To help protect the environment, the Council has progressed a number of 'green' initiatives such as the UK first Viking Energy Network at Jarrow, Hebburn renewable energy scheme which uses air source heat pumps to provide low carbon heat, the planting of more than 4,000 trees, the creation of additional mudflats and saltmarshes along the bank of the River Tyne as well as a new Animal Protection Charter.

The Council has also worked to ensure residents feel safe and live in clean, attractive neighbourhoods. This includes a £650,000 investment in a new CCTV control room, enabling staff to manage any incidents quickly, while changes have been made to improve road safety, traffic and air quality. A community engagement team has been established to tackle a range of issues including flytipping and recycling, while new waste and recycling policies have helped to deliver a nine per cent reduction in overall household waste. Action has also been taken to reduce waste contamination and modernise waste services with planned digital in-cab technology in waste vehicles set to make the service more responsive.

The Council pledges to work towards cutting carbon emissions by 50 per cent by March 2025, will look to provide more affordable homes, continue to deliver cultural events and bring forward a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Strategy to support the third sector.

Underpinning the ambitions is a desire to make things fairer.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon, said: "The inequality gap between our least and most affluent communities is reflected in outcomes such as life expectancy, health, employment and education.

"From our diverse and inclusive Summer Parade to our work to install inclusive playparks co-designed with disabled children and their families, to our efforts to raise awareness of hate crime, and to our initiative to encourage young women and non-binary people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and maths - we continue to make sure that everybody is part of our journey towards South Tyneside being a place where people live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

"There is huge amount to be proud of in what we've achieved in 2023, and there's a lot to be excited for in the year ahead."


Last modified: 08 February 2024 13:39