Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 5 March 2018

Monday 5 March 2018

Attended the Commonwealth Day Photo Shoot at the Town Hall, High Street, Stockton



Flying the Flag for Commonwealth Day

Stockton Borough Council joined hundreds of local councils across the country to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

From Samoa to Canada, 53 countries unite under one to commemorate Commonwealth Day under the 2018 theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’, a variety of activities, events and seminars are being organised globally including the Commonwealth Day Service on Monday 12 March at Westminster Abbey in London.

Commonwealth Day is observed on the second Monday of March every year. It encourages individuals, communities and organisations to take pride in the Commonwealth identity and promote the shared values and principles of peace, democracy and equality. The day brings together the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries to promote understanding on global issues, work towards mutual co-operation and celebrate the diversity, resilient unity and enriching values that define the commonwealth. 

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland stated in her message to mark the annual event, ‘With our fellow citizens, we live, learn, work and play in countries set in every continent and ocean – all 2.4 billion of us, representing a glorious spectrum of diversity and talent. It is by living and working for the good of one another, towards a common future, that we build our Commonwealth’’. 

Each year a theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day. The theme acts as a guide for planning our activities and other Commonwealth organisations throughout the year.


Wednesday 7 March 2018

Hosted the Town Hall Tours of pupils from St John the Baptist Primary School


Stuart Levin  - Lesson on Stockton’s history

We hosted two Town Hall tours for St John the Baptist Primary School pupils.

The children were very enthusiastic to learn about Stockton’s History with Stuart Levin leading the session of how Stockton had developed over the years. From the days when we had a castle, a major port sending coal to the four corners of the world to the manufacturing of ships on the Tees to the invention of the friction match by G Walker, to Thomas Sheraton’s furniture design, to the first passenger railway from Stockton to Darlington in 1825, to the industrialisation  around Stockton area. We also talked about the development of the Town House and what it was used for from its inception, the children were amused by the dungeon that was underground and wanted to see what it was all about, and one said we could put the teachers in there. Fortunately the cells were locked up and out of bounds so we went on to talk about the Mace and other artifacts around the main council chamber.

The children were asking some great question as we went along and wanted to know more about the Mayoral role, who were the previous Mayors and what does the Mayoral chains signify.

At the end of the tour they went on their merry way to conclude their visit with a walk along the Stockton trail ending up waiting for the Stockton Flier to emerge. The children were really excited when the Flier came up with its mechanical noise, whistles and steam coming from different parts of its shell, then onto the bus to finish the days lessons back at their school and write up all about the day’s events.


St John the Baptist Primary School enjoying the Town Hall tour



With St John the Baptist Primary School teacher

We had wonderful time with the children and it was a privilege a show them around the Town House, for them to understand the history of Stockton and its future development. They in turn, including the teachers, thanked us for the tour and said they all had a great time and a better understanding of Stockton and its area. 


Attended the Fairtrade Fortnight ‘Come on in’ Tour at the Town Hall, High Street, Stockton


With the Fairtrade party

We welcomed everyone to the Town House and to the Fairtrade Tour of the chambers and conference rooms as part of Stockton’s Fairtrade event for 2018.

I mentioned that Stockton on Tees is proud to have been a Fairtrade Town for many years and the Stockton Fairtrade partnership have worked with the council also for many years, hosting events to promote Fairtrade. One of the aims of the Fairtrade Partnership, and key to renewing the status as a Fairtrade town is to increase the number of businesses offering Fairtrade products to their staff/customers on request, so, if people have got an office with a kettle, consider providing Fairtrade Trade Tea, coffee and sugar. It really easy these days – most major supermarkets offer a selection. If you provide refreshments to the general public then do think about offering Fairtrade choices.

Fairtrade is important for many reasons, as well as paying producers a decent living wage; they receive a ‘premium’ which is spent on infrastructure developments, such as schools and roads, all of which is subject to democratic decision making. 

Each year there is a Fairtrade fortnight with a different theme each year and this year’s theme is ‘Come on in’ and so we were delighted to welcome everyone to come on in to Stockton Town House to see and learn about some of the rich history of the building. The guide for the evening, apart from Laraine and me, was Stuart Levin from Democratic Services who showed the Fairtrade party around with any questions to answer. One of our observations was the Fairtrade pledge signed by all Stockton’s councillors which we positioned on the ground floor corridor for all to see.

