Agenda and draft minutes

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 7th November, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Rhiannon Whiteley, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


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. To agree any relevant briefing notes submitted to the Committee.

Additional documents:


There were no urgent items of business.


Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:


No interests were declared.



Annual Report of the Cabinet Member for Environment, Sport, and Leisure pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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Councillor Jefferies (Leader), Cabinet Member for Environment, Economic Development and Directional Leadership answered members questions on his annual report Environment, Sport, and Leisure.


The following points were raised:

·       Member asked whether small food bins will be affected by changing legislation.

o   Food waste trial will continue.

·       Member asked whether the £52,000 which was allocated to 16 Active Thurrock projects had been spent in its entirety or if it is planned spend. Member also asked where the money had been spent.

o   The money has been spent on the 16 Active Thurrock projects.

o   ACTION: Leader informed the committee he will provide a full list of locations

·       Members asked questions and for clarity on bin collection schedules.

o   Brown bins (garden waste) collection will continue after Christmas in January fortnightly.

o   Blue bins (recycling) collection will continue fortnightly, looking to increase collections around Christmas time.

·       Member asked when the waste strategy will be ready to be presented to the committee.

o   Waste strategy will be ready for next committee meeting in January 2024

·       Members asked whether the waste education campaign in primary schools would be increased or if there were any further initiatives.

o   ACTION: to find out if there are any more plans or initiatives for further waste education campaign programmes in primary schools

o   ACTION: Paul Southall, will include in the waste strategy how the local authority engages with other stakeholders and schools.

·       Members acknowledged the hard work of enforcement officers who deal with fly tipping and asked if there was a strategy to increase capture of fly tippers.

o   Leader appealed that members of the public report fly tipping.

·       Member asked if there was any statistical difference in fly tipping between the East and West of the borough.

o   Michael Dineen stated, there is no differential across the borough, and would target hotspots when they come up.

·       Members asked if there was an increase in attendance at events organised by the active parks team when compared to previous years.

o   ACTION: To find attendance figures of events active park team has organised.

·       Member asked if the cleaner team would continue to provide services (pavements, cubs and brick walls) biannually.

o   Yes, it will continue. There was an unsuccessful trial, but it has since been reverted back.

·       Member gave praise to improvements of park and new football goals.

·       Members asked why the new food waste vehicles couldn’t be utilised as originally envisioned and why 21 vehicles were bought instead of 1 for test purposes.

o   The side pod of vehicle was too high when lifted. Health and safety also deemed them unsafe for refuge crews to use.

o   Leader - The people responsible for the purchase of 21 vehicles are no longer in the employment of the local authority.

o   Paul Southall added that only 10 vehicles had the side pod which was deemed unusable.

·       Member said in relation to high level of contamination in recycling from flats in the borough, that it takes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Financial penalties for the enforcement of consumer protection legislation relevant to Letting Agents and Landlords pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Additional documents:


Charlotte Edwards, Trading Standards Manager • Trading Standards introduced the report in relation to a new policy for imposing financial penalties for breaches of legislation relating to letting agents and landlords. The recommendation is that the committee note the contents of this report and also supports this policy to go forward to be agreed at cabinet.


·       The private rental sector in the housing market is second only to owner occupation in England and the rapid growth of the sector has prompted a need for property management standards.

·       The Tenant Fees Act prohibits landlords and agents from charging any fees to tenants other than those that are permitted in the act.

·       Consumer Rights Act requires agents to display a list of relevant fees that tenants and landlords are required to pay.

·       A property agent holds client money, and they must be a member of an approved or designated client money protection scheme.

·       All letting agents need to be member of a redress scheme.

·       The local authority has a statutory duty to enforce this legislation and can impose a financial penalty. Any decisions on imposing penalty financial penalties will be made in line with the policy.


The following points were raised by members:

·       Member asked if the client money protection scheme was regarding deposits taken by landlords and asked how we check that landlords are members of the scheme.

o   Trading Standards would check directly with the businesses. All schemes have to be registered and the local authority can ask for information.

