Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Week Commencing 6 November 2017

Monday 6 November 2017

Attended the Marsh House Avenue Project

We were warmly welcomed by the staff and residents of Marsh House and talked about the developed project, its team, its objectives, and how it operates on a daily basis.

This is a recovery center for women, which is staffed 24 hours a day to support vulnerable women who have drug and alcohol addictions and have suffered violent and sexual exploitation. They work very closely with a charity called A Way Out. The women are given emotional and practical support for as long as it takes for them to recover their confidence and stability in order to continue to live their lives to fulfillment and without fear. Credit must go to the staff, without their help and encouragement these defenseless women would just become another statistic.

Long may they continue in their invaluable work.


Attended the Northfield School and Sports College Prize Giving Event at Thames Road Stockton on Tees


Major School Prizes

As guests of honour we were privileged to attend Northfield School and Sports College to present the GCSE examination certificates to the schools year 11 students.

It was a good evening for everyone who attended the prize giving event and I thanked the Head Teacher Craig Walker for the invitation to the School for the event. I congratulated all the young people on the night for their academic success; it was clear that there are some very talented individuals at Northfield School.

Achieving such high standards during school is very important, as it gives the students a solid basis to move forward into adulthood and their chosen careers, helping to succeed in these. With the help and support of their teachers and support staff at Northfield, along with the great facilities the students have access to there, they are well on their way to achieving their goals in life.

We hope that the students continue to flourish in their education and life skills and wished them well for the future.

undefined With Head Teacher Craig Walker and students with awards


In deep discussion about the Schools success


With the help of the Head Teacher  anouncing the awards it was a pleasure to present the awards to the many students for their GCSE success and subject/specialist awards. There were over 250 students who received GCSE success awards and over 24 who received subject awards in:

  • Art & Design,
  • Business Studies,
  • Business & Communications,
  • Computing, Construction,
  • Dance,
  • Design & Technology-Engineering,
  • Design & Technology-Product Design,
  • Design & Technology-Textiles,
  • Drama,
  • English Language,
  • English Literature,
  • French,
  • Geology,
  • German,
  • Health & Social Care,
  • History,
  • Hospitality,
  • ICT,
  • Mathmatics,
  • Physical Education,
  • Religious Studies and

There were also 11 Specialist Awards presented to:

  • Mathew Adamson for Sportsmanship Boys,
  • Alice Knight for Sportsmanship Girls,
  • Hallie Jakolins for Attendance,
  • Lucy Britnell for Citizenship,
  • Olivia Mee for Curriculum,
  • Darius Helps for Huntsman Tioxide Endeavour,
  • Jacob Moat for Head Boy,
  • Abi Chorlton-Wilson for Head Girl,
  • Joshua Ramsdale for Deputy Head Boy,
  • Alice Miller for Deputy Head Girl, and
  • Lucy Harrison for Head Prefect.

Finally I would like to to say a big thank you to all those involved in the organisation of the event for their dedication and enthusiasm.


Tuesday 7 November 2017

Attended the Poppy City Day Appeal in the Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library

We showed our support to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living, along with other Staff members of Stockton Borough Council, by going along in the lunch break to donate and watch the live performance of serving soldiers who performed traditional Gurka Dance as part of the Poppy Day Appeal in the Jim Cooke Suite,Stockton Central Library.

The British Legion was founded by veterans after the First World War. A century on from the start of that conflict, they are still helping today’s Service men and women, veterans, and their families in almost every aspect of daily life. From making adaptations to someone’s home following injury, to the Handy Vans that can make quick repairs in veterans homes, to their Pop in centres that offer face-to-face support to their beneficiaries. They know that if they need support, now or in the future, the Legion is always on active duty for them.  That is why it is so important that the British Legion continue with their vital work on behalf of those who will benefit from the support given.

Peter Milne the Community Fundraiser thanked Stockton Town Council staff and Town Businesses for their invaluable support, to help raise funds for The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal as the total raised for the day was in excess of £5700.     