At the end of the tour we invited all to partake in Fairtrade refreshments and particular thanks’ go to Eaglescliffe Co-op who provided wine and biscuits for the evening’s event. A big thanks also go to Julia Cherrett and Susan Fletcher for their hard work and dedication in the promotion Fairtrade in the Borough of Stockton on Tees.

It was a pleasure to host this Fairtrade event and we wish Fairtrade more success for the future.


Thursday 8 March 2018

Chaired the meeting of Full Council at the Town Hall, High Street, Stockton

Due to poor weather conditions this Special Council meeting was rearranged from Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 7pm to this day 8 March 2018, at 2pm

The meeting was to determine and agree the Medium Term Financial Plan Update and Strategy. Two amendments to the budget were put forward and after debate they were not carried. Therefore the original recommendations for the Medium Term Financial Plan Update and Strategy was carried and agreed.


Hosted the Charity Curry Night at Jolsha, Harland Place, in Norton


With Danny Brooks and Emma Chudley and SBC Comms team getting ready for the Indian Cuisine

What a great night we all had at the Joshla Indian/Bangladesh restaurant, Norton in support of our charities.

Many civics came from far and wide to support us from Hartlepool, Shildon, Durham Sunderland, Darlington, Hetton, North Tyneside and Barnard Castle. Also in support were Charity organisers, friends and family and our council - the Comms team and councillors.

It gave me great pleasure to welcome all to our Charity Curry Night were we planned to have a wonderful relaxing evening. We were entertained by the fabulous Mosaic who played throughout the night with everyone enjoying the music. During the evening there was a delicious four course Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine for all to enjoy. As well as food and entertainment there was a raffle during the evening and the proceeds of which went towards our three charities.  

Or first Charity is Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Care, which runs three centres – Kirkdale Care Home, Allison House and an Outreach Day Centre. Our Second Charity is Meningitis Now, the only charity that is dedicated to fighting Meningitis in the UK. Our third Charity is Motor Neurone Disease Association. It kills six people per day in the UK. But we want to help the charity raise awareness of MND and to help those people living with the disease to receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

It was with great thanks for all the people who attended and showing the tremendous support and to those who donated to our three charities, it was greatly appreciated. I also thanked Jolsha Management and staff for providing the superb meal especially Shamin Ahmed for his support and allowing us to use his fine restaurant, and not forgetting our own staff, Michelle and Jenna for their hard work and dedication in making the event possible.


With our wonderful support team Michelle and Jenna


Friday 9 March 2018

Attended a fundraising event for St Mark’s Care Home at Elm Tree Social Club, Stockton


With Megan McCue and family

 It was a pleasure to be invited to a fundraising night on behalf of Alan McCue and all of the residents at St Mark’s Nursing Home in Stockton. Alan McCue has Semantic Dementia and was diagnosed at the age of 50 and is now in the severe stages of his illness and has recently moved to St Mark’s.

We welcomed everyone to the Charity Fundraiser in aid of Alan McCue and all of the residents at St Mark’s Care Home in Stockton. Alan was diagnosed at a young age of 50 years old after battling with the illness for several years unknowingly prior to the diagnosis. As some of you may be aware, Dementia is a progressive illness and this has meant that Alan’s life and the life of Alan’s family has changed dramatically. From being diagnosed in 2010, Alan lived at home with his wife Alison and his daughter Megan who have put together the fundraising event.

Allison has dedicated her life, love; time and care to take care of Alan and without Alison, things could be very different. Alan and Alison have been together for almost thirty years and I am sure that you will agree that their love for one another is an unbreakable kind of love, a kind which we could all learn from and aspire to.

In summer 2017, Alan’s illness took a rapid decline which meant that Alan’s family had to make-heart breaking decision to move Alan into St Mark’s Care Home where he now receives 24 hour 1-1 care. As you can appreciate, this was a traumatic time which was made somewhat easier by the love and support from family and friends.


