Friday 9 July 2021
My week began with a meeting in preparation for a royal visit, which will be very exciting for the Borough. This took place at the Globe Theatre and was with Mr Kingsley Smith, who is Clerk to the Lieutenancy at County Durham Lieutenancy. The Council's Director of Town Centres Investment, Richard McGuckin, was also in attendance.
This was followed by a regular catch up with the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, to discuss day-to-day Council business.
A busy day in the diary on Monday ended with a Cabinet pre-agenda meeting. There was lots up for discussion, including the Medium Term Financial Plan, tackling food poverty and school term and holiday dates for 2022/23 and 2023/24.
It was interesting to attend the Local Government Association's Annual General Assembly, which took place virtually for the second year running on Tuesday. Councillor Beall was also at the meeting.
I then caught up with the Council's Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, Garry Cummings, and Assistant Director of Inclusive Growth and Development, Chris Renahan. This monthly meeting is a good opportunity to discuss how the Council's plans for business and regeneration are shaping up.
On Wednesday I took time to attend a scrutiny review which focused on the Local Government Pension Scheme.
I joined Cabinet Members for an informal meeting on Thursday afternoon to ensure we were all up to speed with Council business. This was then followed by a more formal briefing alongside the Council's Corporate Management Team.
Today I have met with Julie Danks and Councillor Beall to discuss the latest coronavirus developments in the Borough. There's been a big spike in cases recently and we're still urging everyone to follow the current restrictions.
I will then chair a Local Outbreak Engagement Group (LOEG) meeting this afternoon to go over the current coronavirus picture in the Borough in further detail.
At the weekend I am very excited to watch England play in their very first European Championship final and first major final of any competition since 1966. Italy have had a very impressive tournament but home advantage could prove key for England. Whatever the result, it should be a great occasion for the whole country.