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15 March 2024

This week began with a briefing from Jonathan Nertney, Head of Democratic Services, which included an update on the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner and Tees Valley Combined Authority Mayoral Elections being held on 2 May. It is easy to register to vote and remember to check you have photo ID like a driving licence for the election - if not you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

I then had the opportunity to present for an hour on Radio Stitch, the radio station for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

On Tuesday, I attended a Civility in Public Life workshop held by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of North East Councils (ANEC). The workshop provided a useful opportunity for myself and senior members and officers from North East councils to work together to identify opportunities to tackle abuse and intimidation of councillors and improve the quality of public discourse.

Mid-week, I dialled into a pre-agenda meeting for the Health and Wellbeing Board in a couple of weeks' time, which I chair. I then met with trade union representatives.

Later in the day, I joined Eastern Ravens Trust for their Young Carers Action Day event. The charity is helping young carers launch an awareness campaign, and the event was a unique and touching opportunity to hear these remarkable young people speak about how caring impacts their lives.

Yesterday morning, I met with Mike Greene, Chief Executive, and Geraldine Brown, Head of Policy, Development and Public Affairs, to review the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Cabinet papers in advance of the meeting today.

In the afternoon, I had a catch-up with Mike and Councillor Lisa Evans, Deputy Leader. I then attended Cabinet which included discussion of the Durham Lane Industrial Estate Redevelopment and the Procurement Plan.

Today, I am joining the TVCA Cabinet meeting. A busy agenda includes an update on the transport programme, the Quarter 3 Budget Report and an update on the Medium-Term Financial Plan.

This weekend, I'm looking forward to spending some time relaxing with my family. Middlesbrough are on a three win streak, and play Blackburn on Saturday at home. This will be their last match before the international break, and it'd be great to finish with a 4-win run of results, so I've got my fingers crossed.

This will be my final Leader's Blog until after the elections as we enter the pre-election period next week. I look forward to restarting my blog in early-May.

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