·       Member further asked if there was interdepartmental collaboration between trading standards and housing and also if it effected HMOs (house in multiple occupation)

o   Trading standards work very closely with housing, and they are cited on the report and fully support it.

o   This would also apply to landlords of HMOs.

·       Member asked if the policy would also cover land, an example was given of a person in a rent property. The member asked if they would have to pay towards an agent/groundsman to maintain their local road, cutting grass, tree management and bin sheds.

o   A landlord or letting agent can only charge certain fees under the legislation: -

§  Rent,

§  A refundable tenancy deposit,

§  A refundable holding deposit payments to change the tenants,

§  Payments associated with early termination of the tenants,

§  Payments in respect of utilities,

§  Communication services,

§  TV licencing,

§  Council tax,

§  Default fee for late payment of rent




That the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee:


1.     Note the contents of this report.


2.     The Committee supports the financial penalties policy for the enforcement of consumer protection legislation relevant to Letting Agents & Landlords, so it can be implemented within our Enforcement Policy once agreed at Cabinet.


At 19:53pm, Charlotte Edwards, Trading Standards Manager • Trading Standards left the meeting.




Annual Status Report on Air Quality in Thurrock pdf icon PDF 104 KB

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Peter Bond, Air Quality Pollution Officer • Environmental Protection introduced the report in relation to the annual status report on air quality in the borough of Thurrock.


The local authority has an obligation under part four of the Environment Act wherein the local authority is required to declare an air quality management area where the air is monitored or modelled exceedances of the national air quality objectives. Within 18 months of declaration, the local authority is required to produce an air quality action plan.


·       All of the monitoring sites for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were compliant in 2022.

·       Only two monitoring sites were still within 10% of the relevant air quality objective. Lakeside Tesco and Purfleet-on-Thames

·       There has been a slight increase in levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at some of our monitoring stations between 2021 and 2022. Possibly related to impact of traffic returning after the Covid-19 pandemic.

·       The increase compared with 2021 still is a substantial decrease compared with 2019 pre the Covid-19 pandemic.

·       Particulate matter (ultra fine dust and one of the key pollutants of concern in the borough) were compliant with the national air quality objectives for 2022 across all stations in the borough.


The following points were raised by members:

·       Member asked what a diffusion tube is.

o   A diffusion tube is a passive sampler, passive meaning that there's no electricity. It is a 5cm long Perspex tube with a cap on either end. In one cap there's a filter coated in a substance that degrades predictably with exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

·       Member asked for the locations of the diffusion tubes and if there were present on A roads and particularly London Road.

o   Most of the monitoring sites are near residential buildings.

o   London Road in Purfleet-on-Thames had the highest recording of nitrogen dioxide 39.3 micrograms per cubic metre, 40 micrograms is the annual air quality objective.

o   Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)did decrease on London Road between 2021 and 2022

·       Member asked about a site on Pilgrims Lane and if the lorries were adding to pollution.

o    Possibly, due to the type of monitoring you can't exactly tell what a source of the pollution is from the data.

·       Member asked the reason for the reduction of air pollution and if it was related to an increase in electric vehicles.

o   Private diesel vehicles that are the dominant emitter of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), electric vehicle will be responsible for some improvement and an increasingly in regulation from the European emission standards.

·       Member asked if pollution in Purfleet-on-Thames was due to vehicles more than anything else and if it was nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that is high in the area.

o   The dominant emission source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on London Road in Purfleet-on-Thames will be from road traffic a substantial amount of HTV traffic connect to the ports.

o   Has legal levels of air pollution.

·       Member asked if there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:


Members discussed the work programme. Members requested to hear the report on the Provision of Tree Surgery Contract (Vincent Taylor, Head of Clean and Green Services) in January 2023. The report wasn’t presented in June and was withdrawn to go to Cabinet on 12th July 2023.


The two deferred reports the Waste Strategy Update Edward Brotherton and Verbal Update on Clean and Paul Southall Assistant Director - Street Scene and Leisure / Vincent Taylor, Head of Clean and Green Services requested to be heard for the January meeting.


Members noted that January would be the last meeting before purdah and discussed a possible need for a meeting in March before purdah.



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

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 7th November 2023, 19:00 – Thurrock Council committee meeting webcasts (