Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 29th June, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 and 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 458 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council, held on 25 May 2022.

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The minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 22 May 2022 were approved as a correct record.


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.

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There were no urgent items of business.


Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.

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There were no declarations of interest.


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

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The Mayor stated that his mayoralty had started off busy with him attending 12 separate jubilee events across the borough and thanked all the community groups who had ensured this historical event had been accessible for all. Two flag flying events had taken place, firstly the Armed Forces and the other for Gay Pride. Thanks were given to Reverend Canon Darren Barlow for the use of the church’s flagpole which had provided the magnificent backdrop of the historic church. Thanks were also given for allowing the church to be open prior to council for members to formally take their oath to public service and the Queen. The Mayor informed Members the first round of Mayoral Role of Honour names would be published in next month’s agenda and encouraged all to forward the names of those people helping to make Thurrock a great place to live, work and play. The Mayor congratulated Councillor Gledhill who had become the longest serving Leader of Thurrock as a Unitary Council. Members were invited to the parlour following the meeting to be presented with their lapel pin of the borough crest.


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


Councillor Gledhill had attended an event at the Port of Tilbury to mark Windrush Day and the 74th Anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush. He had joined the Mayor, Cabinet Members and members from across the Council in raising the Armed Forces Flag this week which not only represented the services given by the serving army, navy and air force but also commemorated those veterans who had served to protect the countryand for those cadets that will do so in the future.


Councillor Gledhill referred to the “Scam Awareness Fortnight” in recognition of the excellent work being carried out by the Trading Standards Team, who had also been named runner-up in the national Regulatory Excellence Awards. Referred to text and email scam messages and encouraged all to report these to the Citizens Advice Scan Action Service. Councillor Gledhill thanked the Director of Communications for the work undertaken.


Councillor Gledhill then referred to some upcoming events:


·       Next Monday the Mayor, Councillor Abbas and Councillor Huelin will raise the Remembering Srebrenica flag outside St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Grays ahead of remembering Srebrenica Day on 11 July 2022. This would then be followed by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and the blessing of a tree which had been planted in Grays Town Park. 

·       On Friday 8 July 2022, the Education Awards Ceremony will take place to recognise some of the staff heroes from the boroughs’ schools. Also on this date will see the Commonwealth Games Baton arrive into the Port of Tilbury as it makes its way back to Birmingham for the start of the games on 28 July 2022.


Councillor Gledhill provided an update on Clean It, Cut It, Fill It that since April 2022:


·       Had filled 534 potholes.

·       Had cleared 341 fly-tips

·       Removed over 410 tonnes of waste from our  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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

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One question was received from a member of public.


A copy of the transcript of questions and answers can be viewed under the relevant meeting date at and are attached at Appendix A at these minutes.


Petitions from Members of the Public and Councillors

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

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Councillor Pearce presented a petition to call on Thurrock Council to address the lack of vehicle parking, unsightly grass verges and repair the paving in Love Lane, Aveley, South Ockendon.


Petitions Update Report pdf icon PDF 144 KB

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


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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The Mayor enquired whether there were 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 change. To add two substitute members, Councillor Carter and Councillor Halden, to the Health and Wellbeing Board.


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


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


Councillor Massey and Councillor Allen stated they had no changes to make.



Licensing Act 2003 Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 174 KB

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This item was deferred to July Council.


Gambling Act Statement of Principles pdf icon PDF 186 KB

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This item was deferred to July Council.


Taxi Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 241 KB

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The report presented by Councillor Gledhill referred to the Taxi Licensing Policy which had been developed by bringing together all the Council’s existing policies and procedures into one policy document. The Policy had been produced and consulted on with the responses being considered by the Licensing Committee.


Councillor Ralph as a member of the Licensing Committee stated how important this report would be to the residents of Thurrock. The standards being set represented the good safety standard that we had in Thurrock. The proposed checks would also reassure taxi drivers that the Council had completed critical safeguarding checks.


Councillor Allen sought assurance that DBS checks would be undertaken on non-British citizens. Councillor Gledhill stated that all would need to provide a disclosure and to supply means of proof. There was now a very stringent process in place when employing people from outside the UK with strict rules in place with fines if someone from outside the UK was employed who was not entitled to.


Councillor Gledhill stated Thurrock had some fantastic taxi drivers in Thurrock and reiterated to Members that the same rules applied to UBER.




That the Committee adopted the Taxi Licensing Policy as attached at Appendix A, to come into effect from the 1 October 2022.


Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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The Mayor referred Members to the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2021/22 as published in the agenda.


Councillor Worrall commented as past chair of the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee that a report on damp and mould should have come to the first meeting of this municipal year but had been moved back to November. She asked for this report to be presented at the next meeting. She commented on the good work of the committee scrutinising homelessness, stock survey, garages, housing developments and thanked all members who had sat on that committee. 


Councillor Ralph thanked the past vice chair, Councillor Holloway, of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee for her contributions and thanked all members who had sat on that committee.


Councillor Spillman thanked Councillor Worrall for allowing him to attend past Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committees in his capacity as portfolio holder and for the opportunity to allow him to speak. He agreed overview and scrutiny was the best place for portfolio holder reports to allow more time for questions and discussion.


Councillor Gledhill also welcomed the recommendation that portfolio holders be held to account at overview and scrutiny committees.


Councillor Redsell thanked all members and officers of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their contributions and hard work. She looked forward to scrutinising more in the coming year but stated overview and scrutiny had to be more active and to bring people to account.


