Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 20 November 2017

Tuesday 20 November 2017

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

Prior to the main agenda we welcomed back Councillor Sylvia Walmsley after her recent illness, also welcomed Freeman Bob Gibson and his granddaughter to the chambers, with the knowledge that Bob’s granddaughter serves on her school council and has a keen interest in Council affairs, must be taking after Bob.

We held a minutes silence for former Councillor Pete Andrew who has sadly passed away recently. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

We renewed our Fair Trade Borough Status and received a certificate and photograph from the Fair Trade Borough Partnership representative Maureen Rigg, which we were delighted to accept.

There were no public questions on the night. All issues were resolved and accepted going forward. Other issues were covered by appointment and amendments to committees and panels for 2018/2020. There were no Members questions on the night. Finally the Forward Plan and Leaders Statement were delivered.


Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Attended the Sponsored Cycling – ‘Thank You Event’ at Way Out, Castlegate Mill, Riverside, Stockton on Tees



With family and friends, Sam, Anne and Norman

Laraine and I were invited to this event to meet local residents Anne Bulmer, Sam Franklin, and Sam’s 89 year old father, Norman Franklin for raising over £100,000 for five charities including A Way Out and Justice First, by cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End.

We thanked Anita Burke and Peter Widinski for this wonderful occasion on the achievements of the three cyclists. We were pleased to be invited to the Riverside to say thank you to Anne, Norman and Sam for their extreme cycle ride, from John O’Groats to Lands End: that’s 1000 miles with hills equivalent to more than twice the height of mount Everest – with no Sherpa Tenzing to help them.

A number of charities have benefited from the fantastic £100.000 plus sponsorship and donations raised: three national charities and our very own ‘A Way Out’ and ‘Justice First’, two charities that work with, and support some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

‘A Way Out’ is an outreach and preventative charity in Stockton on Tees, which aims to engage, empower and equip vulnerable and excluded women, families and young people to live lives free from harm, abuse and exploitation and to reduce life limiting choices and behaviour.

‘Justice First’ is a Stockton based refugee charity that helps people refused asylum to re-engage with the legal system by challenging decisions and finding new evidence to support their claim. Justice First also promotes refugee and asylum issues across many organisations and work at a strategic level with statutory agencies across the Tees Valley.

Stockton has a proud tradition of working in partnership with all of our voluntary and community sectors, and we recognise how important their work is. But it is the support of Stockton that keeps our charities nourished and able to deliver such vital services. We all recognise how difficult it is for charities – national and local to raise their much needed funding. So Anne, Norman and Sam’s heroic efforts and altruism really has made a difference to their nominated charities and sets an example for others to follow; but perhaps not cycling Mount Everest, and certainly not when as young as Norman.


Discussing the history of the Mayors chains with Norman


Sam and Norman – in reflective mood, should we do it all again sometime


Thursday 23 November 2017

Attended the South Shields Christmas Light Switch on at Market Place South Shields


The Mayoress Olive Punchion with other civics, in readiness to switch on the South Shield Christmas lights

Celebrated with other civics on the countdown to Christmas, with the annual lights switch on event by Mayor Olive Punchion of South Tyneside. There was lots of entertainment and music at the event with the South Shields festivities featuring a special appearance by Reggie ‘N’ Bollie who joined the Mayor to switch on the lights.

There was a vast range of stalls selling beautiful arts and crafts, jewellery, decorations and festive food, which was a good place to pick up a unique selection of presents, for family and friends. At the same time we were able to support some of the most talented craftspeople and traders from around the North East. 


Stilted entertainers



The Fairy Queen

Although a bitter night we were refreshed with a buffet and coffee to keep us warm in the new Catherine Cookson Room at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word. We thanked Olive for the invitation and had a really pleasant evening in support of her celebrations.


Robin entertainers – it was a cheep show


Friday 24 November 2017

Being part of a Takeover Challenge


With Sobia and Mia discussing operations

This year is the tenth anniversary of the Children’s Commissioner’s Office Takeover Challenge – the aim of the challenge is to encourage organisations across England to open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles.This year also launched a year round programme of Takeover Challenge opportunities which was officially launched on the National Takeover Day on 24 November.

The programme started at 9.00am with the young people meeting at Starbooks for a photo shoot and video session, to provide footage to launch the day on social media. They were also given their brief for the day and an iPad to record their activities and interview their respective member/officer who they accompanied for the day.

