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This week got under way with a regular catch up with the Council’s Chief Executive, Neil Schneider, and Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, where we discussed a number of developing issues across the Borough.
I am looking forward to meeting Andy Nolan this afternoon. He is employed by Torus Logistical Solutions to help ex-service personnel in their transition from military to civilian employment. I will also meet one of their directors, Ian Shepherd, to discuss ways in which they provide funding, training and apprenticeships. My day will finish with a general catch up with members ahead of the Council’s Cabinet meeting tomorrow.
In the morning I will attend a special Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet meeting where leaders will decide whether to approve plans to buy back Durham Tees Valley Airport. All leaders must agree to the purchase for it to go ahead.
I will return to the office in the afternoon to host a briefing meeting with Margaret Waggott, the Council’s Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, to discuss a range of topics from within her service area. I will then attend a members’ ICT Task and Finish Group, where we will be given a follow-up on the briefing actions agreed at previous meetings.
The Council’s Cabinet meeting will be held on Thursday evening with a jam-packed agenda. It includes an update on the Targeted Action Area initiative and Stockton-on-Tees’ Local Plan which councillors will consider for adoption. We will also take time to review a programme to light up Stockton Town Hall, the Riverside and Newport Bridge for special occasions in 2019. In recent months the Council has seen a significant rise in the number of requests from the public, charities and community groups, so it’s important for us to consider a schedule for the coming year.
On Friday I will travel to Newcastle for the half-yearly meeting of the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) and North East Regional Employers' Organisation (NEREO), which supports local authorities and partner organisations in the fields of human resources, organisational development and employee relations. This will be followed by a meeting of the North East Armed Forces Forum which works to develop a strategy to maximise the help and support given to veterans and the wider community.
Over the weekend I am looking forward to spending time with my family. Middlesbrough host Newport County at the Riverside on Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Cup. I am hopeful the team will secure a win and get a much needed boost of momentum which they can carry forward for the rest of the season.
Sunday marks Holocaust Memorial Day which is a time to remember the millions of people who were murdered under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides. I will attend an open commemoration event at Stockton Central Library on Monday evening which will feature talks from a local historian and a representative from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
On Monday I will also set time aside to catch up on important Council paperwork and prepare for forthcoming meetings.
I’m travelling to Durham on Tuesday for the Association of North East Councils Collaborative Procurement Sub Committee meeting. This method has already resulted in considerable financial savings as well as improved working practices. During the meeting we will discuss ways to generate further savings.
Later in the day I will return to Stockton for a Members’ Policy Seminar to receive an update on community cohesion and education across Stockton-on-Tees. This will be followed by a meeting of Stockton Youth Assembly, where young people aged 11 to 19 have a chance to air their views which ultimately help to shape local services.