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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Leader's blog


Each week Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Council, writes a blog keeping you in touch with the very latest news.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

This morning I attended an equality and diversity session for elected members. It covered a range of topics including hate crime, community cohesion and British values, and provided valuable insights that can help us all understand the communities we serve that little bit better.

This afternoon I’ve got a meeting of Norton Primary Academy’s Council, where I’m a governor. The meetings are held once a month and see our young Academy councillors share ideas and organise events to make school a better place. I’ve also got a members’ briefing session on the Green Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

I’m attending a meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet tomorrow, where an item relating to Durham Tees Valley Airport is up for discussion. I’m then meeting Steve Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, which supports the Borough’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. It’s always good to discuss the latest developments in the sector and the work that Catalyst is doing to help strengthen it.

Later in the day I will be attending a special meeting of Cabinet in the Jim Cooke Conference Suite. We will be discussing an update to the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan and Strategy, which sets out the budget for the upcoming financial year and our overall financial position up to 2022.

The Tees Valley Council Leaders’ Group will meet on Friday morning, after which I have set time aside to catch-up on work in the office.

On Monday, I’m meeting Xentrall Shared Services Assistant Director, Ian Miles, to discuss the Xentrall Shared Services Annual Report going to People Select Committee meeting later in the day. Afterwards, I’m meeting with the Federation of Small Businesses to discuss the range of support we offer small businesses with a focus on procurement processes and how we might improve this even further.

I will then join the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, to review the items coming forward for the Cabinet meeting in March, before catching-up on more work in the office.

Tuesday gets under way with briefings from the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Managing Director, Andrew Lewis, and Head of Homes and Communities, Martin Waters. I’ll then join a panel to consider nominations for the various Mayor’s Civic Awards categories. The awards are a great reminder that we’re very lucky to have so many remarkable people and community groups in the Borough and I’m really looking forward to going through the nominations.

It’s a crunch week for Middlesbrough’s play-off hopes too, with clashes against two struggling sides providing an opportunity to break into what is proving to be an elusive top six spot. First up is a home clash with Hull City before a trip to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light for the Tees-Wear derby. Two wins will see us right back in contention.