Entertainment – The Hootones

St Mark’s Care Home offers Dementia care that is personalised to each client, with qualified staff who are also experienced in respite, convalescence and palliative needs. The purpose built facility suits a relaxing daily lifestyle with warm and comfortable areas. The layout is designed to be a home from home environment with landscape gardens providing scenic surroundings. The staff at St Mark’s provides second to none care, some of whom were at the evening’s event.

Since moving into St Mark’s. I am told that Alan is settled, happy and keeping the staff on their toes. The funds raised on the evening will be spent on facilities and experiences for all residents to enjoy and benefit from. I am sure that you will agree that this is a very special, important cause and will therefore; help to make a difference to the lives of so many. I would like to encourage everyone to learn more about Dementia and how you could make a difference by visiting the Dementia UK website or by contacting Megan on 07712231022.

On behalf of Alan, Alison, Megan, Jordan and all of the residents at St Mark’s, I would like to thank everyone for making this night possible and showing invaluable support.


Saturday 10 March 2018

Attended the Opening of All Things Wool at 29 Silver Street Stockton on Tees

With Samantha, mum and daughter

One of the area’s much loved independent shops celebrated an official opening on Stockton’s Silver Street. ‘All Things Wool’ marked the big move with a special launch and it was an honour to be part of this official event to open the shop for Samantha the owner. I thanked everyone who attended the launch, wishing Samantha well in her next step. ‘All Things Wool’ started from a single table in the Enterprise Arcade building when it was located within 147 High Street. When the new Enterprise Arcade opened in its current location, Sam was one of the original tenants and grew from strength to strength very quickly.

In May 2015 Sam had the confidence to move from the Enterprise Arcade and into her own unit, 31 Dovecot Street. It was only a small unit but provided a perfect ‘home’ for the business to grow and further develop the shop to cater for all markets, as well as diversifying into new areas, such as delivery of workshops. As well as the workshops the shop stocks a vast range of yarns, patterns and knitting kits.

The opportunity recently arose to take the lease on the property we stand in today. After some careful consideration and discussion with B Supplied Ltd, Sam decided to sign the lease and expand the business.

It’s approximately double the size of her previous premises and is excellently situated, in the middle of a number of other independent businesses within Stockton Town Centre. I understand the plan is to further develop the business whilst exploring some new ideas to keep Sam ahead of the game.


We were all tied up with this knitting lark, what a yarn to be told


My crocheting wasn’t too great either

Congratulations to Sam, and her family, well done and good luck. She is a shining example of what can be achieved from starting her journey in the Enterprise Arcade and I hope many people follow suit.

 For more information and details about the craft workshops on offer visit 


Attended the Opening of Butterfly Lounge Unit 9, Regency West Mall, Stockton on Tees


With Victoria, Michelle, Leanne and Amanda at the opening of the Butterfly Lounge

It was a great pleasure for us to be present at the opening of the Butterfly Lounge, Nail and Beauty Salon in Unit 9 of the Regency West Mall in Stockton. We greeted and welcomed everyone into the lounge and thanked Victoria and her co-members for the invitation and were greatly honoured to be with them to officially open the Butterfly Lounge.

This unit is a fantastic addition to both the Regency Mall, and to the Stockton Centre. I hope that their new venture flourishes and prospers for everyone. The Butterfly Lounge specialises in all types of nail treatments and as from April 2018, they will also be offering a variety of beauty treatments. Look for their special offers on their social media or feel free to call in and ask. Each of their clients will receive a loyalty card after any treatment. 

Contact can be made by phone on 07729558522. Facebook: butterfly lounge or


The opening


Ready for polishing yours nail madam

Congratulations and good luck to everyone at Butterfly Lounge.


Attended Stockton Stage Society’s production of Calamity Jane at Billingham Forum Theatre, The Causeway, Billingham

The cast of Stockton Stage Society

We had a very relaxing evening at the Stockton Amateur Operatic Stage Society’s Production of ‘Calamity Jane’, at the Billingham Forum Theatre. It was at the request of David Colam (Patron Secretary) and David Carter past President that we were invited to this wonderful showbiz arena. When the last call sounded for us to take our seats I said to David Carter to break a leg (as in show biz terms) not knowing David had a hip replacement a few weeks before.

