Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 24 April 2017

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Launch of Biz Hub, Tees Valley, Belasis Hall, Technology Park, Billingham


We were invited to cut the ribbon at the reopening of Biz Hub Tees Valley, a newly renovated business centre in Billingham. Tees Valley is making great strides in the world of international business, with more organisations launching every day and existing powerhouses seeking expansion in the region. It’s a real boost to these businesses to have workspaces readily available for them to jump in to and start succeeding.


The building was purchased out of administration and it had become tired and run down. A major refurbishment had been undertaken internally and externally, redecorating the whole building with new carpets and furniture throughout.

I am told there are over 100 offices, 75% of which are already occupied, up from 45% at the time of purchase. The building is managed 24/7 with over 200 car parking spaces, it also has line broadband providing some of the fastest internet speeds in the area. A café has been installed with freshly made produce and there is a gymnasium for tenants and free Wi-Fi for visitors.


Jim, Laura, Charlotte and Ryan – Management Team


We congratulated the management on this new business arrangement and hope that they do well for the future. If anyone is interested in office space, you can get in touch with Jim McFaden Centre Manager or Ryan Barber at [email protected] 


Thursday 27 April 2017

The Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Charity Ball at Gisborough Hall


Stockton Mayoress and Mayor. Steve Gibson, Middlesborough Football Club Owner, Redcar and Cleveland, Mayoress Olwyn Peters and Mayor Barry Hunt.


We were delighted to attended the Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Charity Ball, at Gisborough Hall, in aid of the Mayors Charities for Cotham House (for young and homeless) and Earthbeat (a group for adults with learning difficulties). We were welcomed by the Mayor Barry Hunter and Mayoress Olwyn Peters.

 At the Reception held in the Conservatory we were entertained by Charlotte Potter a fantastic young soprano with such a perfect voice.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Mr Gareth Healy who introduced us to The Samantha Holden Band with dancing until midnight. It was a great opportunity for networking, entertaining, and raising money for charity and simply having fun with friends. During the evening I met up with Steve Gibson Middlesbrough Football owner who said that he will do the best he can for the football club in the next season to come, and was positive and upbeat of doing better next year, it was a pleasure to talk with him.


The Samantha Holden Band

I also met up with Glen Durrant from Teesside, the World Masters Darts Champion, and what a nice guy he is. He’s had a meteoric rise to fame in his sport, won a host of tournaments, including The World European cups and is a three time six nations and four time British International winner. He couldn’t stay long as he was off that evening to play at a tournament in Denmark the next day. But guess what, and coincidence, we were fortunate to win one of the charity prizes of darts and dart board signed by Glen, treasures.

At the end of the evening the Mayor thanked everyone who came to the event and especially those that give generously in support of his charities, he also thanked his staff and all those who helped in making the Charity Ball a great success. 


Friday 28 April 2017

Attended the Relaunch of St Martins Woodside Grange Care Home Thornaby


With Simon Weston at Woodside Grange


We were invited to the re-launch of St Martins Care Woodside Grange Care home. The Care Home has recently undergone changes to both the staff and the management structures, with two new directors; Mandy Postle who is now Dirrector of Care, Gary Dixon who is Director of Quality and compliance and the new Registered Manager being Julia Hodgson.


Simon speaking to residents and guests of his experiences


The Care Home provides person centered care and support to people with physical, emotional and health issues; it also supports relatives and loved ones throughout the journey of residential and nursing care.

The guest speaker was Simon Weston who sustained horrific injuries during the Falklands War and gave his account of how his body was reconstructed with major surgery, the mental trauma that he went through, the many years of rehabilitation and the wonderful dedicated care that was given by a lot of people to put him on the road to recovery.  He paid a special tribute to the caring and nursing staff during hospitalisation and with a cheeky smile gave an account of an incident in an isolation ward after major surgery.

He recalled that he was encased from head to foot in bandages and cushions with wires fixed to his body, face and everywhere else, and tubes coming out of his nose, mouth and bottom, Michelin man, and couldn’t move or speak. He noted that behind a glass screen there were a couple of squaddies who were recovering from injuries in another room next to his but were playing with a football. The next thing that happened was the screen smashed to crystals and the ball passed over his head, he was covered in glass. The squaddies ran into the room, asked if he was ok ad, after no reply, pushed the ball under his bed and ran off. The duty nurse who heard the noise came into the room looked at the smashed screen, with crystal glass all over the place, looked up and down the corridors and rooms and then noticed the football under Simon's bed and with a serious expression said to Simon ‘did you do this’.

From my perspective Simon Weston is one of my super heroes, a wonderful man.

