Agenda and minutes

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 4th October, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 5 July 2018.


The minutes of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 5 July 2018 were approved as a correct record.


The Chair referred Members to the 10 October 2018 Cabinet Agenda, Quarter 1 Corporate Performance Report 2018/19, Page 86, Paragraph 3.4, Off Target Indicators section and stated that the Cleaner, Greener Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered a paper and proposals to address reducing recycling but had not agreed as part of the recommendation that this was a national trend. The Chair stated this paragraph as worded could be misleading. Julie Rogers, Director of Environment and Highways, apologised for any misunderstanding that the wording was not meant to be misleading and had raised the Chair’s concern with the Portfolio Holder.


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.


No matters of urgent business were received.


Declaration of Interests


No interests were declared.


Environmental Enforcement Update pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Phil Carver, Strategic Lead Enforcement and Community Protection, presented the report which provided Members with the opportunity to review the performance, service achievements and future priorities for the Environmental Enforcement Team. Members were referred to the increase in maximum fines for Fixed Penalty Notices made by Government, with effect from 1 April 2018.


Councillor Fletcher thanked the Officer for the report and questioned the 36% non-payment figure of the fixed penalty notices. Phil Carver stated that being half way through the year payments could still be made and the figure would go down. Thurrock Council had also now agreed to extension times on how fines were being paid. Julie Rogers, Director of Environment and Highways, stated Thurrock did not take early payment discount and charged the maximum amount available. That the Council had a good success rate on prosecution for non-payment and this was followed up with press statements raising awareness that successful prosecution took place for non-payment.


Councillor Fletcher questioned whether early payment discounts may bring in more payments. Julie Rogers stated that the situation was continually being monitored.


Councillor Abbas asked how effective the Public Space Protection Order was in Grays Town Centre. Phil Carver stated that perception of activity in the Town Centre was different to that being reported.  He advised that Officer Patrols took place on a regular basis to try to combat any fear residents may have and to remove street drinking. Michelle Cunningham, Thurrock Community Safety Partnership Manager, stated the Thurrock Community Safety Partnership had taken different approaches to combat street drinking with the public space protection order and patrols by Officers were being effective.


Councillor Abbas questioned the damage being done by HGV drivers parking on footpath and grass verges and how fines were not being issued. Phil Carver stated that where damage had been identified the Environment Enforcement Officers would deal with the situation and issue the appropriate fine. This would be the same situation for any damage caused by any other vehicle.


Councillor Lawrence questioned how long it should take to remove abandoned cars. Phil Carver stated that following the notice period being issued, 7 days for public land and 15 days for private land, abandoned cars should be removed within 48 hours by private contractors employed by Thurrock Council.


Councillor Lawrence asked what action would be taken of encampments parking on and ruining grass verges. Phil Carver stated that there was legislation in place with Thurrock Council having to go through the court process. Once an encampment had been reported a Section 77 notice would be issued with an Environment Enforcement Officer accessing that site every day to monitor any criminal damage. Any such criminal damage would then be reported to the Police.


Councillor Lawrence stated that residents need to report more incidents.


Councillor Lawrence stated how dangerous it had become down Broxbourne Parade with learner HGV’s using this road as part of their route and asked whether the Council could help to solve this issue as no response had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Thurrock Community Safety Partnership Update Report pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:


Michelle Cunningham, Thurrock Community Safety Partnership Manager, presented the report which provided Members with an update on the performance of the Thurrock Community Safety Partnership in 2017/18. The report also outlined the key focuses and continued priorities for the partnership for 2018/19.


The Chair stated her concerns with the Victim Based Crime figures and asked what the detection rate figure would be. Michelle Cunningham stated she would check this figure with Essex Police and if public the information would be forwarded to all Members.


In Michelle Cunningham’s opening comments she advised Members that she would be keen to see the Prevent member group re-established.  The Chair was keen to see the Prevent member group re-established and that the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee took the lead on it and asked whether Thurrock should be worried about high referral numbers. Michelle Cunningham confirmed that there had been no referrals to Channel this year.


The Chair questioned whether victim based crime figures could be broken down into wards and be publically available. Michelle Cunningham stated a link with this information could be circulated to all Members.


