Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 17 July 2017

Monday 17 July 2017

Attended Teesside University Academic Awards Ceremony at the Curve Building Middlesbrough


The Curve Teesside University


Parading to Olympia Building with members of the University’s Executive Team


I was delighted to be invited to Teesside University’s Graduation Ceremony on 17 July 2017. After meeting up on the third floor of the Curve Building I was presented to the members of the University’s Executive Team for an informal chat about the ceremony and the day’s events, and got my agenda for proceedings. After robing we formed a procession and walked to the Olympia Building were we were greeted by graduates ready for the ceremony to begin.

Eleven ceremonies are held at Teesside University from Monday 17 July to Friday 21 July 2017, selecting different categories on each day from School of Science and Engineering on the Monday to School of Social Services and Business Law on the Friday. 


With graduates after the ceremony with awarded degrees.

I chose to attend the Monday Ceremony where degrees were being awarded to students of the School of Science and Engineering, the subject that I was familiar with and also it was at the pre University status of Constantine College that I eventually became a Chartered Civil Engineer way back. It was Deja-vu for me coming back to my old college after all this time being away from it, what memories. There are stories to be told of those halcyon days but not for the faint hearted.

The School of Science and Engineering is a programme to enhance the employability readiness of graduates and to work with some of the leading employers across industry sectors, from the UK’s police forces to the world’s leading engineering companies.

Graduation week is always an exciting and wonderful time, when the students, families, and Executive Management Teams come together as a University community to celebrate the achievements of the students.

It was an honour to be present at the awards and thanked Professor Paul Croney, Vice Chancellor for the invitation as it was a glorious day to remember awarding the people who have given so much time in achieving their goals. The new kids on the block for our expanding industries. Good luck to them all in choosing the right experience for stronger applications to develop the right career status. 


Attended the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra Concert at the Sage Gateshead


Tees Valley Music Service at the SAGE.


Following the hugely successful performance in 2015 the Orchestra returned to the SAGE

After listening to the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra in May of this year and the fantastic performance they gave it was with excitement when we were invited to the performance of the Tees valley Music Service to be played at the SAGE Gateshead.

After meeting up with Ruth Robertson we were ushered to our seats to listen to wonderful music of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

undefined Drum section of the Orchestra gave an outstanding performance.


The programme for the evening was as follows:

Romeo and Juliet, Suite 2, Op.64b by Prokofiev

The Montagues and the Capulets

The Young Juliet

Friar Lawrence


Romeo and Juliet before parting

DANCE OF THE Antilles girls

Romeo at the grave of Juliet


Symphony No 10 in E minor, Op93 by Shostakovich



Allegretto – Largo – Piu mosso

Andante – Allegro – L’istesso tempo


Conductor: Nicholas Nowicki and Leader Alex Walker.


What a performance, outstanding, brilliant, a performance befitting of any orchestra in the land.

Tees Valley Music Service Is managed by Stockton on Tees Borough Council. They are one of the UK’s biggest music services, covering the Boroughs of Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Stockton. With a team of experienced professional tutors, Tees Valley Music Service takes the young people of the area from their very first steps into music at the foundation stage, through primary school, secondary school, and into Sixth Form College. As pupils progress they then have the opportunity to join one of the Premier Ensembles which bring together students from across the region who want to develop their musical skills to the highest level.

If you are interested in Classical music get in touch with [email protected] or

Once again our thanks’ go to the professional tutors and TVMS Management Services who give the opportunity to students in the region to fulfill their potential and develop their musical skills to such a high level, and again may it continue to do so.


Tuesday 18 July  2017

Attended the Annual Prize Giving event at St Patrick’s RC Primary School, Lingfield Road, Fairfield Stockton


Prize giving at St Patricks RC Primary School

We spent a lovely afternoon at St Patricks RC Primary school being entertained by the pupils of the school. It was a real pleasure to be invited and be part of the prize giving ceremony for those that had worked so hard achieving the goals set before them. We were greeted by a full and excited assembly. There were many deserving awards given out to the students and the Mayoress was presented with a bunch of flowers which was unexpected and a very pleasant surprise.

