Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Week Commencing 3 October 2016

3 October 2016

Attended the ARC Stockton to welcome the incoming students of the John Snow College, Queens Campus, Stockton. It was pleasing to see so many new under graduate and postgraduate students taking up their place. I was greeted by the Principle of John Snow College, Professor Carolyn Summerbell, who I know doubt will be seeing again tomorrow at Durham University Matriculation Ceremonies.

Good luck to all the students in the coming academic year.


4 October 2016

In an attempt to get the children of the borough versed in who and what the Mayor does, I sent a request out to all schools in the borough asking if they wanted me to visit, up to now I have had a positive response. I was happy to attend Yarm Primary School for the ‘BIG  DRAW’, this is an event where the children and people who attended were encouraged to colour in a fish, and to glue them to a large freeze designed to show the river that is part of the schools crest. I was met by head Jill Wood and then introduced to two senior pupils Simone and James who asked me some very good questions which with the answers they were placing on their Blog. I had a good time interacting with the parents and children and I look forward to be invited back at some stage, I also thank them for their hospitality.


5 October 2016

Attended Durham University Matriculation Ceremonies in Durham Cathedral, these are ceremonies to greet and induct new undergraduates and post graduate students into the various colleges. What splendid ceremonies in what is probably the best setting they could have had, the Worshipful Mayor of Durham and myself greeted the students at every ceremony to welcome them into the college.

Good luck to them all in their forthcoming studies and exams.


6 October 2016

Attended Harvest Festival at Victoria House, Stockton, the residents and visitors were treated to food and beverages in order to commemorate the harvest festival. We spoke to some of the residents and thanked the staff for their hospitality.


7 October 2016


I attended St John the Baptist Primary School, Stockton and visited their new café area, this is a newly converted area to provide café facilities on Friday morning so that parents and children can use it to socialise and interact with others. It has proved a popular innovative idea, Well done.


Attended High Clarence Primary School in order to celebrate their new mural, that they designed and now transferred onto the side of a converted Porto cabin which will be used by the school and others in a specially created allotment area.

First of all I had a tour of the school by two of the pupils then answered questions from the children, at first they seemed awe struck but we shortly set a conversation with them, they gave me some interesting questions and observations. We then walked to the allotments area which has been transformed from waste land into what will be a fully cultivated area where people can go to reflect, do gardening or generally use to meet others. The Porto cabin will be fully converted into a kitchen area, meeting area, toilets, and stage area for events.

Well done it’s great to see an initiative coming to fruition.


Attended the Chairman of Durham Civic Dinner at County Hall, Durham. This is part of the chairman’s fundraising activity for his chosen Charities. Met other dignitaries from around the area, swopping information they were particularly keen on attending Stockton when I again pointed out what had been achieved and the automaton.


8 October 2016


Attended Drake bookshop, Silver Street, Stockton, where with author Kit De Waal (My Name is Leon) I officially opened the store, which I may add was near full to capacity, this is yet another success story where they set the book shop in the Enterprise Arcade, High Street, Stockton and have blossomed into opening their own premises. I wish them luck in their venture and would urge people to attend the store as they have a great selection of books.


Attended Olympia Building, Teesside University, Middlesbrough for the presentation of a Taste of Africa, this is part of Black History Months celebrations. This evening promoted traditional performances, poetry, drama, fashion show, singing and drumming as well as traditional African food and craft wear. There were also stall on behalf of the various voluntary bodies set up to help all parts of the community. What an amazing night, we were treated to traditional African dancing and drumming, several musical mixed race groups, Teesside University drama school members etc. Of course I was selected to do some tribal dancing (not very well) to the delight of the people there as was the Mayoress of Hartlepool. I would like to thank the hard working Sade for inviting us and Christine for looking after us. If you have never been before I would urge you to do so next time the eclectic mix and diversity of cultures was refreshing to see.


9 October 2016

Attended Tees Rowing Club where we waited for the arrival of the guest LAURENCE WHITELEY our Gold Medal Para Olympian to arrive. The club formed an arch of oars on his arrival and I had the great pleasure to great him, I can honestly say that he is a quiet and unassuming young man who was taken completely by surprise at the size of the welcome. Laurence started his rowing career at Tees Rowing Club and under the guidance of his first coach Greg Beswick and Caroline MacDonald inspiring him he became the athlete that was picked up by Olympic Rowing. They inspiringly partnered him with Lauren Rowles and together they won GOLD at the Rio Para Olympics in TA mixed doubled sculls, what a fantastic achievement by both.

I presented him with a certificate to acknowledge how proud the people of Stockton are of him and with his efforts, it has again raised the profile of Tees Rowing and Stockton, he goes on the role of honour at the club alongside Olympian Kat Copeland. Again our congratulations on a fantastic feat.