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8 September 2023

My first meeting of the week on Monday was a Cabinet pre-agenda ahead of the full cabinet meeting on Monday 18 September. Things on the agenda for the next meeting include social care and childcare provision in the Borough.

On Tuesday I first had an induction session with the North East Regional Employers' Organisation (NEREO). NEREO represent the 12 local authorities in the North East and over 80 other voluntary and public sector bodies to support organisations with everything employee related, including recruitment, HR, and management.

Following that I travelled to an exciting initiative new to Stockton-on-Tees called The Bread and Butter Thing. Working with local supermarkets with food that would originally go to waste, they offer roughly £35 worth of groceries including fresh fruit and veg, chilled food for the fridge and cupboard staples such as pasta and cereal for £8.50. Two hubs will be opening in the coming weeks, with more to come. Read more about what they do on The Bread and Butter Thing website.

Finally myself and the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Lisa Evans, joined the other members of the Cabinet to get various update from senior officers of the Council.

Mid-week I attended a pre-meeting for the Tees Valley ICP Area Meeting happening today. In the afternoon I attended the Norton Community Partnership meeting.

Yesterday I met with Guru Naidoo, the Chair of Catalyst - our local voluntary development agency - to talk about their work and how we can support each other. Stockton-on-Tees has a thriving voluntary and community sector, and it's important that we use it and support it in the best ways that we can.

After, I joined a virtual meeting about the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIP) run but the North East Chamber of Commerce. This funding is vital in upskilling our residents to it was good to get an update of what is happening with the funds and what affect it is having in the North East.

Today I am attending the Tees Valley Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). ICPs bring together a broad alliance of partners concerned with improving the care, health and wellbeing of the local population.

At the weekend I will be relaxing with the family. Middlesbrough are still struggling to find their feet this season and suffered another 2-0 defeat at home last weekend. We've got a bit of a break until our next game on Saturday 16 September, and I'm hoping it'll give us some time to settle our new loanee signings into the squad, and we can look for our first win against Blackburn Rovers.