Poverty areas in the spotlight

Coun Gary Bell, cabinet member for adult social care at North Tyneside Council.
Coun Gary Bell, cabinet member for adult social care at North Tyneside Council.

Work to tackle deprivation in North Tyneside could be expanded after a successful trial period.

The pilot looked to tackle key issues in the council’s Chirton and Riverside wards in the North Shields area, including education, unemployment, poor health and housing.

In the first year of the scheme, there were impressive improvements at Norham High School where there was a 19 per cent increase in the number of children getting 5A*s to Cs, including English and Maths.

There has been an increase in the number of families choosing to send their children there, however the 2017 changes to GCSEs led a drop in the achievement levels of children living in deprivation across the country.

At a North Tyneside Council cabinet meeting, Coun Gary Bell, cabinet member for adult social care, said he had been impressed by the work the pilot scheme had done and what had been achieved.

He added: “That’s what we got into politics for, that’s what we get out of bed in the morning, to do the best for the people of the area.

“We are never going to rest on our laurels, we need to make lives better for people.”

The project will now be rolled out to the Howdon and Wallsend areas and the priorities will be education, getting people into employment, housing and health.