After the awards and prize giving ceremony we were invited to visit some of the classrooms and  sat with some of the pupils who were interested in our Mayoral regalia and ask us questions of our Mayoral duties, how we became Mayor and Mayoress and what do the chains stand for, along with many other questions. It was a pleasure to answer all the questions put forward as the pupils were very interested in our comments and seemed very knowledgeable about our status. It was a pleasure to visit such a well-run and innovative school.

It is praise that we give to the Head Teacher and her staff for developing bright pupils and giving them a good start in the education chain for future progression.

Well done to all the pupils of the school for attaining excellent work throughout the year.  


 In deep discussion with pupils of the school


Attended the Hartburn Primary School


Clown, juggler and slapstick comedian entertainer.

We were invited to Hartburn School  Summer event - ‘Ready for 4 Summer’ and met up with the Head Teacher Julie Armstrong who gave us a tour of the school grounds.

The event was in full swing when we got there and were persuaded to check out some activities by the students for us to relax and enjoy.

We were very pleasantly surprised in their fantastic outside facilities for the students involvement in track and field training.


With Head Teacher and students in Hartburn Primary School grounds


This teacher got a good pelting from his students and took it in good part.

There were various stalls and games on the go all afternoon, fundraising for the school charity ‘Friends Of’, a registered charity which fundraises specifically for the school to support future events for the children and the school generally. 

We were happy to take part in the games and entertainment provided for the day, but drew the line at throwing the wet sponges at the teacher nominated for the stocks.




The higher or lower game.

Tried the higher or lower game but eventually succumbed to the greater percentages of losing nearly every time, but it was a good game for a good charity cause.

We also tried a few other games but failed miserably so we retreated to the refreshment room for a cup of tea which was very pleasing as the day turned out to be a hot one.

A very enjoyable event had by all, we thanked Julie Armstrong the Head Teacher for an excellent fun day and hoped that they raised enough funds to support school projects throughout the year.


Wednesday 19 July 2017

Meeting of Full Council at the Town Hall High Street Stockton

The agenda included the Leaders Statement, covering The Forward Plan, and a presentation of the Globe Theatre restoration.

Other issues covered were the appointments and amendments to Committees and Panel for 2017/19

There were no public questions or Member questions.


Thursday 20 July 2017

Attended the Adult Learner Awards at Preston Hall Museum/Music Room Stockton


Crossings – A local folk and jazz group

Attended the Adult Learning Skills Awards for 2017 at Preston Park Hall. It was a pleasure to be invited to celebrate the amazing achievements that have been made by various people and they should all be proud of themselves for their hard work in getting to a better place.

Throughout the evening we were entertained by the group Crossings who played folk, blues and jazz numbers. They played with style and excellent tones and were very enjoyable.

Lifelong learning is an important agenda that we must not lose sight of. We are never too old to learn and it’s fantastic to hear that adults as young as 19 and old as 90 are continuing in learning with the service to gain confidence, social skills and work related skills. I’m told that the service enrols over 3000 learners every year which shows a real commitment to learning and skills across Stockton Borough.

Stockton learning and Skills Service is the Councils service responsible for upskilling local people and for providing learning opportunities that contribute to council agendas e.g. family learning programmes that help promote the best start in life for children.

Every year they offer a wide range of courses including apprenticeships, English, Maths and ICT, community learning, family learning, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), pre-employment programmes, sector based work academies, and a choice of tasters and workshops for people to try out.

The learning offer starts at pre-entry level and goes as high as level 6 (post graduate). They support individuals, communities and employers with their learning and skills needs with the overall aim of improving the economy of Stockton and the life chances of its residents.


Some of the awards – Team working award.

Stockton is a vibrant Borough with diverse communities and incredible individuals and I, myself, am proud of the outstanding effort that the learning and Skills Service, and the learners are putting in to improve community cohesion, employability and, more importantly, life chances for all of the people of the Borough. 


