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Friday 1 October

My week began with a report from the Council's Managing Director, Julie Danks, on 'A Fairer Stockton-on-Tees', which is looking at reducing inequalities in the Borough. This was also alongside the Council's Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall.

I then once again caught up with Councillor Beall and Julie on Monday afternoon - but this was to discuss the latest coronavirus picture in the Borough. We are continuing to keep a close eye on the infection rate in our area.

A busy day in the diary on Monday was completed with a briefing from the Council's Director of Town Centre Investments, Richard McGuckin. This was also once more alongside Councillor Beall and Julie.

It was a privilege on Tuesday to attend the official opening of the Globe Theatre, which was unveiled by the Duke of Gloucester.

On Wednesday I was delighted to be at a welcome session for the 34 new apprentices who have been hired by the Council. I was an apprentice myself many years ago, so I've got first-hand experience of the range of benefits an apprenticeship can bring. I hope the new starters all enjoy their time here at the Council.

This was followed by an update from Major Pat Ralph on the Yorkshire Regiment. This is part of my role as the Borough's Armed Forces Champion, which is an honour to have.

I took advantage of a quieter day in the diary on Thursday to catch-up with some important Council paperwork.

Today I have caught up with Siobhan McArdle, who is the Tees Valley's Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP's) chair. The LEP supports the Tees Valley Combined Authority, where I am Cabinet Member for Employment, Education and Skills.

Later this afternoon I will be attending a special event to mark 25 years of colleges within the Education Training Collective (ETC) delivering courses from the Prince's Trust. The ETC is made up of organisations including Stockton Riverside College, NETA Training Group and Redcar and Cleveland College, where the event was held.

At the weekend I am looking forward to seeing how Middlesbrough get on in their game against Hull. It's been an inconsistent start to the season, but Tuesday's victory against Sheffield United was very encouraging. Another three points on Saturday and the table will make much better reading.