We took the opportunity to congratulate the whole staff team at Woodside for achieving ‘Good in all areas’ in the recent CQC inspection report. We are confident that they will continue to achieve good standards in care of the residents at this home, providing the best personal care and support that they can give. 


Friday 28 April 2017

The Mayor of Darlington Charity Ball at the Dolphin Centre


The Vintage Belles

We were cordially invited to the Mayors Darlington Charity Ball at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, with other dignitaries and the Lord Lieutenant of Durham. We were warmly welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress Councillors Brian and Doris Jones who were raising funds for their local charities, St Teresa’s Hospice, 700 Club (helping people with homelessness and other issues in Darlington), Breath Easy Darlington (British Lung Foundation) and the Samaritans (Darlington Branch) all worthwhile charities supporting local people.

The background theme to the Mayors Ball was Cops and Robbers, for those that knew his background, he was a serving Police Officer in Cheshire and Durham for 25 years; the theme being developed into menus and posters for the Ball by students of Darlington College and their interpretation was outstanding.

The entertainment programme was packed with musical charm to satisfy all tastes such as from the Vintage Belles, playing tunes of the 1940’s and 1950’s era, Night Shift Band covering songs through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s right up to present day, and the Ian Gee Road Show.

To help raise funds for the Mayors Charities, Design Art Students of Darlington College provide an exhibition of artwork as well as a collection of prints from their first year paintings to be sold at the Mayors Ball event, they sold a lot of prints on the day, very good.


Superb serving staff


The ball is renowned for its in-house impeccable food and service and talking to some of the guests during the evening said they were well satisfied and enjoyed the occasion tremendously.

The Mayor Brian Jones thanked the officers, caterers and serving staff for making the event a success and also thanked all those who contributed to his charities and wished them a safe journey home.


Saturday 29 April 2017

The Mayor of Gateshead Charity Ball at the Marriott Hotel Metro Centre, Gateshead


Mayoress of Gateshead and her husband Billy, with the Mayoress of Stockton


The Kelly Hendry School of Irish Dance.

We were delighted to attend the Mayor of Gateshead Charity Civic Ball and were welcomed by the Mayor Allison Iderton-Thompson and her husband Billy to assist in their charity funraising.

Their chosen charities for the year are Forward Assist; a Veteran Support Charity which provides advice, information and guidance, life changing projects and opportunities to former servicemen and women who are experiencing difficulties in adjusting to civilian life. Gateshead Carers Association; a charity helping carers living or working in the Borough of Gateshead, providing advice and information alongside practical and emotional support, tailored to each individual carer and the Northumberland Police Benevolent Fund; a charity, independent from the police force which provides practical support and assistance to Officers and their families.

 At the reception we were warmly welcomed by Northumberland Pipes played by Ednie Wilson who gave a wonderful display.

 The theme for the evening was a masquerade, most guests donned their masks until food was served, the rest of the evening was compared by BBC Radio’s comedienne and broadcaster, Sue Sweeney who made us laugh throughout. We also had live entertainment from one of the North East top show band, North Star, and a dancing interlude from The Kelly Hendry School of Irish Dancing; an amazing troupe consisting of dancers aged 5 to 21 years old who have competed within Ireland, Britain, European and World Championships, a talented bunch at it’s very best.


Live music from North Star

The Mayor Allison Iderson-Thompson thanked everyone who supported this event and promised that the funds raised would be put to the nominated charities.


Sunday 30 April 2017

The Rydale District Council Civic Service at St Gregory’s Minster in Kirkdale


St Gregory’s Minster Rydale



Sharon Gamble who nominated Wombleton Village Hall for best village hall

We had the pleasure to be invited to the Civic service at St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale by Councillor Bob Gardiner Chairman of the Ryedale District Council.

I remember St Gregory’s when I was in my teens, Youth Hostelling around this area and came across this Minster in a small dale surrounded by trees away from village or housing, a beautiful spot and well worth a visit.

The service gave the opportunity for Councillor Gardiner to assist in aid of his charity work for the year, being The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Rydale Churches Together, to which the collection would be distributed.

The sermon was delivered by The Reverend Susan Binks on topical subjects, such as poverty, riches, war and peace, a moving story. To my delight we sang a number of hymns that I remembered from my days at the Methodist Church on Yarm Road, Stockton such as: Love divine all love excelling; And did those feet in ancient times; He who would valiant be; I vow to thee my country; and the memories kept flooding back, halcyon days.

The blessing was given by the Bishop of Whitby before we retreated to the village hall in Wombleton for tea and a presentation to the best village hall in North Yorkshire, which was Wombleton. The uniqueness of this area was to give us the pleasure of a tractor parade outside the village hall, hundreds of tractors from past to present was the delight of the villagers and guests.