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15 September 2023

To start the week I met with Elaine Redding, our Interim Director of Children's Services. She presented a strategy on how we can improve the service to myself, the Deputy Leader Councillor, Lisa Evans, and our Chief Executive, Mike Greene.

Immediately after, me and the Deputy Leader had our regular catch up with Mike Greene. Later on the morning I also had a briefing with Jonathan Nertney, Head of Democratic Services.

In the afternoon I attended the official opening of the Mark White Annexe at Bede Sixth Form College in Billingham. The £2.4m annexe has state of the art facilities which will benefit this year's students, and students to come, tremendously.

On Tuesday morning I attended the  North East Regional Employers' Organisation (NEREO) Executive Meeting. NEREO's function is to support local authorities and partner organisations in the fields of human resources, organisational development and employee relations.

From Wednesday to Friday I have attended the APSE Annual Service Awards, where we are shortlisted for six awards, and also shortlisted for the prestigious Council of the Year award.

I'm delighted to say that our Catering Team won the Frontline Service Team of the Year. Our catering service is known for creating bespoke packages to schools and place a huge focus on having well-established working relationships with schools and partners. This year they have also increased engagement with parents, helped with cost of living challenges, providing ideas for good food on a budget.

This weekend I look forward to spending some time with my family after a few days away with work. Middlesbrough are back in action tomorrow against Blackburn Rovers and really need to start picking up some points, and I hope we will get our first win of the season.

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.