In this blog, the Leader talks about the honour of hosting the Tall Ships Races 2018 and how the typical, warm Sunderland welcome was extended to all.

In my last blog I talked about how the first of the Tall Ships were just arriving into the Port of Sunderland.

Whilst I knew beforehand about everything that was planned I could never have imagined just what a spectacular, uplifting and unifying event it would turn out to be.

With 50 beautiful ships moored in and around the Port, the fantastic weather, a colourful parade through the streets of Sunderland, an unbelievably daring high-wire act across the Wear and the unforgettable sight of the Parade of Sail as the ships began their race to Esbjerg, there was truly something for everyone.

So many people have said the city was shown in its very best light and both the place and its people were hailed as a "marvellous host" by the organisers.

For all it was an event of enormous scale and complexity, it also had a fantastic community feel and visitors to the city, including the ships' crews, commented on the warm welcome and the spirit of international friendship that everyone involved worked very hard to create.

None of this would have been possible without the people who have worked tirelessly for over two years on the detailed planning and delivery of the event and then the hundreds of volunteers and event makers from around the city who did a wonderful job throughout the week. 

Huge thanks go to absolutely everybody involved - you have done Sunderland proud!

Speaking of communities, I also wanted to mention the current public consultation exercise on urgent care provision in the city.

Urgent care is for minor illnesses and injuries and is provided by the NHS 111 Helpline, pharmacies, GPs and the urgent care centres (or walk-in centres) across the city.

Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group is consulting on proposed changes to the current arrangements with a view to making urgent care easier and simpler for residents.

Labour councillors have worked hard with our MPs, the Shadow Minister for Health, the Trade Unions and residents to have the consultation extended into September.

You can find out more about the proposals and how to take part in the consultation by clicking this link.

It's crucial that everyone has a say on these really important health matters so if you can spare a few moments, please add your comments to the feedback.


Cllr Graeme Miller
Leader of the Council


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