Mr Melia was born in Jarrow and has ran North Tyneside council since 2013 following senior roles at South Tyneside Council, Durham Police and the Probation Service.

Commenting on his confirmation, he said: “I’m very proud to have been given this opportunity to join Sunderland City Council and the city.

Everyone knows Sunderland is a very dynamic and growing city that has a strong sense of community.“As a council, Sunderland will continue developing efficient, successful and sustainable services for residents, and attract investment to help the city grow and provide an economic boost for everyone.”



Philip Foster has worked in Social Care in Sunderland for over 38 years said: “I have been privileged to be involved in the Vanguard programme  since its inception, so moving over to the new organisation and taking it forward was a very natural step – a natural progression for me. I am looking forward to delivering closer integration between services in the community with the aim of promoting health and wellbeing, delivering quality care for patients, and ensuring sustainability of the local system.

Carol web new.jpg


In September 2018 Carol was appointed as CEO of VONNE following four years as Deputy CEO.  She is a graduate of Newcastle University, and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management from Northumbria University. Prior to joining VONNE Carol was the Interim Chief Executive at North Tyneside VODA and previously the Director of Northern Architecture.





Janette was born in Sunderland and is an avid promoter of her native City. She is an oral history specialist with over 30 years experience of working in the heritage sector,  promoting the city and the region. In this role she represents the region at national networks. Janette has been involved in education and learning throughout her career. She is a key player in the City's voluntary sector development with a history of  effective collaborative partnership developments across the city.