Annual Report 2018/19 - Foreword by Cllr Iain Malcolm and Martin Swales
The last nine years in South Tyneside represent a period of unprecedented and rapid change. The Council has driven an energetic, enthusiastic and ambitious plan, rising to the challenge of reconciling financial pressures with a bold ambition to transform the local area.
We have confidently managed significant financial and demand pressures, delivering positive outcomes across our priorities of 'people' and 'place', whilst maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. Services that support children, adult learning, health and adult social care have all received external endorsement through Peer Challenge and formal inspection frameworks. Our most recent Ofsted inspection of Children's Services resulted in an overall judgement of 'Good' with 'Outstanding' recognition for our Adoption service.
Our 'Hello Tomorrow, Change is Happening' programme has consistently delivered key regeneration milestones right across South Tyneside, underpinned by a prudent, yet innovative Capital Investment Programme.
Since 2010, we have worked hard to attract additional Government and external funding to finance our ambitions, securing a remarkable £1.6billion of public and private sector investment in our town centres, schools, housing, transport, coastal and urban regeneration. The Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Review noted "...financial management is robust, focused and major Capital programmes are delivered in innovative ways". The value from this investment is highlighted across the pages of this Annual Report.
Over the last nine years, we have delivered £156million of efficiencies, whilst protecting frontline services, through a dramatically redesigned, modern Council. Our approach continues to reduce spend on Council overheads such as management costs, investment in modern buildings and technology with lower energy and revenue costs, and securing the best value from commissioned services.
We are creating the conditions to raise prosperity for South Tyneside residents. We are seeing real progress with the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) as new businesses are confirming their interest in locating to this site, recognised as being 'nationally significant'.
The A19 is the economic artery of manufacturing and industry in the North East and is crucial for linking local businesses to their regional, national and international counterparts. We are working strategically to deliver the infrastructure to mobilise businesses and employees, with significant investment in the A19 between the A194 Lindisfarne junction and the A185 Tyne Tunnel junction, as well as investment at Testo's roundabout. With over 7,000 new jobs expected and future development at Holborn, we have good reason to remain optimistic about the future.
The second phase of our £100million-plus Town Centres investment programme is well underway, supporting our plans to make South Tyneside a yearround visitor destination.
This Annual Report is a reflection on the achievements of 2018-2019 as part of our strategy to make South Tyneside an outstanding place to live, invest and bring up families.