Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 12 February 2018

Thursday 15 February 2018

Attended the opening of the new Lidl Store on Junction Road, Stockton on Tees


Welcoming everyone to the new Lidl


Cutting the ribbon

On a bright but bitterly cold day st 7.30 in the morning we met up with Steven Wilson Store Manager for the opening of the Lidl Store on Junction Road, in Stockton. As the opening time was to be at 8am we had enough time to look around the store to see what delights were on offer for the local residents to purchase. We were told by Steve that the store layout was exactly the same as the Lidl Store in Yarm Road in the Preston area. The shelves were well laid out with plenty of space to manoeuvre around; the produce always seemed to be first class, and the smell from the bakery you could die for. 

At the opening I wished everyone a good morning and thanked them for turning out so early on this bitter cold day. As Mayor I was honoured to be at this official opening of the new Lidl store in Junction Road Stockton. This store opening shows the company’s commitment to our area and is generating up to 40 new jobs for the local people in Stockton.

By cutting the ribbon across the doorway entrance it was a delight to official open the store. Laraine the Mayoress was given the honour of being the first customer to buy something from the store and the receipt showed that it was the first ever purchase as it showed 01. 

We thanked Steven for the invitation to open the store, and wish him well for the future success of Lidl’s.


Laraine - first ever purchase at the Lidl store.


Friday 16 February 2018

The Mayor hosted the Charity Dinner Dance at The Grand Marquee, Wynyard Hall, in Wynyard, Stockton on Tees



It was a pleasure to see some of our International Study students at the Ball

What a fantastic night we had at our Mayor’s Charity Ball, It was a fabulous venue which Laraine and had been were looking forward to throughout the year. It was also a pleasure to meet up with a lot of other civics on this occasion especially the Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon and her husband Keith who said they had a wonderful time.

I started off by welcoming everyone to the ball, and thanked them for their support especially in aid of the Mayors Charities and in making the time to be there on the night. All the monies raised on the evening will go to Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Care, Meningitis Now, and Motor Neurone Disease Association. We had the charity representatives with us on the evening and encouraged anybody to talk to them for further information if they wished. I thanked all the generous businesses, and individuals, who had kindly donated a variety of prizes, and pledged funding for the wonderful charities. We had the pleasure of the Reverend Martin Anderson and his wife sitting at our table and asked him to say grace before we tucked into our meal. And from me it was Bon Appetite and Omlowen dha bos as they say in Cornish, and wished everyone a very enjoyable time and a lucky evening for some.

The dinner and service provided by Wynyard Hall catering was of excellent quality, and my thanks go out to the head chef and Sir John Hall for the superb fare. 

After the dinner we had a selection of events for anyone who wished to participate. We had Live Auction Bids with eight great offers, including (using a Mercedes Benz Convertible for a weekend, contemporary print and an illustration by talented artists), a silent Auction Bid with six offers, including (a round of golf at Teesside Golf Club also a round of golf at Wynyard Hall four ball), Raffle tickets were on sale throughout the evening with over 40 prizes to be won, there was also an envelope draw with six great items on offer and lastly a Tombola ongoing throughout the evening with over 100 items in the mix. What a selection.

From the Tombola prizes to the fantastic selection listed in the booklets on the tables – there was something for everyone, and the guests didn’t disappoint with their donations on the night.

During the evening we were compared by Joe Lawson who ran a splendid show. We also had some wonderful entertainment for everyone with the Anna Reay Band playing music that most people could dance or listen to and at intervals we played Disco music in order for the band to wet their whistle.

On behalf of our charities it gave me great pleasure to receive a cheque from Jas Lang, SBC Chief Exec Secretary, for the Mayors Charity Golf Day. All monies will be pooled at the end of the Mayoral year. We thanked all the teams that took part and played at Wynyard and contributed on that sunny day in June. It was a pleasure to thank Jas for doing a great job in organising this year’s Golf Day event and raising £7,000, and presented her with gift voucher as an appreciation of her commitment.

I thanked Sir John Hall and his team for kindly loaning their facilities to us, enabling the show to go ahead in splendid surroundings. 

Now we mustn’t forget about some of the most important people who have organised this wonderful event, our very own Democratic Service team, and it was a huge thank you to, Margaret Waggot, Michelle Jones, Nigel Hart, Jenna, Stuart, Adele, John our formula 1 Driver, including Jo Fryatt, Viv Heward and Jill Young who also came along to help out.


Our very own Conservative Council Members team in good support


Laraine’s friends from her Zumba group, in Grays Road, Stockton



Lord Lieutenant Sue Snowdon with the Rev Martin Anderson and his wife enjoying the evening’s interlude


Sunday 18 February 2018

Attended the Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Tees Valley Chinese Community Centre Middlesbrough


It was a great pleasure to be invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Lucky Dog and it was with great thanks to Mrs Kew Lim and the Chinese community for making us welcome to Harmony House.

Stockton has enjoyed a long and deep relationship with the Chinese Community on Teesside since 1950’s, I know that a Chinese school was established in 1967 and the number of pupils have grown since then. That shows the long presence of the Chinese community in the Tees Valley which has contributed significantly to the economic and cultural development of the area.

This year we celebrate 10 years of the opening of the Chinese centre at this location, known as Harmony House. This place has provided people with a local facility to enable the local community and not just the Chinese to meet, educate the children in the Chinese language, and participate in health lifestyle activities, including Tai Chi exercises, Line Dancing and Learning Computing for the elders.  I wished them well and their activities to prosper in the New Year and beyond.

As the Mayor of Stockton on Tees, I welcome the Chinese contribution to the local area; In particular, I look forward to their help and partnership in fostering economic and trading opportunities with China. 


With Chinese friends but the gentlemen sitting on my left is 105, he said his longevity was due to having a happy life



These ladies sang traditional Chinese songs


Traditional Chinese dancing



With the Tai Chi ladies


With traditional dress but the gentleman with the beard kept sticking part of his hat in my ear

We thoroughly enjoyed the superb eight course banquet which was prepared by a well-known local Chinese Restaurant, it was delicious. During the afternoon we were entertained by a group of pupils from a Chinese School with traditional dancing and a ladies group performing Chi Tai, with several other interludes of Chinese traditional folk dancing and singing.

Throughout the evening we also had a raffle that seemed to go on forever with a never ending of gifts to be drawn; I was asked to draw a few raffle tickets with prizes of up to £100 pounds. The proceeds of the raffle will go towards the North East Chinese School.

Finally we thanked our Chinese friends for a wonderful time and giving us a very warm welcome into their community it was a real pleasure meeting everybody especially the gentleman who is almost 105 years old and asked him what contributed to his longevity; as best he could in broken English said being happy all the time and smiling.


Koong Hay Fat Choy



Laraine receiving a bunch of flowers for the occasion