Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 6 March 2017

Tuesday 7 March 2017


Attended Layfield Primary School were I addressed the school assembly. At the assembly I informed them about the role of Mayor and how it impacted on the running of Stockton. I then took questions and some were well scripted , one threw me and that was ‘what is the right way to salute?‘ going back to my Boys Brigade days showed them which was all wrong it should be shortest way up longest way down, I think. I then spoke to the school and recited the poem I had written called RESPECT, this is the word my parents instilled in me and is my guide line for life  the motto being TREAT PEOPLE AS YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED. I absolutely enjoyed talking to the children and hoped I imparted some of my knowledge onto them. I would like to thank the Head Teacher, Helen, and her staff for their hospitality.


Hosted tour of the Town Hall to members of Stockton council staff, explaining about Stockton’s heritage and that the Town Hall is not just a square building in the middle of the High Street. Had some good feedback; thank you to those who attended.


Attended the Riverside Stadium where the Country Guides AGM was celebrated , it was a very good turn out and we were treated to talks about trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, Finland and Copenhagen. All spoke well and gave an interesting insight into what we would have called in the olden days (well not so long ago) Camps! Can I thank the organisers and helpers for their kind hospitality it was a very interesting night.


Wednesday 8 March 2017


Attended the Town Hall where again where I hosted the staff tours of the Town hall, it was good to see some members of staff I didn’t know and I think it was the first time they had been inside the building. Again, a positive response to the history and use of the Town hall.


Chaired my last full meeting of Full council, I took handkerchiefs along but not needed (ah well). It got a bit boisterous but managed to keep it contained. At the end I was shocked when I was given a standing ovation, WOW nearly needed the handkerchiefs myself. I was honoured to have taken chair of the council and will be forever in my memory, thank you to all members that took part.


Thursday 9 March 2017

You know when something is going to go wrong, well it did today. Waiting for our lift we got a phone call asking if we could make our own way to the Village Primary school as the driver had locked the keys to the car in the boot along with the chains and Mayoral robe. I didn’t know whether to make a paper chain to compensate for the real one but decided against it. We attended the morning assembly without chains and took questions from the children, the driver (no names mentioned) came in and I put the chains on, what a marked look of wonder in the children’s faces, I was pleased because it showed that the Mayor although he had the chains on was the same person without them, and explaining my role . This helped to break down any barriers, we then went into a room with class 6 where we explained, with the main help from the now slightly embarrassed driver, the heritage of Stockton and the surrounding area explaining about famous people from Stockton such as most beautiful woman in the world Ivy Close, Thomas Sheraton, Johnny Walker, Brass Crosby, Dr M’Gonigle and last but not least George Stephenson.

We did slightly run over but I am sure the children enjoyed it, I would like to than the hospitality shown to us by the school and the head Claire.


Attended Stockton Stage Society production of “Whistle Down The Wind“ at the Forum Theatre, Billingham . The society has produced lavish productions for over 90 years and to a high standard, using a live orchestra. The cost of the shows cost over £30k and is funded by box office sales. What a thoroughly enjoyable night, with excellent stage props and unbelievable singing and acting. I would urge everyone to go and see future productions; I think you will be amazed at how professional they are. Can I thank David and his staff for their hospitality and attentiveness during my visit.


Friday 10 March 2017

I attended the Town Hall where there was a presentation of Carnegie Award by the Fund Trust to the parents and family of Shane Tunney, the young person that was so tragically murdered in the High Street, Norton. This fund recognises civilian heroism in attempting to save another’s life which is what Shane exactly did. He and his friend were attacked on Norton High street by a gang of young people for no reason, Shane stopped a nearby taxi for help but instead of running away he went back to help his friend who was still being attacked and for his bravery Shane paid for it with his life. I heard how Shane was the guiding light to people, with a sense of fun and caring about others before himself. It was with great humility I presented the certificate to his mother Jean Wilson and her partner along with Victoria Cooper. Jean is a strong woman who gave a heart-warming speech and encapsulated everything that Shane was about and her gratitude to everyone that took part in the bringing to justice the people responsible for this cowardly act. It was a pleasure to talk to the family who had been through such a horrid period that no parent or person should endure.



Attended the Mayor of Ferryhill’s Charity Cabaret show at Mainsforth Community Centre, Ferryhill . This show was in aid of the Mayors charity and was well attended, I didn’t see most of the show as I had had a procedure on my leg that morning and it began to hurt but I am sure it went down well judging by the crowd’s reaction to the show.


Saturday 11 March 2017

Attended Mayor of Darlington’s Pie and Pea night at the Presidents Suite, Mowden Rugby and Football Club, Darlington. This was in aid of the Mayors charities British Lung Foundation and Breath Easy Lung Foundation. We were given a short talk by a lady who only has 40% lung capacity and she gave us all a straw and asked us to blow which we did, then bend the straw at the end around facing the other way which we did and found it difficult to blow because of the restriction, that’s how much lung capacity she had! There was a band who played my kind of music, 60/70s, I did have a dance but suffered the next day as my leg was aching (more fool me, should take more notice of doctors’ advice ). Can I thank the Mayor and everyone involved for their hospitality, always remembering it’s the STOCKTON to DARLINGTON railway Mr Mayor (ongoing banter between Stockton and Darlington as to first PASSENGER railway journey).


Sunday 12 March 2017

Attended Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council Civic Service at Church of All Saints, Hemsley. We were greeted by County Councillor Val Arnold and Councillor Stephen Arnold, service conducted by reverend Tim Robinson. We were treated to a solo by 14yr old Millie Boyes who sang a Queen song I’d never hear before but will be playing it “No One But You“, she sang it beautifully and the words are very poignant. We then went to lunch at the Duncombe Park, Helmsley, this is worth visiting if you’re in this part of the country, a very fine house with impressive stone work inside and out, and had an excellent meal. I have to say putting a full sized pavlova in front of me and helping yourself not a good idea although I did manage to curb the depth the spoon went in. I would like to thank Val and Stephen for inviting us and to the hospitality show by everyone whilst we were there.