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Friday 18 February

My week began with a briefing from the Council's Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, Margaret Waggott.

I then held my regular catch-up alongside the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall. It's always useful to discuss any emerging issues and Council business in preparation for the week ahead.

On Tuesday I joined a session for Members which was arranged by democratic services. As part of the session I talked about my role as Leader of the Council and what it entails.

This was followed by a meeting on Wednesday of Leaders and Mayors from authorities across the Tees Valley. This takes place once a month to discuss the latest coronavirus picture in our area.

A Cabinet meeting took place on Thursday and there was a busy agenda which included looking at the Council Plan for 2022-2025 and also a report from the Independent Safety Advisory Group (ISAG).

This was then immediately followed by a Special Cabinet meeting which was to talk over the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).

Today I've taken advantage of a quieter day in the diary to catch-up with some important Council paperwork.

Tonight I am looking forward to attending the Mayor's Annual Ball, which is being held at Wynyard Hall.

At the weekend I will be keeping an eye on Middlesbrough's game against Bristol City. Boro's form under Chris Wilder's management has been outstanding and another win on Saturday will really cement their place in the play-offs.