Today I will join members of the Council’s Cabinet for a general catch-up ahead of tomorrow’s meeting. It is a special Cabinet meeting to consider a draft Council Plan for 2019-22, prior to it being submitted for approval at Full Council. We will also consider the budget for 2019/20 and the Medium Term Financial Plan for the following three years up to 2023. The budget includes a £170million investment programme for the Borough’s schools, roads, housing and schemes such as the new crematorium and leisure centre in Ingleby Barwick. Despite ongoing reductions in Government funding, we are proud to remain an ambitious Council.
Prior to Cabinet, I will meet with Paul Robinson, a Criminology Lecturer at Teesside University, to assist him with PhD research relating to Police and Crime Commissioners and Resident Consultation that he is working on. I will then meet the Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Julie Danks, for a briefing on a range of issues ahead of the next Members’ Policy Seminar.
On Friday I’m visiting the new Jubilee Gardens housing development on Norton Road. I’ll be given an updated tour of the show homes, receive a run through of the plans, and there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Councillor Eileen Johnson, the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, for a number of roads on the estate. They will be named in honour of former Council Leader, Bob Gibson OBE, and the late Stephen Smailes, who has been awarded posthumous Honorary Alderman status for serving as a councillor for nearly four decades. This is a fitting way to recognise their dedication to serving residents and their local community for so many years.
Over the weekend I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. I will be heading to the Riverside Stadium for Middlesbrough’s tie against QPR on Saturday. After a promising 1-0 victory away at Blackburn Rovers last weekend, I am hopeful the team can build some momentum as we near the business end of the season.
Members of the Council’s Cabinet will attend a pre-agenda meeting on Monday to discuss a number of items up for review ahead of our meeting on Thursday 7 March. I will then travel to Cavendish House for a private sector update meeting which will allow representatives from across the Tees Valley to discuss a series of current issues developing in the sector.
On Tuesday I’ll have an update meeting with Garry Cummings, the Council’s Director of Finance and Business Services, before travelling to Durham County Hall for the Association of North East Councils Collaborative Procurement Sub-Committee meeting.
Later that afternoon I’ll return to my office for a briefing with Margaret Waggott, Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, to discuss a number of issues within her department. I will then attend a Members’ Policy Seminar where we will receive a shareholder briefing after the official opening of Stockton’s new Hampton by Hilton hotel. We have already heard brilliant reviews from guests who have praised the modern rooms and the stunning views of the River Tees.