Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

January 2019

Wednesday 30 January 2019 

This morning I joined Richard McGuckin, the Council’s Director of Economic Growth and Development, to meet representatives from Hellens Residential. Chief Executive Gavin Cordwell-Smith and Managing Director Kate Hellens provided an update on their work to date and some ongoing schemes across the Borough. Hellens Residential has more homes in Stockton-on-Tees than any other local authority in the North East. This includes 50 properties on the new Jubilee Gardens estate, and affordable homes in Carton, Yarm and Wynyard. 

A meeting of the full Council will be held tonight, where members will be consulted on Stockton-on-Tees’ Local Plan. We will also celebrate the Council’s success at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2018. Peter Smith, who worked in social care for more than 40 years, received the Gold Lifetime Achievement Award, and Caroline McCormack, Adult Safeguarding Social Worker, picked up the Silver Award in the Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker category. Staff at the LiveWell Dementia Hub were also shortlisted as finalists in the Team of the Year category. Again, my sincere congratulations and thanks to everyone involved for their hard work and dedication.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be travelling to Cavendish House for a Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet meeting. We will review the proposed budget for 2019-20 and the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the period to March 2023. There will also be an update on proposals for a new crossing for the River Tees.  

I will spend tomorrow afternoon at a meeting of the Housing and Affordable Warmth Partnership, which aims to help residents who are unable to keep warm in their homes. It is estimated 12.3 per cent of households in Stockton-on-Tees suffer from fuel poverty, which has a really negative impact on peoples’ health and wellbeing.

On Friday I will meet with the Tees Valley Council Leaders’ Group for our weekly catch-up to discuss a series of emerging and developing topics from the region.

Over the weekend I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. On Saturday I will attend a meeting regarding the Billingham International Folklore Festival (BIFF). This is a great opportunity to discuss the success of the festival over recent years, and review plans for how the popular event can be delivered in the future – especially in light of the passing of the festival’s director, Joe Maloney. Championship action returns this weekend as Middlesbrough face West Brom in a tough away tie. With just three points separating the teams in the table, I predict a hard fought match, but hopefully Boro can come out on the right side of the result.

On Monday I will meet Helen Dixon, Housing Regeneration Project Officer, who will provide an update on the exciting Norton Park housing development. Situated between Norton Village and Stockton town centre, the houses are proving very appealing to first time buyers, families and professionals alike. The project is progressing well, with a number of residents already moved into their new homes. This will be followed by my regular catch-up with the Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, and a briefing on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).

I am looking forward to joining fellow members for a guided tour of the Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Stockton on Monday afternoon. The opening is imminent, with bookings being taken for Thursday 21 February onwards. I can’t wait to see inside the modern building which boasts some really stunning river views!

Members will then attend a Cabinet pre-agenda meeting to review a number of items to be considered at the upcoming meeting on Thursday 14 February.

On Tuesday I will meet Richard McGuckin who will update me on a wide range of issues that are developing across the Borough. Paul Robinson, a Criminology Lecturer at Teesside University, is coming to Municipal Buildings as I have agreed to assist him in his PhD research relating to Police and Crime Commissioners and Resident Consultation.

A number of representatives from the Council will later meet Superintendent Alison Jackson, of Cleveland Police, who will provide an update on neighbourhood safety and policing issues. It is important to liaise with the force to understand and help address the concerns of our residents.