Agenda and draft minutes

to the 24 November 2021 at 6.00pm, Council - Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021 6.00 pm, POSTPONED

Venue: South Essex College Auditorium, High Street, Grays, Essex, RM17 6TF

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

Items
No. Item

47.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council, held on 30 June 2021.

 

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council, held on 21 July 2021.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 30 June 2021 were approved as a correct record.

 

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 21 July 2021 were approved as a correct record.

48.

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.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

49.

Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

50.

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

Minutes:

The Mayor stated the last 18 months since lockdown in March 2020 had been trulyunprecedented times and had shown the generosity of individuals,community, voluntary and faith groups and local businesses who had helped support Thurrock residents during the pandemic. The Mayor stated she had sought nominations for a special Certificate of Recognition which would be given to those in the borough who had gone above and beyond to help their community during the Covid-19 pandemic. There had been 450 nominations for a Covid-19 Community Star and a certificate as a token of appreciation for the help and support they provided would be sent out over the next couple of days.

 

Councillor Gledhill, Leader of the Council, made the following announcements:

 

Covid Update - With Christmas on the horizon, Councillor Gledhill urged everyone to remain sensible when it came to taking precautions against Covid-19. Everyone wanted to have a good Christmas celebrating with friends and family and asked residents not to undo all their hard work and risk their Christmas celebrations. That two thirds of Thurrock residents had received two vaccinations, which meant only around 30% of eligible residents had not yet been fully protected. The vaccine’s safety and effectiveness had been proved on a global scale and again urged anyone who had not yet received their vaccinations to reconsider and take up the offer as soon as possible. In terms of local rates these had been increasing from an average of 69 new cases per day in October up to 107 per day in November, which was over double in the space of a month. This showed residents could not become complacent and it remained important to do what we could to avoid spreading the virus throughout our families and communities – we must continue to carefully wash our hands, respect the wishes of those who wished to cover their faces, ventilate crowded indoor gatherings and social distance where possible.

 

Shop Safe, Shop Local - Earlier this month the new campaign Shop Safe, Shop Local had been launched with the support of many independent businesses across the whole of the borough. Lakeside being a brilliant asset for Thurrock but we also had many high streets with a fantastic mix of shops and places to eat. These small and often family run businesses were the beating heart of our towns, and since restrictions had lifted they had done an incredible job safely welcoming shoppers back. That shopping local helped support Thurrock’s economy, created jobs, boosted local communities, employment and helped towns thrive. Councillor Gledhill hoped this new campaign would inspire more people to think of their local shops and would give residents the confidence to shop safely. Councillor Gledhill thanked all of the businesses who had already backed the campaign.

 

Enforcement Success – Councillor Gledhill had joined the Council’s Environment Enforcement Team working alongside Thurrock Essex Police and Rural Engagement Team targeting anti-social behaviour which had a significant impact on the lives of residents. The two day operation had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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

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.

 

Mr Seeger withdrew his question prior to the meeting and a written response would be provided.

52.

Petitions from Members of the Public and Councillors

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

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme, no requisition of notice had been given to present a petition at the meeting

53.

Petitions Update Report pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

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

54.

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.

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, stated he had the following changes:

 

For Councillor Little to be removed from the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Councillor Thandi would then become a substantial member on this committee.

 

Councillor J Kent, Leader of the Labour Group, stated he had the following changes:

 

For Councillor Pothecary to be replaced with Councillor Worrall on the Corporate Parenting Committee.

 

For Councillor Watson to become a substitute member on the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee. 

 

For Councillor J Kent to become a substitute member on all committees except the Planning Committee.

 

Councillor Byrne, Leader of the Thurrock Independent Group stated he had no changes to make.

 

Councillors Massey stated he had no changes to make.

55.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Maney introduced the report by stating many services across the Council, those within the highways, transport and planning departments had been impacted upon by the pandemic which had affected operations as well as income but despite this Councillor Maney was pleased to report they had risen to the challenges of the past 20 months and delivered an ambitious agenda. Some of the points made:

 

·       Was responsible for an extensive highways network, including 545km of carriageway, 700km of footway and cycle paths, 21,000 street lights and numerous structures and items of street furniture. All of which required a rigorous year-round inspection and maintenance effort.

