Leader of the Council Paul Watson gave an interview to ITV Tyne Tees in which he accepted the failings in Sunderland Council's children's services highlighted by today's Ofsted report.
The main challenge facing the authority is clearing the large backlog of cases involving children at risk of neglect and abuse.
More top news
"I would personally like to thank the local community for their amazing donations of food, toiletries and clothing. "
Owners John and Irene Hays say there is ''light at the end of the tunnel'', after the pandemic forced them to close 650 UK stores.
There has been resistance to calls to dismantle memorials to the explorer.