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Friday 23 September

On Tuesday I travelled to Durham for the inaugural meeting of the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). ICPs bring together a broad alliance of partners concerned with improving the care, health and wellbeing of the local population. The ICP is responsible for producing an integrated care strategy, and at the meeting we discussed the social and economic outlook for the North East and North Cumbria and the challenges and opportunities, and how to progress the strategy.

Later I joined the North East Regional Employers' Organisation (NEREO) Executive Committee via Microsoft Teams. NEREO's function is to support local authorities and partner organisations in the fields of human resources, organisational development and employee relations. 

Wednesday began with the first of several catch ups with ward councillors this week. Deputy Leader Councillor Lisa Evans joined me at the regular meetings, which are a useful way to share and understand any issues in councillors' patches and the wider Borough.

This was followed by a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite.

Full Council was held in the evening at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle, which saw members coming together to show their support of next month's Show Racism the Red Card Day. Ahead of regular business we also held a minute's silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Yesterday saw an online Cabinet briefing for myself and Deputy Leader Councillor Evans from the Council's Head of Democratic Services Jonathan Nertney.

Later Councillor Evans and I had a catch up with Mike Greene, who takes over from Julie Danks as Managing Director when she retires next year.

Today I'm attending a Bright Lights graduation ceremony at Teesside Park. Teesside Park has been running the Bright Lights youth employment programme, in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, for a number of years, working with local young people, aged 18-24, to prepare them for a career in retail and hospitality. The programme has been hugely successful in helping young people secure jobs on the Park, with some still working there several years after completing the programme.

This evening I'll be attending BBC Radio Tees Make A Difference Awards at the Riverside Stadium.

This weekend I'm looking forward to spending time with family and seeing how England perform in their last two matches before November's World Cup. England wobbled in their last few Nations League games, and both Italy and Germany will be tough opponents. Hopefully two good results will boost the teams confidence ahead of Qatar.