Councillor Paul Watson became Leader of the Council in May 2008, after previously serving as Deputy Leader since May 2006.

Now, through his blog, he aims to communicate directly with you to give an insight into what is happening in Sunderland as well as the issues and challenges that face the city. With so much going on in the city, he wants to keep you informed about how much work the council is doing but also wants to hear from you.

This is your chance to have your say so please feel free to get in touch.

Welcome to my blog.

As the year continues into August, I hope everyone's enjoying something of a summer break and as the relatively good weather continues, don't forget about our city's programme of events for residents and visitors.

Why not visit Herrington Country Park? One of the largest parks in Sunderland and home to many exciting events - this week sees the arrival of the North East funfair, a fantastic event for all the family. Or, maybe, make a trip to the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens - a fascinating place to spend time for people of all ages.

And it's always worth a visit to the National Glass Centre - entry is free and it provides residents and visitors alike with a fascinating insight into this important part of Sunderland's heritage and the opportunity to see world class exhibitions.

Sunderland also has an incredible array of natural assets and places to walk, cycle, sit and take in the scenery, and to just generally enjoy being outdoors at the coast, in the countryside and in the plentiful parks and green spaces throughout the city.

Information on upcoming events and things to see and do in Sunderland can be found on our Things to see and do pages and on Sunderland Live's events webpage.

Let's hope for continued good weather and an enjoyable time for all, whatever you're doing, for the remainder of the summer holidays!

Cllr Paul Watson