Wednesday 8 November 2017

Attended the Northern Section Showman’s Guild Annual Luncheon at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham


Mr John C Culine MBE President of the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain

It was with pleasure that we attended the Northern Section of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain Annual Luncheon at Ramside Hall, Durham. With other VIP’s we were invited by the chief barker to be entertained and dined in the main hall.

Keith Miller, General Secretary of the Showman Guild of Great Britain, welcomed the guests and introduced the afternoons programme. Reverend Eddy Wilkinson Chaplin to the Northern Section gave remembrance prayers and grace at the start of the proceedings.

George Bliss Chairman of the Northern Section Showman’s Guild then proposed a toast to the Guests and well wishes. Councillor Harry Trueman Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council returned and responded to the toast for the guests. Mrs Marjorie Simpson of Yarm Town Council proposed a toast to the Showman’s Guild.

Mrs Valerie Moody MBE Education Liaison Officer gave a speech on the education of showmen children. Talking to Valerie about children’s education she said that most people think of funfairs as entertainment but behind the scenes there is a whole social structure of the lives of travelling showmen who number about 20,000 in Britain and one of the most frequently asked questions is; how do children receive an education. The most visible work of the Travellers Education Service (TES) operations is seen with distance learning packs which most of the travelling showmen’s children work with. Each work within the national guidelines and according to the national curriculum but also has individual projects that may operate as well. In the North East  a temporary school is just one initiative of the local TES in association with Valerie Moody, a showman who has been awarded the MBE for her services to educational work.


Mayoress with Mrs Valerie Moody MBE Education Liaison Officer

Mr John C Culine MBE responded to the Toast to The Showmen’s Guild and gave an account of some of the history of travelling showmen.

The Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, celebrated their 128 anniversary this year, and is the principal trade association for travelling showmen.

The people it represents gain their livelihoods by presenting amusements at funfairs. They come from far and wide and have a variety of historical backgrounds. There are some whose roots go back to the time of the strolling players and entertainers, but most are the descendants of those who were attracted into the fairground business during the period of great expansion that followed the introduction of steam-powered rides in the nineteenth century.

The advent of the showman’s guild is entirely due to the efforts of an evangelical preacher from Leicestershire George Smith of Coalville. George Smith was a zealous and censorious Primitive Methodist who had taken it upon himself to reform the lot of those people whose lifestyles offended him. Although not an elected member, in 1884 he had been successful in persuading Parliament to adopt a Bill to regulate the lives of those who worked and lived on canal boats and eventually Showmen, but after many years of campaign the Showman’s Guild resulted in victory when George Smith’s Bill was rejected by Parliament in 1893. The Showman’s Guild has been going ever since.

We thanked George Bliss for a wonderful afternoon, the camaraderie was superb, the entertainment was delightful and the Luncheon was delicious.

May their operations continue to give enjoyment to the public for many years to come.  


Mayoress with carnival replica


Thursday 9 November 2017

Attended the Junction Farm Primary School Assembly at Butterfield Drive Eaglescliffe


With pupils of Junction Farm Primary School

We visited Junction Farm Primary School to meet the children at assembly and talk about the Mayoral role and duties of the Mayor, which was a privilege and was wonderful to be part of the assembly.

I was asked to tell the pupils a little about our special roles. I explained that the office of the Mayor is given to a councillor each year. As the Mayor I am known as the first citizen of the Borough. This means I represent everyone who lives in the Borough, from the youngest to the oldest; we promote our town and the borough as a great place to live and work. We are the Queens representative for the borough, so we get the privilege to welcome any important visitors who come here and represent the borough at any special events across the North East.

A big part of our role is to support local charities, and we have chosen to help three charities while I am Mayor: Cleveland Alzheimer’s, Meningitis Now, and Motor Neurone Disease. We also support all the different communities that we have in our borough such as school communities like here in Junction Farm. 


