Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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October 2018

October was another busy month. I supported lots of events in the Borough, including charity events, awards ceremonies, and many more.

One of my nominated charities, the Stockton and Yarm branch of the Royal British Legion, held a Festival of Remembrance concert in support of the National Poppy Appeal. It was a fantastic night with music from The Military Wags, Durham Lane Primary School, and Tees valley Barbershop Harmony Choir amongst others. There was something for everyone and all in aid of a great cause.

I attended two services at Irene Jessop Funeral Home, one to remember the victims of the Dibble Bridge Disaster, a coach crash 43 years ago that killed 33 people mostly from Thornaby. The other service at the Funeral Home was to unveil a Tommy Silhouette to commemorate the ending of World War One. Both were very moving.

I had the honour of seeing off a group of sausage dogs and their owners on a charity dog walk – I hope that they raised lots of money as well as a few smiles!

Mike McGrother invited me to see the work that he is doing at Holme House as part of the 1245 Sunflower project. The project ends on 11 November with a community choir at Trinity grounds in Stockton Town Centre, and you can find details of this on the Stockton Borough Council events page.

It is always great to meet and support young people of the Borough and in October I showed the Eaglescliffe Beavers group around the Town Hall, along with Stuart from my office, telling them all about the history of the building and our Borough. I visited Scout groups from across the region as they took part in an international Jamboree, sending messages around the world to each other, and they taught me how to spell my name in Morse code. I also supported the Marine Society and Sea Cadets as they held their annual Trafalgar Day Parade and service. During the service I laid a wreath in commemoration of those who took part in Admiral Lord Nelson’s defeat of the French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar in 1805.

I attended two very important awards ceremonies: The MB Awards and the Black History Youth Awards. The MB Awards have been held for 13 years now, and were started in honour of Michael Benson who had Spinal Muscular Atrophy and sadly passed away just before his 16th birthday. The awards, organised by the charity snaps, celebrates the achievements of young people in our borough and I was very inspired by the stories I heard on the night. The Black History Youth Awards, organised by Cultures CIC, is now in their fifth year and is part of their mentoring programme that promotes positive role models. Again, the event was really inspiring. We really do have some amazing young people in our borough.

I also attended a few Civic and charity events across the North East region to represent our Borough, including the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham’s Annual Dinner in Hartlepool, the Mayor of Hartlepool, the Mayor of Sedgefield, and the Mayor of Barnard Castle’s charity events, the Mayor of Redcar & Cleveland’s Civic Service, and a Dragons Den event in aid of the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire’s charities, which was lots of fun! One of the Civic events I attended was the Letters Patent ceremony at Teesside Crown Court. This annual event is an historic ritual that affirms the court’s powers to do justice, as granted by the Queen, and marks the beginning of the court’s year.

November is looking to be just as busy, especially with all the events organised for Remembrance and to commemorate the ending of First World War that I attended over the last week, and I will update you on these later.