School improvements, action on empty homes and road routes: Sunderland's city leaders make plans for the future

Sunderland City Council's cabinet met at the Civic Centre earlier today.
Sunderland City Council's cabinet met at the Civic Centre earlier today.

Sunderland City Council's cabinet met today to discuss a host of issues which will have an impact on its communities and businesses for years to come.

Here is a run down of what was agreed:

*The draft housing strategy, which will take the council's operations up to 2022. A six-week public consultation has been agreed on a document, which will set out priorities for housing. These are to maximise housing growth and to increase the choice of housing, making the best use of existing homes and improving neighbourhoods and supporting vulnerable people to access and maintain housing.

*The council has agreed to use its full range of enforced sale of homes to help it tackle empty and dilapidated buildings. It will allow it to enforce the sale of property, which will allow it to recover debts and find a buyer who will carry out improvements.

*Approved its Minster Quarter Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document. This will mean a co-ordinated approach is taken to developments in this north west area of the city, which has been earmarked as an area which will become the "economic heart" of the city. Central Sunderland is to be the "focal point for new investment and employment, education, leisure and tourism development."

*Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase Three. Permission has been given for approval for the acquisition of land through Compulsory Purchase and Side Road Orders as work progresses to link up the New Wear Crossing with the city centre. It will see a dual carriageway run from the eastern end of the new bridge through Pallion, Deptford, and Farringdon Row to St Mary’s Boulevard.

*A capital programme for the children's services. This has seen a budget of £3.368m for the next year, which will cover the cost of repairs to roofs, boilers, heating systems, lighting and other areas. Work will also be carried out to the kitchens of two schools.

*Procurement of tyres and associated services. The council has agreed to search for a contractor to take care of the tyres and association services for its transport fleet of 500 vehicles. The task of ensuring the vehicles have legally sound, checked and changed costs £100,000 a year.