Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Wednesday 4 September 2019

This morning I met with Margaret Waggott, Assistant Director of Administration, Democratic and Electoral Services, for an update on the progress of the Peer Review which has been happening this week.

Led by the Local Government Association (LGA), it is an improvement-focussed piece of work that is designed to add value to our performance through challenge and shared learning.

A range of issues have been identified to be explored including recycling, health inequalities and driving economic growth.

We’ve been looking forward to this opportunity to learn and it’s particularly useful to gain knowledge and share best practice with our peers in local government. Keep an eye on future editions of KYiT for more updates on the outcome of the review.

I then joined Julie Danks, Interim Managing Director, and Chris Renahan, Economic Growth Manager, for a meeting with colleagues from Tees Valley Combined Authority to discuss issues relating to my Education, Employment and Skills portfolio.

A busy day continued by attending the 50th birthday celebrations at Stockton Central Library. The library has been a hub for generations of residents and it was fantastic to see some old memorabilia from times gone by and hear some great stories from the public who’ve used the library and staff who have worked there.

Tomorrow I will be meeting with Margaret again for the latest Peer Review update before joining with my fellow Cabinet members for an informal discussion on a number of emerging issues.

On Friday I will be giving a presentation and doing a lot of work around the Peer Review again before attending the launch of the new BMBF Approved scheme from our Bright Minds Big Futures group.

The new scheme sees young people from the group visiting businesses around the Borough to assess them against various criteria including the friendliness and approachability of staff. When the members are satisfied the guidelines have been met, they’re given a window sticker to display. BMBF are working on a range of initiatives, keep up to date with them at

Over the weekend I’m looking forward to spending time with my family.

I will be coming into Stockton for the Great North CityGames which has been relocated from Gateshead for the very first time. There’ll be elite athletes competing right here on the high street and I’m incredibly excited about all the day has to offer.

Beyond the professionals, we also have the Great Tees 10k, Junior and Mini races taking place on the Riverside – it’s set to be an amazing day out for families with so much on offer, I’d urge everyone to turn out and support first class sporting events like this on the doorstep.

Back to work on Monday and I travelled over to Cavendish House in Teesdale for a board briefing of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

On Tuesday I will be visiting the Virgin Media offices at Preston Farm Industrial Estate. It’ll be exciting to hear about how their business is progressing here in the Borough and to explore how we can continue to support their growth as a major employer in the area.