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19 January 2024

My first meeting this week was to help with the judging of the Star Apprentice Award as part of our Customer Service Excellence Awards. The awards are a great way of rewarding and recognising great work within the Council. I started my career as an apprentice so it's a real passion of mine to get involved specifically with the Star Apprentice Award.

On Thursday I attended the Council's corporate induction to speak to our new employees. These sessions allow me to meet our new starters from all services here, and I thoroughly enjoy meeting all the different people.

In the afternoon I attended a pre-agenda meeting for our Health and Wellbeing Board, which I Chair. The full meeting, attended by senior Council officers and partners across the Borough, is at the end of the month. Following this I met with the Deputy Leader of the Council, Lisa Evans, and the Council's Chief Executive, Mike Green, for our weekly catch up.

In the evening I attended a meeting of our Cabinet. On the busy agenda, things that we discussed included the Council's Local Plan which is up for review this year, and also our Powering Our Future programme. This programme is a transformational programme which looks to improve our services whilst also trying to meet our budget challenges.

Today, I'm attending the final meeting of a scrutiny review of our response to the Cost of Living Crisis. If you need help with the cost of living, we're here to help. You can visit the Here to Help hub to see what support is available in the Borough.

This weekend I'll be spending some time with my family and relaxing. Middlesbrough play Rotherham at home on Saturday. After an exciting comeback to beat Millwall 3-1 last weekend, we will be strong favourites to win at the Riverside. Then on Tuesday it's the second leg of the Carabao Cup where Middlesbrough will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We're travelling with a 1 goal advantage on aggregate, but it'll be tough to keep that lead. Hopefully we're on our way to Wembley!

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