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14 October 2022

This week began with a regular catch up between me, the Deputy Leader, Councillor Lisa Evans, and our Managing Director, Julie Danks. Among the things we discussed was the transition and handover between Julie and our incoming Managing Director, Mike Greene who is joining us next month.

On Tuesday I visited the Stockton-on-Tees charity Keep the Dream Alive, and met with David Coxon, Project Officer. The charity works with young people across the Tees Valley, building positive relationships through sport and other activities. It was inspiring to see some of the good work happening in the thriving voluntary, community and social enterprise sector of Stockton-on-Tees.

In the afternoon I was invited to meet the Cook Islands' men's rugby team ahead of the UK hosting the Rugby League World Cup. I joined other senior leaders from across the Tees Valley in celebrating the Tees Valley hosting its first World Cup game since 1966.

On Wednesday I had a briefing on the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSSCP) from the Council's Director of Children's Services, Martin Gray.

I visited the Globe Theatre on Thursday morning for Stockton Riverside College's graduation ceremony. We are very fortunate to have such a good college in the Borough, which provides many of our young people and adult learners with first class opportunities to  help them towards achieving their ambitions for the future. I was delighted to be part of the students' big day and celebrate with them.

In the afternoon I attended a full Cabinet meeting with a number of items on the agenda including an update on our investment strategy for schools, SEN and early years services, school performance and a paper about  how we intend to improve recruitment and retention in the care sector.

Today I am taking the opportunity to catch up on admin and paperwork after a busy week.

At the weekend I am looking forward to spending some time with my family. Middlesbrough had a tough outing last weekend losing to Millwall, which took us dangerously close to the relegation zone. I'll be closely watching our home match against Blackburn Rovers this weekend to see if we can claw back some points and move up the table.