Firstly, I would like to wish everyone in North Tyneside a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018.
I was delighted to start the year receiving a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list for my public and community service.
Although it came as a great surprise to me, it is much appreciated.
I would like to thank those people who have given me their support over the years and helped me achieve this award.
In 2018, we will continue to be a listening council with a wide range of opportunities for residents to have their say on council priorities.
Many residents have already taken part in our budget consultation, helping us to shape our services and spending to meet the needs of local people.
We have some difficult decisions to make in the next year due to government funding reductions, but I am committed to protecting essential services, ensuring the council operates as efficiently as possible and continues to provide excellent value for money to local taxpayers.
I will be at the Killingworth Centre on Saturday, January 20, for the latest in my series of Listen events.
It’s a chance for residents to talk to me about the things that matter to them most and to discuss issues about North Tyneside Council or the borough as a whole.
The event will take place between 10am and 11.30am.
It is an informal drop-in session so no appointment is necessary.
I urge anyone with an issue or concern they would like to discuss with me to come along.