Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Friday 7 February 2020

On Monday I joined the Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall for a regular catch-up with the Council’s Managing Director, Julie Danks. Our fortnightly meetings are a useful way to stay updated on the latest Council and Borough-wide issues.

Straight after that I went into a meeting about the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) with Julie. It’s the time of year when we head into the MTFP so it is really important that we get the detail right.

That afternoon I popped in to visit the staff and volunteers at Teesside Dementia Link Services. The charity is based at Stockton Parish Church and offers support to dementia sufferers and their carers through support groups, activities and social events. It was good to meet them and find out more about the work they do to help people across in Stockton-on-Tees affected by dementia.

I travelled to Durham on Tuesday morning to attend a meeting of the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) Sub-Committee. NEPO works in partnership with the twelve North East Local Authorities to secure quality services and goods which are good value for money. During the meeting we reviewed the organisation’s performance and discussed issues facing the region, such as fuel poverty.

On Wednesday, Members met with senior officers to consider the reports which will be going through to the Cabinet meeting later this month.

This week I also met with the Council’s Director of Economic Growth and Development, Richard McGuckin who updated me on a range of issues that are developing across the Borough. I then attended a special virtual reality (VR) viewing of the Globe on Thursday afternoon. It was a really interesting session which gave Members and officers a digital 360-degree impression of what the Globe will look like once complete.

I travelled to Middlesbrough this morning to attend a round table meeting with representatives from Network Rail and other the Tees Valley local authorities, which was a good opportunity to discuss future rail service priorities for our Borough and wider Tees Valley region.

I’m delighted to attend the Mayor’s Charity Civic Ball later this evening. The annual event will help to raise awareness and funds for the Mayor, Councillor Lynn Hall’s chosen charities, which this year are the Mayor’s Benevolent Fund, the Great North Air Ambulance and NeoAngels, which supports families of premature and sick babies at North Tees and South Tees Hospitals. It’s always a well-attended evening.

Over the weekend I am looking forward to spending time with my family.  Middlesbrough face a tricky looking contest away at Brentford on Saturday. The Bees are flying high in the table in fifth position and have won three of their last five games so it looks a tall order for Boro on paper. Peculiarly, Brentford have lost as many as ten matches so far this season but have conceded the fewest goals in the entire league, leaking just 23 in 30 games. Fingers crossed for a solid away showing.