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Friday 21 August

Our response to the challenges and impact of COVID-19 has continued this week as we focus on the early stages of our vitally important recovery work.

After catching up on Council business in general on Monday, I met with Margaret Waggott, Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, via Microsoft Teams to review the progress of the Local Boundary Review 2020.

It's being carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as the last review in our area happened in 2003. It will recommend the total number of councillors that should be elected to the local authority in future and the size and names of each ward boundary. The final report is due in August next year but it was a useful opportunity to catch up on the work completed to date.

Then alongside the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, we held our regular Tuesday meeting with the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks. She will brief us on the latest discussions of the Corporate Management Team before we go on to consider in detail any decisions that need to be taken.

I took the opportunity of a lighter diary in the middle of week to move forward some Council business and projects I am working on.

Again today I joined the Deputy Leader to catch up with Julie Danks to review the developments that CMT have reported throughout the week and take any necessary action.

Julie then led a teleconference for all of the full and assistant Cabinet Members on the Council's latest position in regard to COVID-19 and its work on recovery as business moves towards 'the new normal'.

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

I'd like to take this chance to thank you all again for your dedication and commitment in working throughout these testing times. Please maintain your social distancing so we can ensure the infection rate in Stockton-on-Tees stays low and we can avoid the local lockdowns we have seen elsewhere in the country.