Head boy and Head Girl of Junction Farm Primary School

The children responded by asking questions such as; do you know the queen and have you met her? Do you live in a castle? Do you drive a big car? What functions do you go to? and lots more. We were impressed by the quality of  the questions imposed but most of all they wanted to know more about the chains we were wearing and their history, which we were happy to explain.

I thanked all the children in the assembly for being patient and questions asked and hoped that they had enjoyed our visit, also thanking the teachers for the warm welcome received at the school.

The response from the children was deafening as they replied with a sublime yes. 


Friday 10 November 2017

Attended the Garden of Remembrance at the Parish Church Gardens, Stockton High Street


With Rev Martin Anderson and Mayoress Laraine listening to Col Heron’s address

As Mayor of Stockton, it was my privilege and honour to formally open the Royal British Legion’s Garden of Remembrance for 2017. Our Garden of Remembrance is dedicated to those servicemen from the Borough of Stockton who sacrificed their lives in the many conflicts of war in the past.

The morning was bathed in brilliant sunshine and under the direction of the DLI Association, school groups and other organisations placed their symbols of remembrance around the garden. Members of the DLI Association, Stockton Royal British Legion, Standard Bearers of the RBL & other Veterans Association, the Salvation Army Bugler, members of schools and colleges, and members of the public gathered at the Garden of Remembrance at the East Gate and surrounded the perimeter fence overlooking the garden.

Myself and the Mayoress, Laraine, were accompanied by my chaplain, the Reverend Martin Anderson, Borough and Parish Councillors, Royal British Legions Officers and entered the garden by the East Gate. We were greeted by Lt Colonel John Heron who introduced the members of the Stockton DLI Association who assisted in the garden during the week.


Talking to school children after the service.

After Colonel Heron, I gave a few words of introduction to those present at the service.  I was particularly glad to see the many young people of the borough paying their respects, and to everyone else who had stopped just for a moment to visit the garden on this special occasion. I thanked them all for taking time out to pay tribute to those that had fallen and to note also to remember them at our Remembrance Day Parade and Service on Sunday at 11am at the Cenotaph, besides the Parish Church.

After my welcome I handed back to Colonel Heron President of the Durham Light Infantry Association who gave a more informative detail about the DLI, the garden and the many servicemen and women whose sacrifices they were honouring on this day. This was followed by a short service of Remembrance by my Chaplain the Reverend Martin Anderson which was followed by the Exhortation and then the Last Post sounded by the bugler, as the standards dipped we observed a minutes silence. Mr Roger Bannister then read the Kohima Epitaph, after which the Standards were recovered.

Following this we then had school groups reading commemorative poems, other pieces of literature and singing songs pertinent to the day’s ceremony. Martin Anderson then led us into closing prayers to conclude the service.


Mayoress in conversation with pupils at the Garden of Remembrance

After the service we placed our symbol of Remembrance and then spoke informally to the school children, about how they felt about the service and war in general. We were really surprised how knowledgeable they were about this event and some of their families’ involvement in conflicts throughout the ages, they shall never forget.

This was another event that involved hundreds of school children, parents, teachers and public who embraced the day in the memory of those who had given their lives for the liberty of others, which we were proud to be a part of.

Brief aims and objectives of The Durham Light Infantry Association:

  • To maintain the spirit of the Durham Light Infantry amongst all ranks.
  • To keep in touch with those who have served in The Durham Light Infantry, The Light Infantry and The Rifles.
  • To maintain the comradeship which existed in the Regiment, and to promote social intercourse by arranging functions and by establishing branches.
  • To afford opportunities of mutual assistance and to investigate cases of distress and hardship, and to obtain assistance whenever possible.

We thanked Colonel Heron and all that were involved in the organisation of the event and especially the school children who would remember the day for a long time.