The curtains raised and we were in the wild, lusty, warm and humorous Old West of Deadwood City, Dakota Kansas in 1875. The story tells of the famed Calamity Jane who dresses, rides and shoots like a man, but given the proper chance can be a beautiful woman who hankers for the love of a man. The man may be dashing Lt. Danny Gilmartin or the famed Wild Bill Hickok.

The production was absolutely fantastic and would live with any West End performance, first class throughout all acts and musical numbers. I don’t think there was a spare seat available; it was full to the brim. The cast played their part with excellence and the children involved performed with confidence and with the maturity of their adult counterparts.

After the show we met up with Roy Thompson, this being his 9 production as Director, and Geraldine Dore’, choreographer and some of the cast who we already knew from previous occasions.

 Samantha Holden who played the leading role Calamity Jane, who works at the Reuben Manor Care Home as the Activities Manager when she’s not singing, also sang for us at our Forces Day in Stockton High Street in June of 2017. This was her first lead role for the society and she magnificently portrayed Calamity to perfection. We also met up with Dan Matuszak who played Henry Miller the ‘Golden Garter Saloon’ proprietor. Dan is a leader of the Billingham Forum Theatre School who warmly welcomed us to the Billingham Folk Lore Festival in August of last year, comparing dance and musical routines from different countries. He played his part with excellence, and with real professionalism. Marion Chandler the President, has been with the Stockton Stage for over 50 years who Laraine knows from the time she was a props mistress for the society some forty years ago. Marion said she was looking forward to the Society’s 100 production in two years’ time.  

We thanked everyone for the superb performance and wished them well for the Stockton Stage Society‘s next production of ‘The King and I’ from 6 to 10 March in 2019.


Finale – singing Windy City with full ensemble


Sunday 11 March 2018

Attended the Mothering Sunday Service at St Mary’s Church, Norton


St Mary’s on the green Norton

Being the fourth Sunday of Lent we were invited to Mothering Sunday Service at St Mary’s Church on Norton Green, conducted by our Chaplin the Rev Martin Anderson.

The order of service for Lent was as follows with: The Gathering and Welcome by Rev Martin Anderson followed by the confession – ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ’ says: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’.

This was followed by Scripture and Teachings – ‘O God, the Giver of Life’ and all singing hymns and then prayers for Mothering Sunday. The table was prepared with bread and wine placed upon it, the Martin gave Communion to those who wished to partake. We finished with Thanksgiving and Praise whilst singing an offering hymn during the collection and finally completing the service with Peace and Blessings.

It was a lovely service which made Mothering Sunday more special. We thanked Rev Martin for his joyous words and his church staff for the refreshments afterwards, a nice cup of tea they do make.


Making friends with the congregation


St Mary’ beautiful stained glass windows


Attended the Table Tennis Prize Giving at Thornaby Pavillion, Thornaby


Tees Sport Grand Pre - Cleveland Table Tennis Association Finals

At the invitation of the Cleveland TTA, we attended the Grand Pre – Cleveland Table Tennis Finals at the Pavilion in Thornaby. Met up with Colin Davidson, Chair of the Stockton League to watch the finals in progress and to present prizes to the winners and runners up in the Men’s and Ladies events.

The play was of such a high standard, it was so quick at times it was difficult to keep up with the play. I understand that the winner of the men’s final Chris Doran is ranked no 6 in the UK but the other finalist Victor Shi Guang took him all the way with close finishes, just losing out in the 4 set of 5. The Ladies final was also close with the winner Karina Le Fevre taking it all the way to a 2 sets to one victory.

We thanked Colin Davidson for the invitation and the enjoyment we had throughout, watching the tournament to its conclusion. Once again we pay tribute to Tees Active Limited and other sponsor’s for they have supported tournaments like these for many years and without their considerable support they would be unable to run the event in the manner in which they have become accustomed. We thank everyone else for supporting and promoting the tournament and hoped everyone had an enjoyable and successful weekend at the Pavilion in Thornaby.


Winner of the Ladies Singles Karina Le Fevre, with Colin Davidson(Chairman of the Cleveland County Table Tennis Association) and Keith Thomas (Treasurer of Table Tennis England)


Men’s Final in action


Winner Chris Doran and runner up Victor Shi Guang in the Men’s Final