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27 January 2023

The week began with a quieter day to catch up with important paperwork. I also attended a meeting with other senior members of the Council to discuss forward planning for the year ahead.

On Tuesday I had an update meeting for the upcoming district (local) and parish election to be held on Thursday 4 May. As this election is the first to require voter ID, it was good to hear how the Borough is preparing for this and helping our residents apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if they don't have an eligible form of photo ID.

Wednesday was a busy day full of meetings. I attended the City Regions Board in the morning, followed immediately by a Tees Valley Leaders' meeting, where leaders of each of the Local Authorities in the Tees Valley come together to network and share plans.

I joined the Health and Wellbeing Board in the afternoon, which I chair. I was briefed on a number of important partnerships and strategies that support the Borough's health and wellbeing strategy.

There was a full Council meeting in the evening. Council is always a good opportunity to bring members together to discuss important matters, and the meeting included a presentation by the Association of Electoral Administrators.

On Thursday, I attended safeguarding training. This is part of my role as a school governor, and it's essential that we are trained to recognize any signs or indicators of abuse or neglect.

Then on Friday, I attended the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet. The meeting was full of promising updates including the Tees Valley Net Zero Strategy.

I also joined the Holocaust Memorial Day event at Stockton Central Library. It gave an important opportunity for reflection and to remember the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust, and in more recent times, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

This weekend I will be relaxing with my family. Middlesbrough suffered a devastating loss in a local derby against Sunderland last weekend after Dael Fry received a red card early in the second half. This weekend we face a tough test against Watford who sit in third place, however I'm hoping that we can cause an upset and walk away with three points or at least a draw to stay in the promotion spots.