Friday 10 November 2017

Attended the Bright Lights Celebration Event at the Management Centre, Teesside Park, Goodwood Square, Stockton


Bright Light Celebration – Meeting and talking to trainees

Teesside Park embarked on their second Bright Light pre-employment training programme with the aim of giving young people a path into retail. This was a five week programme, commencing on Monday, 9 October, which equips local people with greater customer service skills needed in modern business. A number of retailers have joined in with providing work replacements for two days each week  and accompanied us at the celebration. The course combines nationally recognised qualifications with work experience and is delivered by the Source Skills Academy, a learning centre for retail and World Host customer training.

Firstly we met up with Mike Clarke, Centre Manager, who gave us a quick tour of the Teesside Park Management Centre and then met with trainees who were in a jovial mood.

Mike said as Teesside celebrates its 25 birthday, a big thank you goes to all the partners who’ve helped them contribute to our local area – creating a great place for people to shop and spend time, boosting local jobs, fueling the regional economy and supporting our local community. 1 job in every 100 in the Tees Valley is supported by Teesside with up to 2400 jobs at the centre and additional jobs in the supply chain and local communities. 80 per cent of the people who work at Teesside live in the Stockton and Middlesbrough area.

Thirty apprentices are currently learning while they earn in Teessides stores helping local people grow and developing skills for the future.

It was a good afternoon to everyone and we were delighted to be at the Centre for the Bright Light Celebrations. I spoke to the trainees on their pre – employment training programme which combines nationally recognised qualifications and work experience to make sure that young people are fully prepared to start a career in retail.

The customer service skills that  they had learnt were of vital importance, to be able to communicate with and help people, will not just benefit them in their future career, but also in life. Thanks must go to the retailers who have helped this group of young people by providing them the opportunity of a work placement, giving them a chance to practice their skills in a real retail environment.

I informed them that it was obvious that they had worked hard over the past five weeks to meet the sucessful completion of the Bright Lights Programme, and that they should be proud of their achievements.

One young lady who had benefited from the retail training programme at Teesside, had been trying to get into retail for a year. Through the training programme, she completed a placement at a store where she impressed the team so much they offered her a full-time role. She has now progressed onto its apprenticeship programme. Best of luck to her for the future.


With trainees and their awards



With Mike Clarke and trainee presenting her award

We wish all the trainees the very best for the future and hope they succeed in whatever they do and may they all smile on the customer.


Friday 10 November 2017

Attended/hosted the charity Casino Night at Grosvenor Casino, Chandlers Wharf, Stockton


Grosvenor Casino – sophisticated lights and plenty of games of chance

This was an excellent evening and the turn out by Civic members was good and everyone contributed to our Charity profiles. These being: Cleveland Alzheimer’s Residential Care, Motor Neurons Disease Association and Meningitis Now.


Craig asking us questions on Take Your Pick, not the winners but we did alright

The Charity Night was sponsored by Grosvenor Casino in Stockton and the evening started with a champagne reception which everyone enjoyed apart from myself as I’m not so keen on the bubbly stuff, cider, the real beverage is more to my preference.

After my speech welcoming the guests to the charity bash I thanked them all for their attendance in helping our charity causes, it was greatly appreciated. I wished them all well and hoped they enjoy the evening. We were hosted by their in house entertainer Craig who guided us through an evening of game show fun and other entertainment such as prize draws, Take Your Pick, Play Your Cards right and much more.

The staff provided a fantastic hot and cold buffet that was most enjoyable, and then we were treated to a Roulette tournament on AR6 machine, five spins to see who could win the most chips for a bottle of Prosecco. The eventual winners were the Mayoress and Consort from Colburn Town Council who played all their winnings on the last spin on one number at 35 times the stake; nobody could beat them as they were the last to go, what a fluke. To say the least Colburn know how to party. They also won Play Your Cards Right  for another bottle of Prosecco.


