Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 17 October 2016

17 October 2016

Attended the funeral of our colleague Chris Smith at the Darlington Crematorium, Chris died suddenly doing the job he loved whilst assisting at a children’s venue in Stockton. Although I didn’t know him personally I spoke to his colleagues who described as a loving dedicated family man who loved his work. From all at Stockton Borough Council we offer our thoughts and condolences to his wife and family for this tragic and untimely loss, it was such a sad occasion and was attended by a very large congregation showing what a popular man he was.


19 October 2016

I chaired a meeting of Full Council at the Town Hall, Stockton. This meeting as always now can be viewed on the council web site. Prior to the meeting there was a photo call at the fountain on the High Street for the Councils support for “SHOW RACISM THE RED CARD”, a theme that was carried into the council chamber by members wearing something red as a token of support.


20 October 2016

Attended Rosebrook Primary School, Stockton. This is a new primary school and has recently been voted a top school and I could see why. My first engagement was to meet the school council representatives, these were a group of children elected by the rest of the school children to act on the school council as their representatives. They asked me some pretty searching questions such as “What inspired you to be Mayor?“, “What skills do you need to be Mayor?“, “Why do you wear a gold chain?“, “What jobs do you do and how do they work?“, ”What would you say to anyone who would like to be a future Mayor?”

I then went into the main assembly where I outlined who I was and what my role was and what it basically entailed, this was more relevant as it was British Values Week. One comment by a child as they walked from the hall summed up what I was trying to convey was  He’s Just Like Us.

I then met with year 6 who asked me some great questions such as  “How did I get to be Mayor“, “What is my Job“ etc.

I answered them as I would do to anyone with the true facts and hoped that honesty would have left them with a positive idea of who I am and what I stand for. I have to admit I had a great time and would like to thank the staff and most of all the children for heart-warming and engaging visit.


21 October 2016


Attended the Bright Light celebration at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, hosted by British land. This is a training programme which equips local young people with greater customer service skills needed to succeed in retail. The students gain nationally recognised qualifications and work experience via Source Skills Academy and Worldhost training. I presented the students with their certificates and on speaking to them the one abiding thing that I gleaned was that the training gave them confidence in everything that they learnt and tried as a result of the tuition and retail opportunity.

Well done to their tutors and the organisations, I am sure that these students will progress to employment.


Attended the Black History Youth Awards at Teesside University, hosted by Cultures CIC,  this is an organisation based in the Tees Valley that aims to advance economic, social and cultural integrated practices for disadvantaged BME, Refugee and immigrant communities within the North East. This event provided Youth Awards as well as being a fund raising event, we had a great evening with traditional and modern music together with the award ceremonies for individual youngsters who had contributed and achieved exceptionally well during the year. Well done to everyone and especially to Sade Sangowawa, who is instrumental in her hard work in the past 13 years to push this and other BME projects forward. Thank you from the Mayoress and myself for your hospitality.


22 October 2016


We were kindly invited by the Chairman and members of Weigh and Tolls Committee of Yarm Town Council to be a guest at the opening ceremony of the opening of Yarm Ridings Fair event. The fair was blessed then we were taken by steam traction engine down the High street, and back around West Street onto the High Street, stopping at intervals so that a hunting horn would sound then a proclamation read out as pre time honoured tradition. We then went to Yarm Fellowship Hall where we had lunch and speeches made.

I would like to thank Yarm Town Council for inviting the Mayoress and myself and for the hospitality shown.


Attended Teesside Retail Park to help celebrate their 25th anniversary and heritage of the centre, I think I don’t have to remind people of the fantastic rise of this centre in its 25 years, we have some of the most high profile shops with the addition of more as the units change. It has supported in the Tees valley nearly 2,500 jobs at the centre and additional jobs in the supply chain and local communities (of course remembering their involvement in the Bright Light celebration I attended). Teesside Park is ranked as No1 in UK by the CACI, judging by the amount of investment and work put in by British Land there’s a fantastic future ahead. Let’s not forget all the hard work put in by Mike Clarke, Matt Boxall, Jane West and their staff to ensure a high standard of shopping experience. Contacts Facebook –Teessideshopping.


Attended The Mayor of Hartlepool’s Civic dinner at the Lion’s Den, Hartlepool, The Mayor, Councillor Rob Cook, and Mayoress, Brenda, hosted a civic dinner in order to raise money for his charities Bloodwise and Great North Air Ambulance. We were treated to a song quartet the JADES who were very good, and an excellent meal, and again needless to say I never won on the raffle! It was an excellent night and thanks to the Mayor for inviting us and looking after us.


23 October 2016

Attended Captain Cook Commemorative service at St Marys Parish church, Whitby, a fantastic old church with what I thought were unusual features which added to its character (A must visit if you’re in Whitby). Really enjoyed the service and then attended the Royal Hotel for coffee and biscuits, we then went to the Captain Cook memorial statue on West Cliff (next to whale bones) where we had a short service followed by the laying of wreaths. Even the freezing wind and slight rain couldn’t dampen the smashing day we had plus Whitby is one of my favourite coastal towns.