Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 & 3, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on 12 June 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 12 June 2019 were approved as a correct record.

12.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

13.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

14.

Statements by the Leader

Minutes:

The Leader began his statement by discussing the work of the Environmental Enforcement Officers, who had been given greater powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, as they had achieved accreditation under the Home Office’s Community Safety Accreditation Scheme. He stated that the Environmental Enforcement Officers could now seize alcohol from people under the age of 18, and issue fixed penalty notices to anyone causing harassment. He felt this would help the Council tackle anti-social behaviour and allow officers to take tougher action.

The Leader then moved onto to discuss a recent incident where officers seized a van and fined the owner £400 for dumping garden waste in Bulphan, and stated this penalty had been given again for a van dumping rubbish in Dennises Lane. He commented that fly-tipping cost the council money to clear and enforcement action sent a message that it was not acceptable in Thurrock. He added that the Council had recently prosecuted a man who had received noise nuisance complaints in Chadwell St Mary for keeping 20 dogs, and having failed to comply with the noise abatement notice, was taken to court and fined nearly £10,000.

The Leader then moved on to discuss the hard work of the Trading Standards Port team, as they had won the Product Safety Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Hero Awards. He stated that last year the team had intercepted 36% of dangerous goods entering the UK, which had saved the UK economy £14.4million. He added that the Trading Standards Port team had received £177,000 in funding from the National Trading Standards Board for 2019/20 and this would help them work to identify dangerous consumer products, and confiscating them before they entered the UK market.

Private Howarth’s memorial ceremony was the next item that the Leader discussed, and he stated that he felt honoured to attend the ceremony that paid tribute to the Private 101 years after he died from injuries he sustained after being a Prisoner of War during World War One. He explained that tributes were made at West Thurrock Cemetery for Private Howarth, as well as other fallen service men and women from World War One, and a plaque and memorial tree that had been dedicated to them was unveiled. He stated that this service was borne of a Full Council question from a local resident in July 2018, and the service had been well attended by Private Howarth’s relatives, local residents, Members, officers, and the Royal British Legion.

The Leader then updated the Cabinet on Clean It, Cut It, Fill It and stated that since April 2019: 649 potholes had been filled and all were within timeframe; 328 fly-tips had been cleared; 469 tonnes of waste had been cleared; and 99% of household waste bins had been emptied on the correct day. The Leader finished his statement by congratulating the Chief Executive as she had been appointed Honorary Fellow to the Thames Estuary Partnership for the contribution she had made to the sustainability  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Briefings on Policy, Budget and Other Issues

Minutes:

Councillor Little commented that she felt pleased the fly-tips in Bulphan had been cleared so quickly, and the offenders had been fined. She thanked local residents for their co-operation with the Council in reporting fly-tips, and thanked the Environmental Enforcement team for their hard work too. She added that she was pleased the man with 20 dogs in Chadwell St Mary had been fined, but felt disheartened that the RSPCA had returned 8 dogs to him, as she felt this would still create some noise. Councillor Coxshall thanked the Trading Standards team for their hard work, as he believed they saved the Council money by pre-emptively tackling issues such as faulty electrical goods.

16.

Petitions submitted by Members of the Public

Minutes:

No members of the public had submitted petitions.

17.

Questions from Non-Executive Members

Minutes:

No questions had been received from non-Executive Members.

18.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet for Consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

No matters had been referred to the Cabinet for consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

19.

LTC Task Force Update (Decision: 110511) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

The Leader stated that this report was simply to note the work of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force. Councillor Coxshall added that as Highways England moved closer to submitting the scheme, he felt the Task Force should bring back actions and delivery points, rather than reports to note, for Cabinet to consider. Councillor Little asked if Tim Jones leaving Highways England had had an effect on the Lower Thames Crossing project, and also asked how the new Resident Representative for the Task Force had been chosen. Councillor Coxshall replied that the Chair of the Task Force had chosen the Resident Representative. The Leader asked for another recommendation to be added, based on discussions that asked the Task Force to be mindful to bring forward action points so Cabinet can deliver the message on the LTC as soon as possible.


RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Noted the work of the Task Force.

2. Requested the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force be mindful to bring forward action points to Cabinet.

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
This decision is subject to call-in

20.

Integrated Transport Block Capital Programme 2019-20 (Decision: 110512) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Maney introduced the report and stated that this was a new exercise to explain the Department for Transport (DfT) funding allocation for both the Integrated Transport Block and Maintenance Block. He stated that the Integrated Transport Block would receive £971,000 from the DfT, and the Maintenance Block would receive £1.938million. He added that it was largely at the Council’s discretion how this funding was allocated, as long as it was within Thurrock’s Transport Strategy. He asked Members to note the Safer Routes to School scheme that had been included in this report, as lots of work had gone into this. He mentioned that this was a five-year scheme that prioritised work for those schools that needed Safer Routes to School. He summarised and stated that this report was approved at overview and scrutiny, and their only statement for Cabinet had been to request an additional recommendation asking for in-year variations in the programme to return to Cabinet before approval.

Councillor Watkins started discussions and commented that the Safer Routes to Schools scheme had been talked about for some time and felt it was positive to see it come before Cabinet. He felt that although not all schools could have this implemented this year, all schools would have the scheme in place within five years. He stated that it was good to see the highest priority schools receiving the Safer Routes to School scheme first. Councillor Maney added that schools with a Travel Plan had also been prioritised as this document helped the Council, and encouraged all schools to design a Travel Plan.

The Leader added that this report allowed residents to see the scoring mechanism behind the Safer Routes to Schools scheme, so they could understand why some schools had been prioritised over others, although by the end of the five-year scheme all schools would be part of the scheme. Councillor Little then asked if new schools being built would become part of the scheme automatically. The Interim Director Place replied that as part of negotiations with schools, the Safer Routes to School scheme would be included as new schools should have a Travel Plan and S106 agreement.

The Leader asked for an additional recommendation to be added based on the comments from overview and scrutiny committee, and asked for recommendation 1.2 to be clarified that this came under Councillor Maney, rather than Councillor Watkins, remit.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Approved the Integrated Transport Block Capital Programme and the Highway Maintenance Capital Programme for 2019/20 (as detailed in Appendices 1 and 4)

2. Noted and approved the process by which the Safer Routes to School and Road Safety Engineering programme (as detailed in Appendix 2 & 3) is assessed and prioritised for implementation over the next 5 years through delegated authority held by the Director of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport.

3. Delegated the authority to the Director of Place and the Director of Environment and Highways, in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Homeless Hostels, First Care and Crisis Intervention (Decision: 110513) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Johnson introduced the report and committed the Council’s position of preventing homelessness across the borough. He clarified that there were currently three separate contracts dealing with homelessness which were all due to end in 2020. He stated that this report wanted to merge the three separate contracts into one, which would attract more companies to the contract and reduce overheads. He stated that the proposed contract would run for three years, beginning on 1 April 2020, and would cost £2.118million. Councillor Johnson discussed how the contract would combine housing management; including the two homeless hostels in Grays, with one more currently on the way; a floating support service; an intensive support service for those residents that were recurrently homeless; and a rough sleeper’s outreach service. He stated that this contract would be reviewed against its Key Performance Indicators, and had been agreed at Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Approved the procurement of the Homeless Hostels, Housing First and Crisis Intervention Service

2. Agreed to delegate authority for award of the contract to the Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
This decision is subject to call-in

22.

Procurement of Disabled Adaptations Service (Decision: 110514) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Johnson introduced the report and stated this was procurement for two contracts, both of which allowed residents to live independently. He commented that the first contract was for stair-lift repair and maintenance, and the second contract was for major adaptations such as ramps and wet-rooms. He mentioned that although this service was mainly for housing stock, the new contract would include those residents who were eligible for disabled living grants. He summarised and stated that the contract would be reviewed against its Key Performance Indicators, had followed internal governance process, and was for a contract worth £1.425millon.

