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Friday 8 October

This week got underway with a meeting via Microsoft Teams of Cabinet pre-agenda in advance of the full meeting scheduled for Thursday 14 October. Alongside fellow Cabinet Members there was a look ahead to the annual update on our Armed Forces Covenant work, the A Fairer Stockton-on-Tees strategic framework to reduce inequalities in the Borough and the Adult Social Care Strategy 2021-25.

On Tuesday I attended a governing body meeting at Billingham South Community Primary School. It was good to be back at the school which has a fantastic set of teachers, staff and pupils. We considered the status of several ongoing developments at the school and planned out some activity to be completed in the coming weeks.

In the middle of the week, I received my monthly briefing update from Garry Cummings, Director of Finance, Development and Business Services, and Chris Renahan, Assistant Director of Inclusive Growth and Development, on a number of business and regeneration schemes that we're working on.

On Thursday I again met remotely with colleagues from the Cabinet to discuss a few developments that are making their way through the procedural system of the local authority.

Earlier today I joined the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, for a catch-up meeting with Jamie McCann, Director of Community Services, who is deputising for Julie Danks, Managing Director, during her week of leave. It was a useful opportunity to recap on some situations that emerged in the past few days and agree any necessary decisions ahead of Julie's return to work on Monday.

Corporate Parenting Board then convened in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite. When a child comes into care, we as the Council become their 'corporate parent' which means we have a collective responsibility for providing the best possible care and safeguarding for the young people who are looked after by us.

This afternoon I'll be attending the Leaders and Elected Mayors Group of the Association of North East Councils to consider a range of issues that are progressing across the region.

The working week will draw to a close with a meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Group which considers COVID-19 matters in Stockton-on-Tees including a focus on our case numbers and the progress of the vaccination rollout in our area among other things.

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

There's no Middlesbrough game this weekend and instead I am looking forward to being part of the official opening of IB Leisure in Ingleby Barwick. We're being joined by one of Britain's greatest Paralympians, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE, who will take a tour of the fantastic facilities before unveiling a special plaque to mark the occasion.