We know that we have residents who are struggling in life and need more support than others. One in four children live in poverty and more 5,000 people rely on foodbanks. The weekly wage in Gateshead is well below the national average and there are parts of Gateshead where life expectancy is much shorter than in others.
Teams working across the borough are being actively encouraged to find ways to cut through red tape and look at alternative and practical solutions to long standing problems but ultimately to recognise that the Council's role is to help people and to show empathy and understanding of the situations they are in to find a means of lifting them out of their difficult situation.
Our Revenues section has fully embraced the aim of Making Gateshead a place where everyone thrives. The key to success lay in giving the team freedom to use their experience to make their own decisions about the best way to help a resident who is not able to pay their Council Tax or who is in arrears.
Special training sessions were held remove any areas of doubt or grey areas as to what team members could or couldn't do.
Residents have been very complimentary about our team members expressing their sincere thanks for supporting them.