The Chair questioned whether the secured doors in the communal blocks were necessary as they looked unsightly. Michelle Cunningham stated the Housing Team would be best to respond, but understood residents preferred the secured doors instead of the damaged doors of previous.


Councillor Abbas questioned the decrease in number of anti-social behaviour incidents in the report. Julie Rogers, Director of Environment and Highways, stated that the figures provided were those reported to Essex Police.


Councillor Abbas questioned was the increases in recorded crime due to local Police not being seen around the borough. Michelle Cunningham stated that the Police were making themselves more visible with additional patrols and engagement including use of a mobile unit.


Councillor Rigby referred to the victim based crime figures and questioned whether any allowance had been given due to the increase in the population in Thurrock. Michelle Cunningham stated this information was available by 1000 population from the Home Office and the data covered all crime types however this report was not public a copy could be sent to Members.


Councillor Fletcher stated that a change in perception was vital in the borough. Julie Rogers stated that Thurrock continued to work in partnership with Essex Police, at the recent Police Fire and Crime Commissioner meeting with residents the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner had discussed the increase in the number of Police in the borough, which would assist in addressing this.


Councillor Fletcher suggested that the Council approached schools in the borough about how the message could be spread about domestic abuse. Michelle Cunningham confirmed she had spoken to Changing Pathways regarding this.


The Chair questioned whether the decrease in the number of racial offences was down as incidents were not being reported and asked whether Thurrock had a Hate Crime Officer. Michelle Cunningham stated that this was an under reported crime with work being undertaken on promoting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Linford Household Waste & Recycling Centre - Site Redevelopment Update pdf icon PDF 73 KB


Daren Spring, Assistant Director of Street Scene and Leisure, presented the report which provided Members with an update on the progress of the redevelopment of the Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Linford. Daren Spring stated it was intended for the planning application to be heard at the January 2019 Planning Committee following the planning application being submitted on the 5 October 2018.


The Chair stated that Members had attended a site visit and how impressed they had been with the changes made since the site had been brought back in house in June 2017.  Members had the opportunity to talk to staff who stated they were happy to be now working for Thurrock Council. The Chair thanked all the staff for their involvement and enthusiasm. The Chair suggested a road sweeper be used on the site.


The Chair questioned whether the new redevelopment site would be big enough based on the proposed Local Plan and the forecasted population increase into the borough. The Chair questioned whether in the future a further site may be required.


Julie Rogers, Director of Environment and Highways, stated that based on the contractors forecasted figures, the design, the feasibility studies and the use of the currently unlicensed area  of land to the side of the current site the proposed scheme would address the needs of the borough. Julie Rogers stated that the needs would be continually monitored and progress reports would be brought back to the Committee.


The Chair questioned how fly-tipping would be monitored when the redevelopment work was being undertaken. Julie Rogers advised fly tips are already monitored on a regular basis.  Previous work had illustrated the majority of commercial waste being presented at the site was coming from out of borough, since the permitting scheme was introduced the monitoring had not shown increase, as was presented to a previous Cleaner Greener and Safer Committee. The Chair also questioned the need for a temporary site while redevelopment work took place. Julie Rogers stated that the safety of staff and residents was paramount whilst the redevelopment work was being undertaken.  As plans progressed and development schedules were better understood the Director of Environment and Highways would be clearer about the position and would report back to the Committee in this regard.


Councillor Fletcher agreed that monitoring of fly-tipping was crucial whilst the re-development work was being undertaken. Julie Rogers stated that fly-tipping was monitored on a regular basis based on the criteria set by DEFRA. Julie Rogers stated that a consideration going forward and subject to planning application would be a small trade element being introduced onto the site.


Councillor Lawrence stated how impressed she had been when visiting the Linford site and how friendly the staff had been.


Julie Rogers thanked Councillor Lawrence for the feedback and would pass back to the teams.


Councillor Abbas questioned how the facilities would cope with the proposed increase to houses in the borough. Julie Rogers stated that the feasibility study undertaken would accommodate the borough’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 49 KB


Members agreed to the work programme published in the Agenda.