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Friday 18 March

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

This was followed by my regular catch up with our Managing Director, Julie Danks, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, to discuss the week ahead and any current business.

On Tuesday I was again joined by the Deputy Leader for the first of two online catch ups this week with ward councillors. These regular updates are a useful way to share and understand any issues in councillors' patches and the wider Borough. The second was on Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon I joined a webinar with Lord Harrington, Minister for Refugees at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office. The Minister was updating council leaders, chief executives and mayors of combined authorities in England on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.   

Later I attended the Community Partnerships Big Get Together at Stockton Baptist Church, which saw all seven Community Partnerships coming together to share best practice across the Borough. 

Thursday began with one of my regular catch ups with Beccy Brown, the Council's Director of HR, Legal and Communications.

Full Cabinet met in the afternoon with a range of items to consider on the agenda, including the Council's Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Strategy.  The strategy is aimed at reducing greenhouse gases to prevent climate change and protect us all.

Today began with a regular catch up with one of the Borough's two MPs.

As chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority's Employment, Education and Skills Board (EES) this afternoon I'm due to be briefed by Shona Duncan of the TVCA ahead of the next board meeting.

This weekend I'll be spending time with my family.  I am also very much looking forward to seeing how Middlesbrough fare against Chelsea in the FA Cup Quarter Final. Boro have already claimed the scalps of two Premier League giants in the Cup and I believe there's nothing to stop us claiming a third tomorrow and progressing to the Semi Finals.