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3 March 2023

I took some annual leave on Monday to enjoy a long weekend.

On Tuesday I first met with Mike Greene, Chief Executive, and Councillor Lisa Evans, Deputy Leader of the Council, in our regular catch up. Later I attended a member's briefing session where we had updates from our partners Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade. Cleveland Police gave us an update on their "Copa" app, which allows people to report crime, ask questions, or share information with the police.

Mid-week I met with Garry Cummings, Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, and his senior officers to talk about the work they're doing. In the afternoon, Cabinet members met with the Council's Corporate Management Team so that each of the Directors could give a briefing on their areas.

Yesterday I attended the Tees Valley Combined Authority's Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting. Members from local authorities across the Tees Valley Region attended and discussed a forward plan for the group, the scrutiny committee's annual report for 2022-23, and there was a presentation given on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which is part of the Levelling Up agenda.

Today I am meeting virtually with a student from Newcastle University studying a PhD in Human Geography, who wants to get my perspective on the development of the Tees Valley during my time as Leader of the Council.

At the weekend I will be spending some relaxing time with my family. Middlesbrough will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to West Brom last weekend (their first loss in six games). They face Reading at home and will be eager to put in a good performance and come away with the three points to close the gap towards the second automatic promotion spot, so I look forward to seeing how they fare

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