Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

141.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Extraordinary Council, held on 8 July 2020.

 

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council, held on 8 July 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Extraordinary Council held on the 8 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 8 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 

142.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Mayor 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

143.

Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.

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Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

144.

Announcements on behalf of the Mayor or the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that Reverend Canon Darren Barlow had been appointed to the role of his chaplain.

 

The Mayor stated that it had been unprecedented times and hoped that everyone and their families were well and it was encouraging to see Thurrock had one of the lowest infection rates in the country and thanked all those that had complied with the advice that was being given in regards to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

 

The Mayor stated he had attended very few engagements since July and had continued to make donations to small local organisations that were helping ease some of the pressure on the national services that were feeling the pressure. The Mayor stated he was looking for ways to raise money for his chosen charity, G1FT, in these current restricted times and hoped to make some announcements shortly.

 

The Mayor paid tribute to Barry Palmer, a past mayor of Thurrock who had sadly passed away on the 16 July this year. The Mayor had attended his funeral where he paid his respects and acknowledged the fine work that he had carried out during his time as a Councillor. Members were asked to observe a minute silence in his memory.

 

The Leader also paid tribute to Barry Palmer and stated this was a great loss to Thurrock and particularly those East Tilbury residents who he had served for many years.

 

The Leader provided Members with a Coronavirus Update that over recent weeks nationally we had seen an increase in activity around coronavirus and it had been made clear we were not out of the woods yet. Unlike other areas of the country, Thurrock’s infection rate remained low, which was why it was even more important for all to keep playing their part in Thurrock. The Leader stated that it was thanks to residents’ sacrifice and dedication that the infection rate had been brought down before and stated that Thurrock had got what it takes to do it again. That the new restrictions announced by the Prime Minster were not as stringent as those introduced in March but stated that if we did not follow those guidelines we would expect more restrictions to get the virus under control. The Leader encouraged residents of Thurrock to continue to play their part by downloading the NHS COVID-19 App and continue to comply with the requirements of self-isolating should they test positive or show signs of the coronavirus. The Leader also asked residents to treat those mask exempt residents with kindness and respect.

 

The Leader stated over the last two months the Government had announced two reforms which would give local authorities greater autonomy and better opportunities to deliver significant growth which would benefit all residents. With the first planning reform outlined in a white paper published at the start of August which would streamline the planning process, cut red tape and harness new technology to ensure that vital homes and infrastructure could be delivered more quickly and in a way that benefitted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 144.

145.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 99 KB

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2 (Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A copy of the transcript of questions and answers can be viewed under the relevant meeting date at http://democracy.thurrock.co.uk/thurrock and are attached at Appendix A at these minutes.

146.

Petitions from Members of the Public and Councillors

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2(Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme, one requisition of notice had been given to present a petition at the meeting.

 

Councillor Allen presented a petition on behalf of residents who were being affected by an alleyway being used for unacceptable behaviour such as a toilet, drug use, use by motorbikes and calling for full closure of the alleyway at the bottom of Central Avenue, Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7RX.

 

147.

Petitions Update Report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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Minutes:

Members received a report on the status of those petitions handed in at Council meetings and Council offices.

148.

Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies, Statutory and Other Panels

The Council are asked to agree any changes to the appointments made to committees and outside bodies, statutory and other panels, as requested by Group Leaders.

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Minutes:

The Mayor enquired whether Group Leaders wished for any changes to be made to the appointments previously made by Committees and Outside Bodies, statutory and other panels.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gledhill, informed the Chamber he had the following changes to make:

 

For Councillor Spillman to be removed from the General Services Committee.

 

For Councillor Johnson to be removed from the Standards and Audit Committee.

 

For Councillor Mayes to be removed from the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force.

 

For Councillor Spillman to be removed from the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

For Councillor Hague to be removed from the Impulse Leisure outside body and offered out to any Member who wished to sit on this panel.

 

The Leader offered the vacant seat on the Corporate Parenting Committee to the Thurrock Independent Group to fill.

 

Councillor Fish arrived into the chamber at 7.34pm.

 

Councillor J Kent, Leader of the Labour Group, informed the Chamber he had no changes to make.

 

Councillor Byrne, Leader of the Thurrock Independent Group informed the Chamber he had the following change to make:

 

For Councillor Smith to be added to the Corporate Parenting Committee.

 

Councillor Massey and Councillor Allen informed the Chamber they had no changes to make.