Laraine and I met students Sobia Yakub, from Stockton Six Form College, and Mia Ainsley, from Our Lady of St Bede School. After we introduced ourselves, we talked about their objectives for the day and gave an overview of the Mayoral Role and activities. Their first task was to write a Mayoral Speech, and later accompany us to attend the Speech Day at Teesside High School, at the Avenue in Eaglescliffe, Stockton. 


With Mia and Sobia checking the draft Mayors Speech

Mia and Sobia accompanied us to Teesside High School for their Speech day and noted the day’s proceedings asking questions with Teachers and Governors about the schools aims and objectives. 

After the visit Mia and Sobia said they had a great day and would take their experiences of the Takeover Challenge back to the commission, to process their part in filming for a promotional video for Event Correspondents recruitment next year. 

We were delighted to have these two bright and well educated young ladies to accompany us for the day, and wished them all the success in the future, and hoped that the day’s proceedings will help them to move forward in their careers. 


Friday 24 November 2017

Attended the Speech day at Teesside High School, The Avenue, Stockton-on-Tees


With teachers and governor at Teesside High School

We were met by Head Teacher Andrew Wilson and taken to the main reception area were we were introduced to various teachers and Governors of the school, we in turn introduced ourselves including Mia and Sobia who were accompanying us as part of The Takeover Challenge Scheme, which the school knew in advance of our arrival.

After the School Hymn the Chair of Governors Mr Robert R. Tindle BA (Hons) FCA welcomed all to the school and gave an indication of proceedings, this was followed by Hello/Lacrimosa arranged by Steven Sharp Nelson and Al van der Beek. Andrew Wilson delivered his Head’s Report, followed by the Big Bang Competition, then there was a citation on the visit to Cern, Geneva in February 2017.

We were then treated to an address by Mr Andy Preston, Chairman of Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, coming from a poor background, making his way in life through difficult conditions and eventually succeeding in business. The moral of his story, anyone can succeed if the work hard enough and be vigilant to do so. 

The presentation of certificates and prizes were given to students by Andy Preston, there were many and varied from Academics, School Awards, Music, Sporting achievements including National Dwarf Games. There were Votes of Thanks from Head Girl Annabel Steele and Head Boy Lliam Casey, followed by The National Anthem to conclude proceedings.


With Head Girl  Annabel Steele and Head Boy Liam Casey at Teesside High School

The standard set by Teesside High School is very high as noted by the A-Level and GCSE results attained every year, and the school awards system for academic achievements. 

We thanked all the school staff and students for a very enjoyable day, for the curtsy of receiving Mia and Sobia gaining experience in their Takeover Challenge, and wishing the school well in their pursuance of teaching excellence in developing academic students.


Discussing the success of Teesside High School



With Mia and Sobia at Teesside High School


Friday 24 November 2017

Attended the Ingleby Dance School’s performance of ‘Around the World’ at the ARC, Stockton



Ingleby Dance School Theme – Around The World

We were invited to the ARC Theatre by Dawn Coucke to watch Ingleby Dance Performing Arts School present their annual show of ‘Around the World’, involving dance routines from different countries. The aim is to educate and entertain the pupils, through dancing to various music and songs from a variety of cultures, from Paris, Greece to Africa, China to the USA and many more.

Act one concentrated on dance routines, Welcoming On board! Come Fly with Me, taking us to some exotic places such as China in the Far East where we were entertained with dancing and singing, using various traditional Oriental props and costumes to get us into the mood for travel. We then traveled to the USA, deep into the heart of Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon, where saw some barn dancing and various songs from these areas…. Yeehaa! Africa was the next trip, welcoming us to Savanna with traditional dances and some singing from the Lion King and even some African chants, with traditional music, and a trip through the jungle. 

After the interval we were welcomed back to act two On Board Ingleby Airways, taking us on a once in a lifetime journey around the world to some exotic places, such as France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Ireland, Middle East, India and many more, living the dance and songs of each destination.

What a fantastic show. We have got our own Britain’s Got Talent right here in Stockton – So eat your heart out Simon Cowell.


Ingleby Dance School


Performing an Irish River Dance number



All aboard the Ingleby Airlines


Met up with some of the dancers and some of their teachers

At the end of the show I gave huge thank you to all the dancers and singers for inviting the Mayoress and myself to the evening’s concert and congratulated everyone who contributed to the show, as we were blown away by their talents.

 As most people know, the arts, of which dance is one area, is very important. It is not only a fun activity for both those who are performing and the people who get to watch, but it improves learning throughout all academic areas, builds confidence, and it strengthens problem solving and critical thinking skills. It also has an added bonus of being a great way of keeping fit. I thanked all the people who were involved in the organisation of the event for their dedication and enthusiasm, especially the choreographers, teachers and back room staff for the wonderful production.

