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17 February 2023

The week began with the General Licensing Committee Meeting in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite.

I then attended a meeting between myself, the Deputy Leader of the Council Councillor Lisa Evans, and the Council's Chief Executive Mike Greene. These fortnightly catch ups are a great way to share what's happening across the Council and keep us all working towards the same goals.

I also attended a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the medium term financial plan and a Cabinet pre-agenda meeting ahead of the full meeting on 23 February. There will be a lot to discuss at Cabinet, including the Annual Report of the Independent Safety Advisory Group (ISAG), various scrutiny reviews and the Council Plan 2023-26.

Tuesday and Wednesday were quieter days which allowed me to catch up on important paperwork ahead of some annual leave I have booked in this week and next.

On Thursday I had one of my regular catch-ups with the Chair, Guru Naidoo, and Chief Executive Officer, Jon Carling, of Catalyst, the Borough's voluntary development agency. They offer support and guidance to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and work in partnership with us to run a number of projects across Stockton-on-Tees.

Today I am taking a holiday to enjoy a long weekend relaxing with my family. Middlesbrough are coming off a thrilling come-back win against Sheffield on Wednesday. On Saturday they play Queens Park Rangers. We need to play as well as we can and hope Sheffield concede some poor results if we have any chance of an automatic promotion place.