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Friday 11 June 2021

It has been a busy week for me, which began with a meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Employment Education and Skills Partnership Board. There were a range of items up for discussion, including updates from Jobcentre Plus and North East Chamber of Commerce.

It was interesting to meet with the Chief Inspector of Cleveland Police, Chris Smiles, and Superintendent Sharon Cooney on Tuesday. This was alongside our Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, and Cabinet Member for Access, Communities and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson. The Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Director of Community Services and Transport, Jamie McCann, were also in attendance as we discussed tackling crime in the Borough.

I then caught up with Councillor Beall and Julie Danks to discuss the latest coronavirus developments in the Borough and also more 'normal' Council business.

On Wednesday I caught up with other political group leaders alongside the Council's Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, Margaret Waggott. This was to discuss the ward boundary changes currently being proposed by the Boundary Commission.

I then joined Stockton Children's Book of the Year 2021 via Teams, which was hosted by our libraries team. There were prizes on offer for school children who wrote the best book reviews, as well as the authors themselves.

A busy day on Wednesday ended with a meeting of Norton Community Partnership. Among the items on the agenda was Norton Green Project and Norton Clean Up Your Act.

I met with Julie Danks on Thursday and it was interesting to talk through the Council Plan for 2021/22.

This was then followed by another meeting alongside Julie as we met up with Leon Jones, who is Managing Director at Tees Active. We talked about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and how Tees Active are moving forward now restrictions have been eased.

Today I have again caught up with Julie Danks and Councillor Beall as usual to discuss the current coronavirus picture in the Borough. This will then be followed by the Local Outbreak Engagement Group (LOEG) meeting where case numbers and the Council's coronavirus communications will be discussed in further detail.

At the weekend I am looking forward to watching England's opening game of the European Championships against Croatia. It was the same opponent who knocked England out of the World Cup in 2018 and it would be great to get some revenge by kicking off the tournament with a win.