The Royal British Legion 


Colburn Town Council and North Yorkshire County Council – they know how to party and are a very pleasant set of Civics


Casino singer Sarah Fitzpatrick– The Lady sings the Blues, what an excellent voice

We gave thanks to the management of the Casino and staff who provided us with an excellent evening of entertainment and food, but special thanks go to Michelle and Jenna for their invaluable support and help throughout the evening, for their calm and smooth way of dealing with the evening’s proceedings. 


Saturday 11 November 2017

Attended Vision25 at Stockton Business Centre in Brunswick Street, Stockton


With the Vision 25 group

It was with special thanks to Jan Anderson and Laura Singh who invited us to the relocation and opening of Vision 25 situated in Brunswick Street.

Vision 25 opened its doors earlier in the year to eleven young adults within the Stockton on Tees community. Their main aim was simple, to help make these young adults lives as independent as possible. 

Vision 25 believes every person should be allowed to follow their own aspirations and ambitions. Every young adult is an individual and days are personalised and meaningful to them. They are asked to make their own decisions and are guided to fulfil them. After only a few month the young adults progress is evident and new experiences have been enjoyed. Everyone who volunteers at Vision 25, comes back time and time again. Parents thank staff and say progress towards independence is noticed at home. When young adults are asked why they enjoy coming to Vision 25, answers are regularly the same ‘’because I learn new things, because I enjoy spending time with friends, because it makes me happy’’. As a company, Vision 25 is going to continue fulfilling its aims and making sure that each and every adult is given the chance to achieve all they can, to the best of their ability and positively take their own steps towards independence. It gave me great pleasure to officially declare Vision 25 open.


Vision 25 celebration cake to be cut 

We thanked the staff for the invitation as it was a pleasure to be amongst these young adults and talk with them about their experiences and their roles within the centre. We wished them well for the future. 



Cutting the celebration ribbon across the door entrance


Sunday 12 November 2017

Attended the Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade at Stockton Parish Church and Cenotaph in the High Street, Stockton 



Standard bearer ready for inspection at the Stockton Cenotaph

The morning started by meeting VIP’S including the Deputy Lord Lieutenants of North Yorkshire and Durham, local MP’s, Aldermen, our Chief Executive, Councillors, emergency service personnel and SBC Office staff. A service was held in the Parish Church where the church held its usual contemporary Sunday morning service, which had within it a Remembrance theme.

There was no civic participation or procession within the service as it was carried out in accordance with the Church’s normal Sunday service.

After the church service the Mayors Attendant led the Mayors party and congregation from the church to form up in the designated areas in front of the Cenotaph. 



With the Mayors Attendant and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Durham prior to the Parish Church Service

Prior to the finish of the church service, the service personnel under the instruction of the Parade Marshall marched to the Cenotaph area and lined up in formation outside the parish Church.  Once the VIP’s formed up at the War Memorial the Standards broke off and formed around the Cenotaph.

The Mayors Chaplain Martin Anderson, led the reading and prayers. This was followed by the Exhortation by the Parade Marshall, the Last Post played and then there was two minutes silence. The Kohima Epitaph was given followed by The Reveille. On the instruction of the Royal British Legion President, wreathes were laid in defined order. The last wreath was laid by the Parade Marshall and then handed over to the Reverend Martin Anderson who gave the final blessing.

The National Anthem was then given after which the VIP’s proceeded to the Saluting Dais adjacent to the Town Hall ready to receiving the March Past. The Parade Marshall, taking command, gathered his service men and women and led the March Past and Salute at the dais before the parade ended at the Shambles car park in the High Street.

The numbers of residents and service personnel at the ceremony was by far greater than in previous years, which bodes well for the 100 anniversary ceremony for the ending of World War 1, next year.


Scout in attendance ready to march



This veteran has seen some service



Standard Bearers at the Cenotaph


Services and Veterans march past at the dais down Stockton High Street



Young cadet ready to lay the wreath at the Cenotaph

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