South Tyneside Council
Founded1 April 1974
Pat Hay,
since 18 May 2021
Tracey Dixon,
since 14 January 2021
Jonathan Tew
since August 2021
Seats54 councillors
Political groups
  Labour (38)
Other parties
  Green (9)
  Conservative (1)
  Independent (6)
Last election
4 May 2023
Next election
Meeting place
South Shields Town Hall

South Tyneside Council is the local authority of South Tyneside in Tyne and Wear, North East England. It is a metropolitan borough council, one of five in Tyne and Wear and one of 36 in the metropolitan counties of England. It provides the majority of local government services in South Tyneside.


South Tyneside was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 as a metropolitan district within the new county of Tyne and Wear. The new district covered the area of four former districts, which were all abolished at the same time:[1]

Boldon, Hebburn and Jarrow had been lower-tier authorities subordinate to Durham County Council prior to the reforms. South Shields had been a self-governing county borough. The new district was named "South Tyneside" reflecting its position both relative to the River Tyne and within the Tyneside conurbation.[2] The new district was awarded borough status from its creation, allowing the chair of the council to take the title of mayor.[3]

Between 1974 and 1986 the council formed the lower tier of local government, with Tyne and Wear County Council providing county-level services to the area. The county council was abolished in 1986 under the Local Government Act 1985, since when South Tyneside Council has been responsible for all local government services.[4]

The council has been a constituent member of the North East Combined Authority since 2014.

Political control

The council has been under Labour majority control since 1979.

The first election to the council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority before coming into its powers on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been held by the following parties:[5][6]

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1978
No overall control 1978–1979
Labour 1979–present


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in South Tyneside. Political leadership is provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 1997 have been:[7]

Councillor Party From To
Paul Waggott[8] Labour 1997 4 May 2008
Iain Malcolm[9] Labour 13 May 2008 17 Nov 2020
Tracey Dixon Labour 14 Jan 2021


See also: South Tyneside Council elections

Since the last boundary changes in 2004, the council has comprised 54 councillors representing 18 wards, with each ward electing three councillors. Elections are held three years out of every four, with a third of the council elected each time.[10]


  1. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 15 June 2023 Schedule 1, Part 1
  2. ^ "The Metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/173, retrieved 15 June 2023
  3. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Local Government Act 1985",, The National Archives, 1985 c. 51, retrieved 15 June 2023
  5. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  6. ^ "South Tyneside". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Council minutes". South Tyneside Council. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  8. ^ Ford, Coreena (14 September 2008). "Row over council leader's £50-a-head farewell party". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  9. ^ Dickinson, Katie (17 November 2020). "South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm steps down as councillor and quits the Labour party". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  10. ^ "The Borough of South Tyneside (Electoral Changes) Order 2004",, The National Archives, SI 2004/358, retrieved 15 June 2023