Draft minutes

This is the postponed agenda from the 23 Janaury 2024, Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 19th March, 2024 7.00 pm

Proposed venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Carly Parker, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk


No. Item


Items of Urgent Business

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There were no urgent items of business.



Declaration of Interests

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There were no declarations of interests.



Clean and Green- Verbal Update

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The Assistant Director of street scene and leisure provided an overview of the changes made to the operational delivery model across Thurrock. They had moved away from traditional hand sweeping to mobile sweeping.


It was decided that the service could be delivered with 14 less staff with minimal impact of the quality of the work being produced. Despite this by September 2023 there was a noticeable downturn in the quality of services. With an increase in complaints in litter and weed growth. Following a review, it was agreed to bring back 9 members of staff which impacted the quality of services and drove up improvement standards. In addition to this staff undertook training in November 2023. This covered code of practice on litter and refuse; cleansing standards, health and safety, tools, equipment PPE, and uniform.  A review of cleansing schedules and rounds was undertaken to assess efficiency.


The Committee were advised that Bartec software is used to improve refuse, recycling, garden and food waste services for councils and residents. Initially the usage was poor with approximately 14% usage across the service. After a review and training on how to use the software, this increased to 89% by the end of January 2024. This led to a reduction in member inquiries and complaints relating to the clean and green service.


Other key points raised include.


·       From November 2023 to present 100% of members complaints and queries have been responded too in a reasonable amount of time and closed within 10 days.

·       4011 cleansing inspections have been carried out between April 2023- January 2024 across the clean and green services. 97% of inspections were graded B or above. 51% were at grade A. 46% were at grade B, 2.7% grade C and 0.7% at grade D.

·       3,996 service requests were received and responded too.

·       661 litter bins on the highway have been emptied regularly.

·       2405 fly tips have been removed.

·       8 remembrance memorials were thoroughly cleaned in preparation for Memorial Day.

·       Playground inspectors have carried out 4003 inspections of play areas. As a result, 302 defective pieces of equipment have been repaired throughout the borough.


The committee were advised that work is being carried out to meet Thurrock’s corporate objectives an update will be provided once further progress is made.


The Chair raised concerns about the litter on the A13. Advising the area is often resident’s and visitors introduction to Thurrock, however its is unknown that Thurrock does not own this. The Chair questioned whether anything could be done to get the highways department to abide by Thurrock’s cleaning standards. The committee were advised a 3-mile section of the A13 has been handed back to Thurrock. It’s not in the best condition, however work is being completed to address this, with a 30-day work cycle that started last week.


Action: Assistant Director of Street Scene and Leisure to provide the exact 3- mile location of the A13 that has been handed back to Thurrock to councillors.


The Vice Chair praised the work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Waste Strategy- Verbal Update

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The Assistant Director of Street scene and Leisure provided a summary.  Advising that changes to legislation brought in new reforms. Some of the key things include a common-sense approach to recycling, meaning people across England will be able to recycle all materials and put an end to any confusion.  Weekly food waste and green waste will be offered to residents at a charge by March 2026.


The Following objectives were discussed.


·       Objective 1- Eliminate unnecessary use of single waste plastics and unnecessary packaging from the waste stream. A ban on single use plastics has been enforced. Working with communications team for targeted waste minimisation.


·       Objective 2- Minimise the reduction of waste and create awareness amongst residents about the impact of waste. Looking into re-use options for bulky items. Waste minimisation will form part of the role of the new recycling officer. Service change booklets will be sent out to residents.


·       Objective 3- Increase Thurrock’s recycling rate to 50% by 2025. This includes weekly food waste collections from 2024. Moving to alternate weekly collections for general waste. Community engagement recycling officer will start in May 2024 and lead this.


·       Objective 4- Waste collection and disposal carried out in the most efficient way. Maintain landfill targets. Currently 0.007% of waste is sent to landfill. Move to alternate weekly collections to reduce carbon impact.


·       Objective 5- To become an authority that sends zero waste to landfill. Review the re-use of material and bulky waste.


·       To meet these challenges the council have completed the following.


·       Roll out of flats recycling programmes and integrated them into the collection service.

·       Re-tendered and procured waste disposal contracts.

·       Carried out a comprehensive re-optimisation of all waste collections.

·       Introduced and roll out of a weekly food collection service.

·       Introduced a subscription service for the collection of garden waste.


The committee were advised that the waste strategy will be completed by the end of quarter three and an update will be provided. The garden waste leaflets were completed. The Uptake for the subscriptions is just under the 20% target and Orsett; Little Thurrock, and Grays are the top subscribers.


Councillors raised that the garden waste leaflet does not identify a contact number for those who don’t have access to the internet.


Action: Assistant Director Street scene and Leisure to discuss garden waste subscriptions communication with the communications team. Making it clear that residents can call the council to subscribe and get the information out in libraries, local shops, and other local hubs.


The Vice- Chair raised that some young families may struggle with the fortnightly collections particularly if they have small babies in nappies or dog mess. The Committee were reassured in these instances where families are struggling with this, they can contact Thurrock for an additional bin, however Thurrock is one of the last boroughs to change to fortnightly collections.


Councillors questioned how residents in flats will share the cost of garden waste collection. The committee were advised residents are responsible for their own bins, however they can discuss  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Work Programme

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The work programme was not reviewed.


The Chair thanked the Assistant Director of Street scene for his very helpful updates. Councillors were advised this was the last meeting and thanked members for their time.


A full recording of the meeting can be viewed from the following link:


Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 19 March 2024, 7:00pm - Thurrock Council committee meeting webcasts (public-i.tv)