149.

Annual Report of the Director of Public Health 2019/20 - Serious Youth Violence and Vulnerability pdf icon PDF 145 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Mayes, Portfolio Holder for Health and Air Quality, presented the annual health report that considered the issue of Violence and Vulnerability in young people and how a public health approach could be used to improve outcomes for Thurrock residents. Councillor Mayes thanked the Director of Public Health, Ian Wake, and his team for this fantastic report. Members were referred to the four steps of the public health approach to violence which were (1) surveillance to identify the nature of the problem (2) identify the risk and preventative factors (3) develops and evaluates interventions to reduce the risk factors and improve protective factors and (4) implementation and scaling up of success.

 

Councillor Mayes stated the report aimed to deliver the first three steps and then to the point of implementation. Members were referred to the Public Health Approach in tackling serious violence and gang related activity and their characteristics, the methodology used as a framework in the understanding the issue of violence and vulnerability in Thurrock and proposed that multi-agency action was required to address this. The report also considered issues in detail on the context of the public health approach.

 

Councillor J Kent thanked the portfolio holder for the report and stated that the report was a fantastic piece of work that had been presented to the Cleaner Greener Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July. Councillor J Kent stated that when precious resources against violence and youth crime were required these should be at the head of the queue and made a plea that the recommendations be agreed with sufficient resources to see them succeed. 

 

Councillor Kerin asked the portfolio holder to outline what he was doing to protect those children in care from gang related activities. Councillor Halden stated that a Gang Officer and the expansion of the Youth Offending Service was resourced and was already in place and secure. That investment to have additional adolescence mental health workers in schools and investments made into INSPIRE to ensure young people had a route into employment rather than into criminality. A task force was in place looking at employment and housing and how support structures could be put in place. That mental health and vulnerability health streams were being resourced and an update would be provided at the next Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

Councillor Ralph questioned with the changes in COVID with more children at home had the Council sought to employ more child psychologists in Thurrock. Councillor Halden stated that more work was being put into intervention with a psychologist team already in Thurrock but did not want an over clinical model that focused on medical intervention it was the preventative work that was required.

 

Councillor Redsell thanked the portfolio holder for the report and the brilliant work undertaken but stated it was vital to get to the children earlier say at primary school age.

 

Councillor Anderson stated the report had been successfully presented at the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee with good debate and discussion.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Central Services and Communities pdf icon PDF 722 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Huelin was delighted to present her wide and very varied portfolio holder report from April 2019 to March 2020 for central services and communities. Some of the areas that Councillor Huelin covered in her speech were:

 

  • The introduction of the Consultation Portal with over 3,000 users registered to ‘have their say’ online.
  • The Community Environmental Development Fund had gone from strength to strength with almost 40 projects being supported over the last four years.
  • Thurrock had a very diverse community and grateful to CVS for their support and facilitating conversations around racism and inequality.
  • The Collaborative Community Paper would be presented to overview and scrutiny shortly.
  • Opening of the new Aveley Hub – used and shared by the community with the the digital offer developed during lockdown, the service would continue to be modernised with membership to The Libraries Consortium and the implementation of a new Library Management System.
  • With 95% of household registered to “My Account” to report a variety of issues 24/7.
  • Communications had improved resident engagement through social media channels.
  • The Right First Time training had successfully been rolled out to all council employees to ensure residents had a right first time experience and where not, complaints were dealt with effectively.
  • Information Technology Team undertake the work to ensure that 2700 staff,160,000 residents and 49 members could communicate with each other, pay bills and report issues.
  • That £4 million Government grants would be managed to improve internet speeds across the borough with Full Fibre Network.
  • Updates being made to My Account to allow residents to report more on-line.
  • Thurrock Council had carried on through COVID-19 and had shown that the Council was ahead of the curve. With IT working to ensure staff could work remotely and theatre and enforcement officers organising and distributing emergency food parcels to shielding residents. Library staff helped to coordinate the COVID centre with Stronger Together and CVS and Councillor Huelin thanked everyone who helped.
  • Within days the Thurrock Community Coronavirus Action had been set up to help vulnerable residents with over 500 volunteers to help isolating residents.
  • The Arts and Cultural Team worked with local artists and CVS on local COVID projects to promote health and wellbeing.

