Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 10 October 2016

10 October 2016


Attended the newly built Grangefield Academy School, Stockton. Was shown around by Nikki Gibb (Head Teacher) and Jo Taylor (organiser), this is now in a growing list of schools that have responded to my request to visit schools in the area. I was very impressed with the new school and its facilities and their plans for the future, the school has come on leaps and bound recently and improved greatly in their academic attainments. I was then interviewed by the schools council who asked some very interesting questions, I answered them as honestly as I could and hopefully widened their view of what a Mayor does and my aims. Well done to all involved I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.


Attended Whitehouse Primary school and was shown around by two of the head children, it was remarkable how well the children not just here but everywhere I have attended have behaved, a credit to the teaching staff. Then taken to the main assembly hall where the children gathered and I gave out special awards for Primary Science Quality Mark – GOLD and PE Schools Games Award –GOLD. What an achievement for the school teachers and pupils WELL DONE! I also gave out certificates to individual children who had done well over the previous week in various subjects and tasks.

I asked the pupils for questions and they ranged from, have I a Throne? (no answer to that one) was I rich?, who do I support? (when I said Middlesbrough huge roar went up). I asked the children if they wanted me to come back they shouted YESSSS when I said I couldn’t hear them they ROARED YESS! Fantastic. As I was leaving the room a boy held the door open and asked if I would “high five” him, I did this and he said to the driver, I’m having a shower tonight but I’ll keep that hand out and dry. Brilliant. Thank you to everyone for a smashing afternoon.


11 October 2016

Attended Letters Patent Ceremony at Teesside Crown Court, this ceremony started at Middlesbrough Town Hall marching in procession to the Law Courts where we lined up and were introduced to the dignitaries from the Teesside area (High sheriff of North Yorkshire and Durham along with other high court judges). Then the arrival of Her Majesty’s High Court Judge the Hon Mr Justice Bodey, we then marched in possession to the Court No 1, where the Letters Patent were read out by the court official. A prayer was said and we then adjourned to the Judges dining room for tea. We then marched back to the Town Hall. This is a ceremony that dates back years and is carried out every year.


12 October 2016

Attended the Town Hall, Stockton and took part in the monthly Citizenship ceremony, there were 14 people who were swearing their allegiance to our sovereign and country. There were at least 6 separate countries represented today, it was great to see their obvious delight and commitment to becoming a British citizen.


13 October 2016

Attended Boots Opticians Wellington Square, Stockton for the grand opening, this is yet another shop to open within this precinct. I was impressed with the lay out and the friendliness of the staff who made me feel welcome. In attendance were children from the Oxbridge Primary School who proudly told me that I am visiting their school next month, I asked that the questions weren’t too hard.

This has reminded me I must get my eyes tested soon.


14 October 2016

Attended Snaps Michael Benson award Ceremony at the Thornaby Sports & Leisure centre, I attended last year as Deputy Mayor and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the children with disabilities, with special or additional needs, and  including meeting all their families. I had an option to attend another function but meeting these people is so inspirational, especially the organiser and extremely hard worker Ruth Benson, for its in memory of her son Michael that she set SNAPS up. What a terrific turn out with children and adults of all ages attaining an award and certificate, with some of the awards being particularly heartfelt. If you want to donate or simply assist with this very worthwhile cause please contact


15 October 2016


Attended The RENEW Music, shop in Wellington Square. I met with owner Martin Murphy, Martin started his record sale business some 25 years ago in the old shambles and being an entrepreneurial man started a flourishing business. His business deals in CDs, records, videos, books, clothes at very competitive prices and where other CD and Videos outlets closed he is actually opening new stores. He has a shop in Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton and soon to be opened in Washington. We are delighted that he has chosen to open a store in Stockton being his original trading base; he currently employs some 70 staff and speaks very highly of the people of Stockton and his dealing with Stockton Council. This is the fourth shop I have opened in two weeks and sure there are many more in the pipe line. Well done Martin to you, your family and staff, good luck in the future.


Attended the Arc Stockton to the Gospel Music event ‘Respect 2016‘ there was the choir from Newcastle HOSANNA, The North Eastern Gospel Choir who sang acapella, mama Irene, Faith (lady singer), Chichi and dance group Kasamba. What a rapturous evening with excellent gospel singing.

We were treated extremely well, and enjoyed it that much we didn’t realize that we had stayed an hour extra. Sorry we couldn’t stay for the refreshment and food as I know they put on a fantastic array of traditional dishes.

Thank you to everyone who was there that night and for your hospitality.