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1 December 2023

This week started with a meeting of the North East Regional Employers' Organisation (or NEREO) Executive Committee. NEREO provides support local authorities in the area, and allows leaders from authorities to discuss any particular issues they're facing. We tend to find that we share a lot of issues and can share solutions with each other at these meetings.

Following that I met with senior officers and other Cabinet Members to discuss the £20million funding for Billingham through the Levelling Up Fund.

In the afternoon, I had a briefing on multibanks across the Tees Valley. Multibanks are a hub where organisations can donate surplus products, not limited to food and produce, which are then distributed to communities via VCSE organisations and professionals such as teachers or midwives. Items donated to multibanks include but are not limited to food, toiletries, furniture and baby goods.

On Tuesday I attended a sub group for NEPO's Collaborative Procurement network. The group is all about using our collective buying power to get the best deal on things like utilities and supplied. At the meeting one this we discussed infrastructure for electric fleet vehicles and their environmental benefits.

Mid-week I first attended the Health and Wellbeing Board, held in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite. In the afternoon it was an Informal Cabinet briefing with the Council's Corporate Management Team, where each of the Directors could give an update on their areas.

Yesterday I sat on a part of a panel as part of the Council's recruitment of a new Director of Regeneration and Inclusive Growth. There's a lot happening across Stockton-on-Tees and we're looking for a driven, enthusiastic and capable leader who can see these projects through.

Today I am attending Bright Minds Big Futures' Youth Climate Coalition. This group is focussed on what we can do collectively to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. It's great to hear the opinions and views of young people in the Borough, as they're the ones that will inherit the world we're creating.

At the weekend, I look forward to relaxing with my family. Middlesbrough pulled of an emphatic 4-0 win over Preston mid-week. It'll give them surging confidence going into this weekend against northern rivals Leeds United. It's going to be a tough and enthusiastic game, with both teams hoping to leave with not only the 3 points but the bragging rights too.

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