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Friday 21 May 2021

I made the most of a slightly clearer diary at the start of this week to take the opportunity to catch up on some important Council paperwork.

On Tuesday morning I joined the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Jim Beall, to speak with Garry Cummings, Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, with a briefing update on behalf of the Managing Director, Julie Danks, who is on leave this week.

That afternoon I was virtually alongside Garry again as we joined the Council's Director of Public Health, Sarah Bowman-Abouna, for a webinar with the Local Government Association. It provided a briefing on the support that is available to contain outbreaks of COVID-19 variants of concern from the NHS Test and Trace and UK Health Security Agency, should they arise in our area.

Wednesday was spent largely with colleagues from across the Tees Valley to assess the current status of COVID-19 at our local level. These meetings are a useful opportunity for us to bring to the table the issues that are playing out within our own patches and discuss effective strategies for tackling problems as we navigate our way through the pandemic.

Yesterday there was a meeting of Cabinet in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite within Municipal Buildings. A number of reports were on the agenda including a scrutiny review from the Crime and Disorder Select Committee on personal fraud awareness, an item on the Borough's refreshed Volunteering Strategy and a Place Select Committee scrutiny review of burial provision.

This morning I joined the Deputy Leader on a call with Garry to have another discussion on various developing issues across the Council's services and response to COVID-19 as the working week drew to a close.

I'm meeting this afternoon, alongside Cllr Beall, with the MP for Stockton South, Matt Vickers, for one of our regular scheduled catch-up meetings on a variety of topics affecting the Borough's residents and businesses.