Friday 17 January 2020
My week started with a visit to the Watersports Centre where I joined the Communications, Consultation and Engagement team on their away day. I’m taking the opportunity to visit service areas across the Council so it was good to spend some time with the team and learn more about what they each do.
I then had a regular meeting with the Council’s Managing Director, Julie Danks, who provided an update on the redevelopment of Stockton town centre. The Council also recently launched consultations on the future of the Borough’s town centres and high streets so I would encourage everyone to have their say by completing the surveys online at www.stockton.gov.uk/towncentres or by picking up a hard copy from any of our branch libraries.
On Monday afternoon I met with officers from Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to catch up on the work being done across the Education, Employment and Skills remit. I lead this portfolio for the combined authority so it’s important that I stay up to date with the latest developments.
Straight after that I went to the Jim Cooke Conference Suite for Cabinet Pre-Agenda before the items are considered by Members at next Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.
This week I also enjoyed attending the annual Corporate Parenting Event on Tuesday with young people and adults from Stockton-on-Tees’ Children in Care Council (CiCC). They gave an interesting presentation on all the hard work they have been doing over the past year to support looked after children and we also discussed other support services for children in our care.
On Wednesday morning I had a quarterly update meeting with colleagues from our ICT service, Xentrall, followed by a meeting with the Council’s Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, Margaret Waggott, to catch up on some Council business.
In the afternoon I attended a Planning Committee meeting and returned to the Jim Cooke Suite later that day to attend a drop-in session about the two Local Plan Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) on which the Council is undertaking a consultation. The SPDs are guidance documents which provide further detail and are intended to help understand how the relevant policies in the Council’s Local Plan will be applied. To view the documents in full and comment, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/consultations.
I’m looking forward to spending this morning with the legal team as part of my scheduled visits to the Council’s service areas.
After that I will be travelling to Durham for a meeting of the region’s Leaders and Mayors. There’s a busy agenda of items to discuss including the latest Brexit developments and provisional Local Government Finance settlement.
At the weekend I will be spending some quality time with my family as well as watching Boro play Fulham. Middlesbrough are under the TV lights when they travel to Craven Cottage to take them on in the Championship on Friday night. The team’s brilliant recent run of form will come under pressure against a side who are still fighting for automatic promotion. Fingers crossed for a positive showing.