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Friday 6 August

My week began with a briefing from Shona Duncan of the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) on employment, education and skills. Shona is Head of Employment, Education and Skills at TVCA and it was useful to get the update as it falls under my portfolio as a Cabinet Member at TVCA.

The Council's Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, Garry Cummings, also joined me on the call, as well as Assistant Director of Inclusive Growth and Development, Chris Renahan.

I took advantage of a quieter day in the diary on Tuesday to catch-up on some important Council paperwork.

On Wednesday I was interviewed by BBC Tees to talk about the Council's ten-year framework for tackling inequalities. This is still a work in progress, but a report was taken to Cabinet last month.

This was followed by a regular update from Garry Cummings on business and regeneration. These monthly meetings are always useful, especially given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This afternoon I will chair a meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Group (LOEG) to discuss the ongoing coronavirus developments in the Borough. There's been another encouraging drop in cases this week, but we're still asking residents to take a cautious approach and carry on protecting each other.

This will be followed by a meeting of the North East Armed Forces Health Network. As the Borough's Armed Forces Champion, I'm always keen to support in any way I can.

At the weekend I am looking forward to seeing how Middlesbrough get on in their opening game of the season against Fulham. Fulham have just come down from the Premier League, so it's a tough opening fixture. However, Neil Warnock has made some solid signings and Boro should be feeling confident.