·       4,586 safety inspections had been carried out this year alone, resulting in a high number of repairs. Including 4963 potholes, continued to exceed KPI targets of a 98% repair rate within timeframe.

·       Recently completed jet patching operations across the borough had ensured many additional carriageway repairs ahead of winter.

·       From last year’s capital programme the Council had resurfaced 41 roads in the borough, equating to over 90,000 square feet of road space.

·       The slab replacement programme, footway repairs and reconstructions had taken place at locations across the borough.

·       Announced that following on from the completion of the LED programme would over the next two years be spending £350,000 replacing and upgrading older street lighting infrastructure.

·       The ITB programme had allowed for £700,000 to be allocated to safety measures, including vital engineering projects such as junction improvements on A128 and the borough’s second Average Speed Camera system in Lodge Lane.

·       A £2.4m spend from the Safer Roads Fund would also enable safety measures along the A126 including at the Marshfoot Road junction with A1089.

 

·       Safer Routes to Schools programme - four new safety enhancement schemes had been delivered and would continue to work towards making travel to and from our schools a key priority.

·       Supporting the local bus operators via the Covid Bus Service Support Grant and making bus travel more appealing with an extensive shelter replacement programme, which would include the installation of digitalised information screens at some locations.

·       The dedicated team of CEOs provided a vital service and were a reassuring uniformed presence in our communities.

·       Announced approved plans for doubling of the CEO team. This 100% increase would mean more action against those who flouted the rules and made life difficult for others.

·       Following recent approval from Cabinet, be commencing on the seizure of vehicles belonging to persistent offenders, or motorists who parked in contravention of a waiting restriction and caused a danger or obstruction.

·       In January 2021 the parking team received time limited Government funding in order to extend HGV enforcement activity and this had enabled the Council to pursue operations up until 2.30am.

·       Since January 2021, 3322 PCNs had been issued for HGV parking violations, averaging a little over 300pm and amounting to a combined value of £175,068.

·       Looking at ways to address nuisance HGV activity where parking enforcement regulations did not apply. The following enforcement actions - 98 Community Protection Warnings,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.

56.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Health and Air Quality pdf icon PDF 672 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Mayes introduced the report by thanking all NHS Staff and Health Care Professionals who had supported Thurrock residents through the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 18 months. This had been an extremely difficult time for Thurrock residents and for everybody across the country. Even though this had been difficult it was essential to do all we could to save lives and to protect the NHS. This year had seen the successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines which had enabled the Government to review restrictions. In Thurrock as of the 18 November, approximately 80% of Thurrock residents had received their vaccinations which had been a remarkable achievement. Councillor Mayes thanked everyone who had been involved in the vaccination programme. During this time we had continued to work successfully with health partners. Brighter Futures implementation was underway for younger people to have the wraparound support for them and their parents. Work continued on the four Integrated Medical Centres and committed to delivering the Integrated Medical Centre model and implementing all the primary care services and benefits these would bring. Recognised the pressure on general practitioners during the pandemic and how they were trying to catch up over the last 18 months although some general practitioners had been better at undertaking face to face appointments than others. Working with the Clinical Commissioning Group planned to visit practices throughout Thurrock now the restrictions had been lifted and have the opportunity to speak to those delivering the service. Mental Health Transformation, the successful trial of a new strategy which had been rolled out at Primary Care Networks within Thurrock would improve access to services. Recognised more could be done and committed to work with health partners to ensure this got better. In regards to Air Quality, actively recruiting an Air Quality Officer who would undertake air quality reviews which were greatly needed in the borough and to look at the Tilbury dust.

 

Councillor Pothecary questioned the under-doctoring in the borough, with Thurrock being the third worst borough in the country. Asked what the key drivers were of that problem and what the best route of this would be when working with health partners. Councillor Mayes stated it had been very difficult to recruit general practitioners into Thurrock and the way to do this would be to look at better working environments and for new general practitioners they would be looking at an area which were transforming their primary care services and delivering the Integrated Medial Centres in a timely fashion.

