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August 2020

28 August 2020

This week our focus remained on the early stages of our COVID-19 recovery.

On Monday I had a call with the Council’s Managing Director, Julie Danks and Chris Beck, who is Director of Business and Skills at Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA). In my role as lead Member for Employment, Education and Skills at TVCA it’s important that I’m kept updated with the latest regional developments in my portfolio.

Later that day I joined a virtual meeting of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board and Informal Cabinet where there were several items on the agenda to discuss including a number of TVCA cabinet reports. The agenda also featured an update on economic recovery from Covid-19 across the Tees Valley.

Following last week’s meeting on the Local Boundary Review 2020, on Tuesday I met with Julie Danks and Margaret Waggott, Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, who gave a further update on the review. The review is being carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and will recommend the total number of councillors that should be elected to the local authority in future, as well as the size and names of each ward boundary. The final report is due in August next year.

I then joined the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall in our regular Tuesday meeting with Julie Danks, who briefed us on the latest developments of the Corporate Management Team. These regular updates are a useful way to consider in detail any decisions that we a need to make.

That afternoon I dialled into a Teams meeting with officers from TVCA who provided an update on Employment, Education and Skills work within the authority. As we continue our recovery from the pandemic it’s vitally important that we carry on supporting people affected in this sector as best as we can.

This week I also chaired a meeting of the Local Engagement Outbreak Group (LOEG). The Group is an important part of our COVID-19 Control Plan, which sets out how we will work together with other organisations and the local community to limit the spread of the virus and help people in our Borough live their lives as normally as possible. It also challenges and supports the work of the COVID-19 Control Group, which will deliver the Control Plan, providing leadership on how we communicate and work in partnership with our communities.

After that I met virtually with Julie Danks and the Council’s Director of Town Centres Investment, Richard McGuckin, who provided a progress update on town centre developments across the Borough.

I then had my regular catch-up with Julie and and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall. We continue to meet twice weekly to discuss the Council’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

I’m looking forward to spending time with my family this weekend.

I’ve also been keeping an eye on Middlesbrough’s pre-season preparations and look forward to seeing how Boro fare against local rivals Newcastle in their upcoming friendly next week. The real business starts a week today with a Carabao Cup game against Shrewsbury Town and it would be great to kick the season off with a victory. Hopefully Neil Warnock can get a few more signings in before the campaign starts as the squad is still looking a bit short of numbers.

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