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Friday 5 November 2021

On Monday I joined councillors and business leaders from across the country in an online roundtable organised by the Local Government Association (LGA) and Business in the Community (BITC). The session focussed on the role of business and local partnerships in regeneration schemes.

In the afternoon I joined Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, on an online call with the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks to review the items coming forward for the next Cabinet meeting on 18 November. We considered a number of update reports such as those on the Council Plan 21-24 and Council Tax reduction scheme and reviewed papers on the Inclusive Growth Fund and reshaping our town centres.

This was followed by a catch-up with Tracey Herrington from Thrive Teesside. Thrive is a Stockton-based, award-winning organisation which campaigns to improve the lives of those most in need.  It's always a pleasure to meet with local organisations and receive updates about their work across the Borough.

A busy Monday was wrapped up with a regular portfolio briefing with Shona Duncan, Head of Education, Employment and Skills at Tees Valley Combined Authority.

On Tuesday I took advantage of a quieter day in the diary to focus on some important Council paperwork.

Wednesday saw me meet with representatives from unions which represent the Council's workforce. We meet regularly to discuss issues affecting employees.  This was followed by my monthly update on business and regeneration issues across Stockton-on-Tees from Garry Cummings, Director of Finance, Development & Business Services and Chris Renahan, Assistant Director.

In the afternoon I was pleased to have my Covid-19 booster vaccination.  I would encourage anyone eligible to do the same and help protect themselves and their friends and family.

Managing Director, Julie Danks, joined me on Thursday for an online introductory meeting with John McCabe, the new Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC). I wish John well in his new post and look forward to working together in the future.

My working week ended the way it began, with a busy schedule.  I started today with a regular catch up with one of the Borough's MPs, accompanied again by Managing Director Julie Danks.

Julie and I then met with members of Catalyst, Stockton-on-Tees' umbrella body for the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise sector. This afternoon Julie and I will join Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, for an update ahead of this month's Local Outbreak and Engagement Group meeting.

At the weekend I am looking forward to spending some time with my family and seeing how Middlesbrough fare in our away game against West Brom. The Baggies are currently riding high in the Championship but some valuable away points could see us leapfrog some of our midtable rivals.