Councillor Little welcomed the report and added that this would mean savings for the council as if people remained in their homes, then they would not rely on assisted care facilities, which were expensive for the council to run. She also felt it was great for residents as many wanted to live as independently as they could for as long as possible.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Agreed the proposed process for procurement of the Disabled Adaptations works and services for a period of up to five years for a contract with a whole life cost valued above £1,425,000

2. Approved delegation to award the contracts to the Corporate Director of Adults, Housing, and Health in consultation with the Portfolio Holder.

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
this decision is subject to call-in

23.

Water Mains Replacement Programme and Specialist Drainage Plumbing Works (Decision: 110515) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Johnson introduced the report and stated it was for the re-procurement of the water main replacement contract, which was due to end on 1 November 2019. He added that the new contract would be for three years with the possibility of a two-year extension and was worth £1million. He added that the contract would ensure water mains would be replaced in line with local water authority and EU guidelines, and would focus on areas such as Grays, Aveley and South Ockendon where iron barrel pipes were still used, which were older and prone to bursting. He stated that these would be upgraded within the next three years and would help residents with drainage issues and increase water pressure. He summarised and stated the contract would be reviewed in line with Key Performance Indicators and governance processes.

Councillor Little welcomed the report and stated that when water mains were replaced they could now be mapped. She also asked that when replacing water mains outside properties, if the company that won the contract could inform the highways team, so they could work together. The Leader stated that the current contract had been renewed for an additional five months, and asked that when a date had been set for procurement, it was not additionally extended, to ensure Cabinet received enough time to look at the procurement process.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Agreed the proposed process to commence procurement of the contract for a period of up to five years for the water mains replacement programme and specialist drainage and plumbing repairs (three years with an option to extend for up to two years in any combination subject to performance, programme and funding)

2. Agreed delegated authority to award the contract to the Corporate Director of Adults, Housing and Health in consultation with the Portfolio Holder.

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
This decision is subject to call-in

24.

End of Year Corporate Performance Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Huelin introduced the report and stated that compared to the End of Year Corporate Performance Report 2017/18, the percentage of people in education and training had increased; the number of potholes filled on time had increased; the number of new apprentices had increased; and the number of adoptions had also increased. She added that 68% of service targets were now being achieved, and there was a clear focus where service targets had not been met. She thanked the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their hard work on these reports throughout the year and welcomed their comments. She stated that the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were ambitious, and stated that the direction of travel arrow showed Members and residents where the KPI was heading if it had not met target. She added that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee had recommended that underperforming KPIs be sent for closer inspection to the relevant overview and scrutiny committees, and added that a full review was currently being undertaken of failing KPIs to show how they were improving. She welcomed the suggestion from Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee of including a ‘route to green’ for every failing KPI and stated this would now be included, as well as timelines and guidance.

Councillor Watkins thanked all departments for their hard work in meeting KPI targets and stated that lots of work went into this throughout the year. He commented on the missed recycling KPI and stated that this was important for both Thurrock and central government and stated that many new schemes were being implemented across the borough to increase recycling rates. He discussed the new Recycling Project Officer who was new employed by the Council; the new communal waste trials; the communications Recycling Plan; and the new Working Group on recycling that had been agreed by Overview and Scrutiny to implement a new Recycling Strategy. Councillor Watkins then moved on to the missed KPI regarding graffiti that had increased on private property, although this was still included in the Council’s KPI. He stated that a new plan and strategy was in place to deal with this, as well as the KPI for cleanliness. He finished by focusing on the missed bin collection KPI which had met target since October 2018 until June 2019, only missing one month which had been March 2019. He stated that changes had been made last year on this KPI and the council were now seeing the effect of this.

The Leader drew Member’s attention to page 62 and the KPI regarding payment rate of fixed penalty notices for littering, as this had not met target last year. He stated that although fines were high, the enforcement team were taking court action against those individuals who had not paid. He added that plans were now in place to identify those individuals who gave a false name and address, as their photos would now be published online. He also drew Members attention to page 65 of the agenda,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.