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Friday 7 August

After catching-up on my correspondence on Monday, I met virtually with our Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, Garry Cummings, on Tuesday to discuss developments relating to businesses and regeneration in the Borough. I then had my regular catch-up with our Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall. We continue to meet twice weekly to discuss the Council's ongoing response to COVID-19.

I joined an LGA Creative Places seminar on Wednesday. This virtual event saw local government representatives from across the country come together to take a look at how we can support our local creative economy and the importance of creativity as we respond to all manner of challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change.

I chaired the first meeting of our Local Outbreak Engagement Group (LOEG) yesterday. The Group is an important part of our COVID-19 Control Plan, which sets out how we will work together with other organisations and the local community to limit the spread of the virus and help people in our Borough live their lives as normally as possible. The LOEG will challenge and support the work of the COVID-19 Control Group, which will deliver the Control Plan, providing leadership on how we communicate and work in partnership with our communities.

I then joined one of the tours around the new IB Leisure facility in Ingleby Barwick ahead of its opening on Monday. It's an incredibly impressive facility and there's been huge interest in it from the residents of Ingleby Barwick and beyond. It's got two swimming pools, a gym, fitness class studios, a cycling studio and a soft play area, as well as a brand new library. It's going to be a great hub for Ingleby Barwick and it's yet another example of our commitment to investing in our town centres across the Borough.

I attended a meeting of our Corporate Parenting Board this morning, where we considered a number of items including Adoption Tees Valley's annual report as well as updates on services for children in our care and the Borough's Virtual School. Our role as 'Corporate Parent' to children in our care is one every elected member takes very seriously and we're always keen to keep a close eye on developments to make sure we're providing all the support and guidance they need. I then had my weekly end of week meeting with our Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall.