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Friday 4 March

A busy day began with a meeting with Julie Danks, the Managing Director of the Council, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, for our regular catch up early in the week. It's always a useful way to discuss emerging issues and plan forthcoming business and the week ahead.

This was immediately followed by a briefing from Julie on items due to come before Cabinet later this month.  

The three of us then reviewed the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) papers ahead of the meeting later that day.

Finally Julie gave me a useful monthly update on the Council's town centre plans.

Later in the afternoon I joined the meeting of the TVCA LEP at Cavendish House. The LEP supports the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority by working with the wider business community and other partners to create growth, investment and jobs in the area. Items discussed included an Environment Agency update and an Annual Performance Review.

On Tuesday morning I attended a pre-meeting of the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) Collaborative Procurement Sub-committee. NEPO works in partnership with the twelve North East Local Authorities to secure quality services and goods which are good value for money. We discussed issues on the agenda for next week's full meeting, including budgets for the next two years.

Bright Minds Big Futures' (BMBF) Big Committee met on Tuesday evening. BMBF is  Stockton-on-Tees' youth led movement which works closely with the Council. It was good to hear what the committee have been up to since the last time we met. 

On Wednesday I met with Gary Cummings via Microsoft Teams for my monthly update on business regeneration in the Borough.

Then on Thursday it was a pleasure to give a talk about my role as Leader of the Council to a meeting of the Council's adult social care managers. I was joined by Councillor Ann McCoy, who discussed her role as portfolio holder for adult services.  These talks are an excellent opportunity for officers in the authority to learn more about elected members' different roles.

Today began with a catch up with Guru Naidoo and Jon Carling from Catalyst Stockton, Stockton-on-Tees' umbrella body for the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise sector. 

This was followed by regular online catch up with one of the borough's two MPs, accompanied by Deputy Leader Councillor Jim Beall.

This weekend I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and seeing how Middlesbrough fare against Luton following our dramatic midweek win against Tottenham which has seen us through to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.