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Friday 13 August

Firstly I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Borough's very own Richard Kilty for winning a silver medal in the Olympic men's 4x100m relay. I think I am not alone when I say we are all very proud of his achievements and welcome him home to Stockton-on-Tees.

This week has been relatively free of meetings and regular business due to the summer break many organisations take during August. It's been a welcome opportunity for me to catch up on work in the office.

On Tuesday I did join Councillor Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, Julie Danks, the Council's Managing Director and other senior officers in a meeting to discuss opportunities for increasing the availability of affordable housing across the Borough.

You may have seen in the media (and on social media too) that we have taken the decision to restart green waste collections from Tuesday, 17 August. Due to the number of staff self-isolating in late July we were forced to suspend this service, which we know is really valued by residents especially during the summer when people are making the most of their gardens. As you can imagine I had several briefing meetings with senior officers in the lead up to taking the decision to resume the service.

At the weekend I am looking forward to seeing how Middlesbrough will get on in their first home game of the season against Bristol City. After a very encouraging draw against Fulham last week, it would be great to really get the new campaign going with a home win.