Friday 28 January
A quieter start to the week than usual gave me the welcome opportunity to catch up on some office work on Monday.
Then on Tuesday I had a useful Microsoft Teams briefing from the Council's Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, Margaret Waggott, on the Council's Forward Plan. The Plan contains all decisions expected to be made by the Council through its Cabinet Members, as well as key decisions to be taken by officers, in the weeks and months ahead.
I then joined a Members briefing session, which was held remotely. There were a few items on the agenda, including updates on Tees Valley Combined Authority, Cleveland Fire Brigade and Thirteen Housing Group.
On the evening I attended a meeting of the Ropner Trust, of which I am a trustee. Since 1996 the charity has granted over £1 million to help promote the education (social and physical) of people aged 25 and under, and has made grants available to groups and projects for the general benefit of the Borough's residents.
Wednesday began with the monthly meeting of the Tees Valley Leaders, via Microsoft Teams.
In the afternoon I was joined by Deputy Leader Jim Beall for the first of five online catch-ups this week with ward councillors from the Borough. These regular updates are a useful way to share and understand any issues in councillors' patches and the wider Borough.
Later on the Deputy Leader and I joined the Council's Managing Director Julie Danks to review the Tees Valley Combined Authority's (TVCA) Cabinet papers ahead of today's meeting.
On the evening full Council met at the Tabernacle. During the busy meeting there were questions from both the public and Members and several motions were also considered.
On Thursday I met virtually with Gary Cummings, the Council's Director of Finance, Development & Business Services, for a useful monthly update on the Council's town centre plans.
Then in the afternoon I took part in a Q&A event with Teesside Churches along with the elected Mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston, at the Destiny Centre in Norton.
This morning I joined other Tees Valley council leaders and the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen for a Pre-Cabinet meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA). This was followed by the full TVCA Cabinet meeting where we discussed a range of issues including investment plans and budgets for 2022-23.
This weekend I am looking forward to spending time with family and seeing how Middlesbrough fare at home against Coventry. Hopefully we can bounce back from our disappointing defeat to Blackburn on Monday and get back to winning ways.