Overall award winner

It was a great evening seeing the hard work paying off for many learners and was a pleasure to see a good number of awards being attained by many. Well done to everyone for their sterling efforts, I’m sure they will have more success in the future.  I also thanked the organisers for managing and producing this event for the benefit of others.


Friday 21 July 2017

Attended the Mayor of Seaham Town Council’s Charity 1940’s Night at Seaham Town Hall, Seaham


1940's dress




Sonia – dishing out raffle prizes


Disco entertainment

On behalf of the Mayor and Consort of Seaham. Councillor Mrs Sonia Forster and Bob Forster we were invited to a 40s night of entertainment in aid of the Mayors Charity Fund at Seaham Hall.

Working in collaboration with Parkside Community Centre the evening featured disco entertainment and 1940s dress code for all to participate and enjoy. Refreshments were provided with plenty of hot drinks and raffle tickets to purchase on request.

Some of the 40's costumes were remarkable, especially when most had been put together in a makeshift fashion they were superbly displayed on the night.

It was a very enjoyable evening and it was thanks to Sonia and Bob for making the evening a success. They raised over £300 on the night for their charities, Local Community Organisations.


Saturday 22 July 2017

Attended the Cleveland Agricultural & Horticultural Society Annual Show at Stewarts Park, Middlesbrough


With other civic guests at an informal lunch in Stewarts Park Middlesbrough.


We attended the Cleveland Agricultural and Horticultural Society Annual Show at Stewarts Park in Middlesbrough, including other guests such as Lord Guisborough, and the Mayors from Middlesbrough and Redcar.

The Cleveland Show is an annual agricultural event held each July. It is set in beautiful parkland at Stewarts Park in Middlesbrough, the home of Captain Cook’s birthplace. There were competitions for horses, cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, cats, dogs, small livestock, art and horticulture with many prizes on offer. 


Organic lady selling ‘Winnie’s’ Yorkshire delights.


There were many trade and craft stalls displaying a wide range of goods to sell. One of them which was interesting was ‘Winnie’s’ selling Yorkshire products and treats: buy any product and the lady with the guitar sang you a sea shanty tune depicting the produce on offer, she was quite good, it may catch on in local supermarkets.


Cattle on show which had some first class rosettes on display - best in class.


There were also displays by public authorities such as Middlesbrough Council, Fire, Army and Police. Each year they have a main event ring with exciting displays. The craft marquee, which hosts about 40 stands selling home made goods, was very popular and had been booked up well in advance of the show date.


Colourful sheep in pens – they also had first in class rosettes. 



Numerous awards for specialist horticultural specimens.

Middlesbrough Council had a marquee with its traditional floral display attractions on view, whilst the other council services were included, such as libraries, street wardens, recycling, sports and leisure social care, recruitment and the Building Schools for the Future secondary school investment programme. There were also stalls for Middlesbrough Environment City, the Friends of Stewarts Park and the Energy Saving Trust.

It was a great fun day for Children, family and friends; this should not be missed for next year so try to get along to see the many attractions.


Attended the Stockton Stages event on Stockton High Street


Guitarist playing a blues number.


After the visit to the Cleveland Agricultural Show we visited Stockton Stages Festival in the High Street.

The festival featured music and comedy acts from the likes of Russell Kane, The Sherlock’s and Eliza and The Bear across ARC, The Georgian Theatre, Ku Bar and The Storytellers. In the town centre there were other activities including a mass karaoke event, family comedy stage, a peculiar town centre walk, records fair, and the premier of Mike McGrothers Community Pub Opera – Of Rogues and Honest Men.

The music and comedy were very good and the crowds participated in singing along with a lot of karaoke themes. I bought some CD memorabilia for a handsome price from the Record Fair, which I couldn’t find anywhere else in the area, interesting to add to my multifarious music collection.

Another brilliant event provide by Stockton Borough Council which many people enjoyed and appreciated. Well done to the organisers.