And lastly we hope all the young people who contributed to the show continue to dance and develop their skills further, and have safe journey in life.


Saturday 25 November 2017.

Attended the Boundary 500 Santa Run 2017 starting at the Pavilion, Thornaby Town Centre and ending at Kirkleatham Hall, Bellamy Centre, Redcar


Santa bikes dressed ready for the off

Arriving at Thornaby we met up with Paul Joyce MBA Chairman of  Boundary 500. Paul explained that this is the eleventh year of the Santa Run event and is well established as both a local and regional introduction to the festive season. The charity run is in support of Zoe’s Place, and The Great North Air Ambulance and have been able to raise in excess of £640.000 for the important work in the communities.

Over 200 motorcyclists dressed in Santa suits with their motorcycles suitable decorated too. It is unbelievable the lengths that some cyclists go to decorate their bikes to impress. The starting point for the run was Thornaby Town Centre, Pavilion Shopping Centre, then travelling through Stockton High Street, along the Wilderness Road, along Linthorpe Road through to Redcar along the sea front and finally finishing at Kirkleatham Hall where there were bacon butties and coffee waiting to warm us up.

We travelled in an open topped bus, although cold it was a fine sunny day which made the ride most enjoyable. The crowds that turned out from start to finish were extraordinary, clapping, screaming, and waving whilst supporting the event on route.  It was a brilliant day out, with great camaraderie from the Santa’s.


Down through Stockton Riverside


Santa’s on their way along Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough



Councillor Paul Kirton with other civics dressed in Santa outfits on the top deck of the escort bus


Along Redcar sea front



For whatever the reason,this naughty Santa got chained up



What do you call a collection of Santa’s – a sleigh of Santa’s, or in this case a Motorcade of Santa’s


At the butties stop we thanked Paul and his organisers for a magnificent day out, an experience that we shall never forget, especially the expressions on the children’s faces with awe and wonder, thus showing the true spirit of the event. Well done to everyone. 


Saturday 25 November 2017

Attended the Thornaby Outdoor Bowls Club Annual Presentation Evening at Thornaby Cricket Club



Thornaby Bowling Club Trophies

At the invitation of Brian Lewis, Thornaby Bowling Club Secretary, we were delighted to attend their Annual Presentation at the Thornaby Cricket Club, to say a few words and present trophies.

Thornaby Bowls club who play out of Littleboy Park, was formed in 1931, managed and run entirely by volunteers in partnership with SBC for the last 18 years. It has good support but like many bowling clubs these days could do with a few more members.

The Chairman & Master of Ceremonies opened the evening’s proceedings, followed by Mr Doug Fairbairn, Club President welcoming honoured Guests to the evening’s event. There were over 25 major trophies that I presented to winners and runners up on the night, including Cleveland & Teesside League Saturday Double 4s, Cleveland County League Top 6 and Cleveland County Under 25 singles winners. Very well done to all.

We thanked Brian, Doug and members for the invitation and welcomed everyone to the evening’s presentation night. On behalf of Stockton Borough Council, I congratulated all the winners and everyone else who took part in the club’s competitions and was delighted to be present on the evening to present the Mayors Cup.

As a bowler myself, and a  member of Ropner Park Bowling Club in Stockton, I gave thanks to a past member of Thornaby Bowling club, Barry Garside who got me interested in green bowling whilst working together at Whessoe Offshore on the Tees. He gave me the first encouragement of how to play the game and taught me the intricacies of the rules of the game. Here’s me thinking you just throw wood’s to the white jack at the other end of the rink and hope for the best to get it near. Not so, as I found out later when actually playing the game, there was a lot more skill to the game than I first thought, but Barry was patient with me and gave me a lot of good tips to try out. Barry passed away a few years ago, after a long illness but it is with huge thanks and tribute to Barry for the help, friendship and encouragement that he gave me, to be a more proficient player and making it a more enjoyable and less frustrating game.

Following the presentation of trophies,we had a Quickie bingo and raffle then a superb buffet, like a royal banquet it was. We were entertained by Alan Watson, a vocalist who sang many a favourite tune with excellent voice, including melodies that were able to dance to, for those that were very fit.    


Trophy winner and runners up


Mayors trophy presentation 


Entertainment by Alan Watson.

It gave me great pleasure to thank all the volunteers who make Thornaby Bowls Club a successful and thriving club and well done to everyone who has worked so hard in organising the evening’s event. It was our pleasure.