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Friday 13 May

On Monday morning I met via Teams with Julie Danks, Managing Director of the Council, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, for our regular early in the week catch up.

This was followed by an always useful Leader's briefing from the Council's Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, Margaret Waggott.

Later in the day I joined fellow Cabinet members remotely for a pre-agenda briefing on items due to be discussed at next week's full Cabinet meeting.

Tuesday saw a meeting between myself, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet members Cllrs  Ann McCoy and Lisa Evans with Sam Allen, Chief Executive designate of the soon-to-be-established Integrated Care Board (ICB) for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS). The ICS will replace Clinical Commissioning Groups across the region and this new NHS regime is now due to come into force in July.

Later I met with members of the Bright Minds Big Futures (BMBF) Big Committee for a regular update. BMBF is a national award-winning youth-led movement, working together with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to make the Borough a great place to grow up.

As Armed Forces Champion for the Borough it was my pleasure on Wednesday to join the North East Armed Forces Forum via Zoom. Among issues discussed was the Forum's ongoing work to support the Armed Forces Community and commitment to delivering the Armed Forces Covenant.

Yesterday saw an informal meeting of Cabinet members to discuss issues due to come before Cabinet in the coming weeks and months.

First thing this morning I was joined by Managing Director Julie Danks for a regular online catch up with one of the borough's two MPs.

This was followed by a virtual meeting of SIGOMA (Special Interest Groups of Municipal Authorities). SIGOMA is the collective and influential voice of 47 urban authorities in England on local government finance and funding issues, which ensures member authorities remain well-informed on Central Government policy. On the agenda were staffing issues and the Levelling Up agenda.

This afternoon the welfare of our local armed forces community will again be on the agenda at a regional meeting of the North East and North Cumbria Armed Forces Health Network.

This weekend I'm looking forward to spending time with my family.