Annual Report to Highlight Achievements
An insight into the achievements and performance of South Tyneside Council over the past year is set to be formally presented next Wednesday (7 October).
The Annual Report charts the progress the Council makes across a wide range of key service areas, from children's services and housing to community safety, economic growth and regeneration.
The document is traditionally published in the spring - at the end of the financial year. However, its publication was postponed due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to the Annual Report being redrafted to cover the 16 months from April 2019 to July 2020.
Therefore, the report also covers the Council's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as outlines the Council's plans up to March 2021. It will be presented to Cabinet members at their next meeting on Wednesday 7 October.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of the Council, said: "The Annual Report gives residents a flavour of all the investment, activities, projects and services the Council has been delivering across South Tyneside.
"This year is also a milestone year, marking a decade in the delivery of South Tyneside's ambitious Futures Programme. We have come such a long way since 2010, with significant improvements made across all services. There is much to celebrate.
"However, 2020 has also been an extremely turbulent year, having significant impacts on every aspect of society and bringing dramatic changes to everyday life. It has been the most difficult and challenging year by far for the Council, its partners, our communities, businesses and residents. It has also demonstrated the importance of Council services and the value that people have placed on the support they received, from refuse collection to care workers as well as the many 'unseen' services that people often don't see.
"When the country went into lockdown, the Council rapidly refocused its priorities and resources into protecting our most vulnerable, keeping people as safe as possible and doing all it could to limit the spread of coronavirus in our communities.
"We all came together as a community and we achieved so much. The Council's dedicated team and partners continue to work tirelessly to improve the outcomes for the residents of South Tyneside, particularly in the face of the unprecedented complex challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic."
Key achievements and important milestones, highlighted in the Annual Report, include South Tyneside being named 'Cooperative Council of the Year 2019'; the opening of South Shields Transport Interchange, brought forward plans for the £200m Holborn Riverside regeneration and the innovative Viking Energy and Hebburn Minewater renewable energy schemes.
The report also features the new coronavirus response services that were established during the national lockdown period. This included the Covid-19 Support Hub for shielding residents and the Hardship Fund to support residents through coronavirus-related financial difficulties.
During that time, considerable changes were also made to the Council's working environments, both physical and digital; 500 key worker children were supported in schools and the Council helped to accommodate more than 300 people who were identified as being at increased risk of homelessness.