 

Councillor Abbas thanked Councillor Huelin for the report and thanked all staff and volunteers for their help and support. Councillor Abbas asked what progress had been made in regards to a memorial in memory of the 39 lives lost at the terrible incident in West Thurrock last October. Councillor Huelin stated this was under discussion, that a collaborative consultation would be undertaken with the community and residents and would provide an update to Members.

 

Councillor Abbas questioned whether any funding had been allocated to digitise the museum records and articles of value. Councillor Huelin confirmed there was funding and all items were being digitalised but stated that this would be a very long slow process as there were items that were over 50 years old and had to be handled very carefully  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.

151.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Health and Air Quality pdf icon PDF 718 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mayes stated that it had been a privilege to have become the portfolio holder report for health and air quality. That those two areas helped recognise the relationship between supporting people to make healthier lifestyles choices and how air quality had an impact on resident’s health and wellbeing. Councillor Mayes stated that there were links between his portfolio and that of Councillor Halden, portfolio holder for adults and social care and would continue to work together. That the lockdown of COVID-19 could never have been predicted and that key workers continued to work to provide vital services and thanked every person who played there part either by staying at home or as key workers.

 

In Thurrock, the Council continued to deliver services to residents as much as possible with restrictions in place, with the Council and community services coming together to deliver 596 essential food packages during lockdown. Councillor Mayes praised the work undertaken by the Public Health Team during the pandemic and established outbreak control plans to protect Thurrock’s residents. A lot of positive work on mental health had been undertaken but further work was required to ensure residents got the support that they needed and as part of that a Mental Health Steering Group would be established to discuss those needs. That work continued with health and third party sectors to adopt any new challenges that COVID-19 would bring.

 

Councillor Mayes was pleased to announce that construction work would commence in November 2020 on the Integrated Medical Centre in Corringham. That the Integrated Medical Centres would direct the appropriate health care that residents require as not everyone would need to see a general practitioner and would free up vital appointments for those that did. That a paper was presented to the Cleaner Greener Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier in the year to refresh the Air Quality and Health Strategy and although this was still Councillor Mayes aim this would not be the right time due to COVID to refresh the model. That work continued with schools on the anti-idling campaign and encouraged all to switch off engines when in an idle position to reduce pollution. Councillor Mayes reminded residents of Tilbury that the dust issue had not been forgotten with the Council taking this very seriously and actively engaging with the environmental agency and encouraged residents to continually report issues to the environmental agency.

 

Councillor Holloway paid tribute to the fantastic work of the Public Health Team, Council and NHS Staff and Care Providers who ensured that Thurrock was one of the lowest affected areas and for looking after Thurrock’s residents. Councillor Holloway referred to the difficulties of accessing COVID-19 testing nationally and questioned what processes were in place locally for residents of Thurrock to get them back to work and back to learning. Councillor Mayes stated the testing capacity was dedicated by the national scheme and that two lighthouse labs were opened last week which had created 75000 more capacity for testing across the country  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.

152.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 197 KB

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2 (Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Chamber that one question to the Leader had been received and 11 questions to Cabinet Members.

 

As the item fell due to time limit of the meeting Councillor J Kent withdrew  question 7, Councillor Worrall withdrew question 8, Councillor Kerin resubmitted question 9 for October Council and Councillor Holloway withdrew questions 10 and 11.

 

A copy of the transcript of questions and answers can be found at Appendix A to these minutes.

 

 

 

153.

Reports from Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Chamber that no reports had been received.

154.

Minutes of Committees

Name of Committee

Date

Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee

6 February 2020

Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee

21 January 2020

Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee

4 February 2020

Standards and Audit Committee

12 March 2020

Planning Committee

25 June 2020

General Services Committee

16 March 2020

Planning Committee

16 July 2020

Corporate Parenting Committee

2 June 2020

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

18 June 2020

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

9 June 2020

Standards and Audit Committee

9 July 2020

Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

16 June 2020

Planning Committee

13 August 2020

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of Committee as set out in the Agenda were received.

155.

Update on motions resolved at Council during the previous year pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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Minutes:

Members received an information report updating the progress in respect of Motions received at Council.

156.

Motion submitted by Councillor Redsell pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Redsell deferred the following motion:

 

Members hereby remember those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 during this pandemic. Furthermore this chamber agrees that the Council should consider the creation of a permanent memorial to local residents, with the intention that it could be a place for family and friends to reflect. Members would also request that Cabinet consider options for a Thurrock memorial and bring forward a future report on this.