I hope you have all enjoyed the Christmas festivities and are looking forward to 2017.
During the past year we have had a great deal to be proud of.
Our achievements included the opening of the Centre for Innovation at Swans, major renovation at Wallsend Forum and High Street, excellent examination results, the opening of Whitehouse Primary School, fantastic new housing and our ongoing £36m transformation of the seafront.
I am confident that 2017 will be another great year for North Tyneside.
However, I’m very much aware that we are facing extremely challenging times as we strive to continue with our ambitious plans to boost our local economy while struggling with massive government cuts to our budgets.
Over the next three years we have to lose in the region of £52m from our already slashed budgets. This comes on top of unprecedented demand for costly services for our children, older people and most vulnerable adults who need our care.
It will be very tough, but I’m determined that we will deliver our promises by protecting the services you have told us are essential.
We will also continue with our transformation and investment plan, which will bring jobs, housing, tourism and a better quality of life for people living in North Tyneside.
For us, this means a never ending focus on making sure you get value for money from your council tax and that you know you have a council that is on your side.