Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Leader's blog

leader

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

Wednesday 23 October

This morning I met with Sam Dixon, Housing Regeneration and Investment Manager, to take a tour of the new affordable housing developments across the Borough including the Alma Street (Stockton), Norton Park, West End Gardens (Stockton) and Mandale Park (Thornaby) sites.

During the afternoon I’ll be making the most of an opportunity to catch up on some important Council paperwork in my office.

On Thursday I’m looking forward to a busy day which will begin at MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), where leaders from the Tees Valley will join together to discuss cultural activity across the area.

This will be followed by a meeting between Cabinet Members and the Council’s Corporate Management Team (CMT) as we review a number of items making their way through to meetings of Cabinet and Council over the coming months.

On Friday I will be over at Cavendish House in Teesdale for both a pre-meeting and full meeting of Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA)’s Cabinet. There’s a busy agenda to be worked through including items on an investment plan for the area, Demand Responsive Transport and the Residual Municipal Waste Treatment Project.

Over the weekend I am looking forward to spending time with my family.

Middlesbrough face off against Fulham on Saturday afternoon at the Riverside Stadium. Despite a somewhat improved display against West Brom last weekend, our lack of goals came back to haunt us before we went down to a 1-0 defeat to Slaven Bilic’s side. Well touted before the season kicked off, Fulham have flattered to deceive of late but there’s a lot of quality in their side so I think Boro will be really up against it. We live in hope, however, so fingers crossed that Woodgate’s men can get a result.

Back to work on Monday and I’ll be joining Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, to meet the Council’s Managing Director, Julie Danks. This is our weekly update meeting where we focus on a variety of issues and projects that are developing right across the Borough.

I’ll then be in a discussion considering the future of our town centres. We recently asked residents for their views to help us formulate our bid to the Future High Streets Fund. We’re looking forward to seeing what opinions have been received in the consultation and mapping out the best way forward to ensure our towns continue to thrive in the years to come.

Nichola Shelley, from the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), will then call me to discuss matters from the Collaborative Procurement Sub-Committee of which I am a member. NEPO undertakes high-value procurement in major strategic areas of spend in conjunction with local authorities across the North East.

On Tuesday, I am really looking forward to visiting Wessex House in Stockton to meet staff and service users from our Learning Disability, Adult Mental Health and Older Person Mental Health teams. These visits are fantastic as they allow me to see first-hand the incredible passion, commitment and energy that goes on day-in, day-out in the Borough in our social care settings.

Further work will be done that afternoon relating to my Education, Employment and Skills portfolio responsibility with TVCA. I’m enjoying working with a number of colleagues on identifying the skills demand exists in the Borough and how we can help to bridge any gaps in provision.

A busy day will draw to a conclusion when I meet the Ropner Trust on Stockton’s Silver Street. We’ll be considering the group’s latest financial statement before reviewing a number of applications they’ve received for grant funding. Since 1996 the trust has granted £945,000 to help promote education (social and physical) of people aged 25 and under from across the Borough.