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Friday 4 September

It is hard to believe it is now almost six months since the first coronavirus restrictions were put in place across the country. From then on, my diary has been filled with the Council's response to Covid-19 and this week has been no exception.

I enjoyed my day off on Bank Holiday Monday and then had my regular meeting with our Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, on Tuesday. We continue to meet twice weekly via Microsoft Teams to discuss the Council's ongoing response to coronavirus.

Later on Tuesday I had a joint Cabinet and Corporate Management Team briefing meeting. Amongst a busy agenda was the Council Plan, an update on our town centre plans, and the Local Government Boundary Review.

I met virtually with our Director of Finance and Business Service, Gary Cummings, and Inclusive Growth, Planning and Development Manager, Chris Renahan, on Wednesday. We discussed business regeneration and the recovery from the financial implications of Covid-19.

It was interesting to meet online with Cleveland Police's Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin and Superintendent Sharon Cooney on Wednesday. This was alongside the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Director of Community Services, Jamie McCann. There was lots to discuss, including the neighbourhood policing model and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.

My second weekly catch up with our Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, took place on Thursday.

Over the weekend I am looking forward to spending time with my family.

I was very impressed with Middlesbrough's 5-1 friendly victory against Newcastle earlier in the week and I am looking forward to following the game against Shrewsbury Town in the Carabao Cup tonight. Although the team's main focus will be the league, I would love to see Boro put a bit of a cup run together. Hopefully that will start tonight.