 

Councillor Pothecary questioned whether the closure of Orsett Hospital had been put on hold during the Covid outbreak and whether during this time any further plans or rethinking had been made to save the future of Orsett Hospital. Councillor Mayes confirmed the services currently at Orsett Hospital would be moving out and in consultation with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Health Partner this would be in 2025 with no movement in delaying those plans.

 

Councillor Pothecary stated that air quality was one of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 265 KB

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

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Chamber that two questions to the Leader had been received and ten questions to Cabinet Members. Those questions not heard would either receive a written response or have the option to withdraw and resubmit.

 

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

58.

Reports from Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies

Minutes:

No reports were presented.

59.

Minutes of Committees

Name of Committee

Date

Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee

2 February 2021

Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee

4 February 2021

Planning Committee

10 June 2021

Planning Committee

15 July 2021

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

17 June 2021

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

8 June 2021

Standards and Audit Committee

8 July 2021

 

Minutes:

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

60.

Update on motions resolved at Council during the previous year pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Minutes:

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

 

61.

Motion submitted by Councillor J Kent pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Motion, as printed in the Agenda was proposed by Councillor J Kent and seconded by Councillor Pothecary. The Motion read as follows:

 

Council notes the Thameside Complex was, formally, opened on 22nd of January 1972 with the first performance in the theatre taking place in October 1971. Council agrees: (1) that a celebratory event should be held, at the Thameside, in January 2022 to mark the Golden Anniversary of the complex and (2) to call on Cabinet to identify the resources necessary to refurbish the theatre and ensure the future of the complex.

 

Councillor J Kent presented this motion by stating the Thameside Complex comprised of a theatre, library and museum that had been completed in 1971 and on the 18 October of that year saw the first play performed. In 1972 the Thameside Complex had been officially opened by Lord Goodman, the chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain. There had been two phases of building the complex with the rear tower being built first and then the foyer, theatre and museum. It had been built that way so the library could be relocated into the new building without any break in service. That arts, culture and heritage played a vital part in bringing people together, enrich the communities and bring new experiences and ideas and making a massive contribution to the economy both locally and nationally. That for the past 50 years Thameside had provided a wonderful little theatre which had welcomed over two million visitors. Dance schools had performed dance and drama performances. The museum gallery displays some 1500 items, plus there were two floors of artefacts that could not be displayed. The central library continued to be well used, computers that youngsters could use in a quiet area to study and playing host to a range of community and group activities. This was all well worth celebrating and wished residents could go forward with confidence for the next 50 years but with Cabinet proposing to close the Thameside Complex in order to save the £600k that it claimed it cost to run the building each year. That closing the Thameside without a new building in place was unacceptable to Councillor J Kent and to the Labour Group. That the library with its purpose built children’s library deserved to be housed in a building designed for that purpose. That no firm proposal had been received on the relocation of the museum and how those 1000s of artefacts were not on display would be catalogued and secured stored. That the Thameside Theatre was a professional theatre and there was nowhere else in Thurrock could offer the same facilities and no professional events could be attracted to Thurrock, give local groups the opportunity to perform in a proper theatre or give Thurrock residents the opportunity to visit a theatre without leaving the borough. That the Thameside Theatre created the heart of Thurrock on arts, culture and heritage of the borough which would not be lost without a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Motion submitted by Councillor Redsell

Minutes:

Councillor Redsell deferred her Motion until the 26 January 2022 Council meeting.

63.

Motion submitted by Councillor Polley pdf icon PDF 176 KB

Minutes:

The Motion, as printed in the Agenda was proposed by Councillor Polley and seconded by Councillor Mayes. The Motion read as follows:

 

This Council welcomes the Conservative Governments lifting of the cap on medical school places and acknowledges the success of our young people achieving record A Level results in what had been a very difficult year.

 

Councillor Polley presented her motion that recognised the lifting of the cap on medical school places and acknowledged the A Level result success in such a testing year. With Thurrock finding it hard to recruit into the area there should be more places available to train home-grown talent. To have the initiative to train and recruit new general practitioners into Thurrock. Councillor Polley summed up by stating these successes should be celebrated.

 

Members voted unanimously in favour of this Motion to which the Mayor announced the Motion carried.