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Leader's blog

Each week Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, writes a blog keeping you in touch with the very latest news.

Friday 19 July 2024

A busy week began with a meeting in preparation of the visit of Mark Riddell MBE, National Implementation Adviser for Care Leavers at the Department of Education. Mike Green, Chief Executive, Councillor Lisa Evans, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and I welcomed Mark on Monday and Tuesday to review the Council's Care Leavers service.

I then had my regular catch-up with Mike and Councillor Evans where we discussed the agenda for the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) Cabinet meeting on Friday. I then met with Councillor Pauline Beall, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, to discuss updates for her area.

On Tuesday morning, I joined Mike and other senior members of the Council to meet with Mark Riddell MBE and discuss the Council's Care Leavers initiatives, as well as progress made from our last Ofsted visit.

Following this, I attended a briefing from Jonathan Nertney, Head of Democratic Services, for updates regarding our democratic, scrutiny and electoral services. I then had a call with Shona Duncan, Head of Business Solutions at TVCA, to catch up about the Adult Skills paper in advance of Friday's Cabinet meeting.

In the afternoon, I joined the General Licensing Committee, before attending a briefing alongside other senior Council members in advance of Cabinet on Wednesday evening.

Midweek I met with Councillor Evans, Majella McCarthy, Director of Children's Services, and other staff members of Children's Services to discuss feedback and recommendations following the visit of Mark Riddell MBE. I then had a catch-up with Keith Matthews, Countryside and Green Space Programme Officer, to discuss one of our newer play areas in Norton South.

Yesterday morning I gave a presentation at the Employee Induction Welcome Session. I enjoy attending the sessions, as they are a great way to meet new staff and welcome them to the Council.

Later in the day, I attended Cabinet where a busy agenda included the ambitious Central Stockton and North Thornaby Blueprint, the Anti-Poverty Strategy, and the school term and holiday dates for 2025 to 2026.

Today, I am joining the TVCA Cabinet meeting. Another full agenda includes an update from the Tees Valley Mayor, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report, and an update on the Tees Valley Investment Zone.

This weekend I will be spending some time with my family. England lost the final of the Euros 2-1 to Spain last weekend. Spain were the better team, and have been admirable all tournament, but it is still difficult to concede an 86th-minute goal. The following resignation of Gareth Southgate marks a new era for English football, and I'm excited to see who takes the reins.

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