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Friday 11 September

It has been another busy week as the Council seeks to flatten the recent spike of coronavirus cases in the Borough. Following an increase in infections in the area, I issued a press release last Friday and this Wednesday urging everyone to continue following the guidance to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

I attended the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Education, Employment and Skills Partnership Board meeting via Microsoft Teams on Monday. It was a busy agenda which included recovery planning to respond to the impact of Covid-19 on education, employment and skills. We also discussed the Skills Report and Future Delivery Plan 2021-24.

I met virtually with our Director of Finance and Business Service, Gary Cummings, on Tuesday. We discussed business regeneration and the Council's recovery from the financial implications of Covid-19.

The Council's Director of Environment, Culture, Leisure and Events, Reuben Kench, has stood in for our Managing Director, Julie Danks, whilst she enjoys some annual leave this week. I caught up with Reuben alongside Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, on Wednesday. We met via Microsoft Teams to discuss the Council's ongoing response to coronavirus.

On Thursday I virtually joined the Local Government Association's Councillors' Briefing Day. Among the items for discussion was Covid-19 priorities and recovery for all the member councils. I later met with Cabinet Members online for an informal catch up.

Today I have attended the TVCA cabinet meeting. Among the items for discussion was an update on the Investment Plan for 2020/21.

A busy week in my diary has finished with a Local Outbreak Engagement Group meeting to discuss the spike in coronavirus cases in Stockton-on-Tees. 

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

Tonight I will be tuning in to watch Middlesbrough kick off their Championship season against Watford. I was encouraged by the attacking performance in last week's thrilling 4-3 Carabao Cup victory against Shrewsbury, but concerned by some of the defending on show. Hopefully Boro can get a positive result against a side playing Premier League football just a matter of weeks ago.