Councillor Polley thanked democratic services for organising the overview and scrutiny training held this week, the trainer had been very engaging, understanding and had allowed time for discussion. It was recognised to be more efficient and effective on overview and scrutiny and possibly encourage more participation from residents to engage with committees and to address those challenges that residents were experiencing. She thanked all officers for the work undertaken in delivering reports to overview and scrutiny committees.


Councillor M Coxshall reiterated the use and helpfulness of overview and scrutiny committee having attended a Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee last year and how directors had commented how useful it was to have a portfolio holder at that meeting.


Councillor Hebb also stated that having attended Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committees had allowed good discussions to take place which had helped with workstreams and creativity of items on the work programme.


Councillor Huelin thanked members and officers of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their passion to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in Thurrock. The subjects discussed were important with the committee being pro-active, reaching out, presenting ideas and asking relevant questions and hoped to see this continue.


Councillor Maney thanked all those that attended the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committees. Reports presented at these meetings were refreshing and displayed that the process worked and had an active interest in what cabinet and the Council were doing and should remain bold, hold those to account, present ideas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Amendments to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 138 KB

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The report presented by the Leader had set out the background and discussions of the recent review of the Constitution by the Constitution Working Group and the General Services Committee. The report asked for Council to agree those amendments which both the Constitution Working Group and General Services Committee had identified as those requiring progression.


Councillor Worrall stated the work undertaken by the Constitution Working Group had been interesting and had provided a platform to undertake a deep dive into the document and urged all members to read the constitution as this detailed key decision processes. That one meeting had been held with all members agreeing to the recommendations and welcomed the removal of the portfolio holder reports and moving them to scrutiny committees as would ensure portfolio holders were fully accountable to their areas of delivery. She also welcomed the extension of the meeting to three hours. The next steps would be to look closely at scrutiny and decide on the committee structure, this would need to be detailed and to look at other structures by visiting other councils. This had to be the right structure for our administration and for those sitting on committees. Councillor Worrell concluded that access to the LGA Peer Review was required as this was fundamental to the working of the Constitution Working Group and requested to see a copy before the next meeting.


Councillor Redsell echoed Councillor Worrall’s comments that this had been a very interesting cross party working group and would remain a working in progress document to continue to address any outdated items.


Councillor J Kent agreed to what had been said this evening and having been part of a lot of corporate peer reviews and peer challenges and seen scrutiny operated in several other authorities but had never found an authority that had cracked scrutiny and had struggled to get it right. He encouraged all to be open minded when looking what a scrutiny system would look like for Thurrock and not something to be rushed into, the needs of Thurrock needed to be considered. 


Councillor Allen reiterated that every member should stay at their committee until all items of business had been concluded.


Councillor Spillman welcomed and was excited about the proposed changes as this would give backbenchers more of an opportunity to engage.


Councillor Coxshall thanked the Mayor for instigating this review and was proud that this review had now started by listening to overview and scrutiny and Council. That transparency was vital to ensure the best decision making was being carried out in everything the council was undertaking. It was also important that the relevant reports and information were available on time to ensure engagement from all 49 members.


Councillor Watson agreed to all the recommendations and stated the next step would be to undertake a review of scrutiny and to report back to Council with those suggestions and recommendations so that further discussions could take place.


Councillor Gledhill thanked all members for their comments and echoed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Thurrock Health and Wellbeing Strategy Refresh 2022-26 pdf icon PDF 320 KB

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The report presented by Councillor Huelin was the refreshed Thurrock Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-26. The report provided members with an overview of the development work of the strategy and briefed members on what the next steps would involve.


Councillor J Kent agreed this was an important report, a suite of categories which were linked to the local plan, it was important to look at inequalities and the lack of levelness in the borough. Referred to obesity and questioned what this strategy could do to reduce child obesity and to help people live longer, be more active and have healthier lives. Councillor J Kent stated he liked the goals relating to the domains but had concerns the language used in the report was impenetrable and not easy for residents to understand. Stated that air quality deserved the merit to be mentioned much more in the strategy as this was such an important issue in Thurrock. Councillor J Kent raised the concern to the lack of ease of seeing a GP and NHS Dentist and these concerns should be made plainly clear in the strategy. Councillor J Kent concluded that it was good to use that it had been acknowledged there were residents in the borough who suffered from digital exclusion and asked that in 2026 when the next strategy was presented, we get the results from the 2022-26 strategy so that comparisons could be made.  


Councillor Redsell thanked HealthWatch for all good work done for residents in the borough and agreed some residents were being left out of communications. It was also important with new housing developments coming into the borough the need for more open and green spaces for residents as this in turn would help with health and wellbeing.


Councillor Ralph stated the strategy was dynamic and forward thinking and thanked all officers and everyone who had input into this brilliant strategy.


Councillor Pothecary echoed Councillor J Kent comment on air quality and stated it was fundamental to this borough and to the health and wellbeing of residents. The Council should now take responsibility and leadership on air quality and stated this topic should have been included more within the strategy.


Councillor Kerin referred to domain 5, green spaces, and questioned how the strategy would help to protect the green spaces the borough already had.


Councillor Johnson thanked Councillor Huelin for such as important dynamic report and for including part of the Children’s Safeguarding Strategy namely “Think Family” within this strategy.


Councillor Jefferies referred to air quality and referred to items that had already been undertaken that should be celebrated, encouraged and promoted. The first being an active campaign to encourage people to leave their cars behind particularly when taking children to school, the Idling Policy to encourage people to switch their engine off if they pull up to a school or shop and the Tree Planting Policy.


Councillor Gledhill agreed that inequalities and the lack of levelness in the borough had to be addressed and to ensure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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

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The Mayor informed the Chamber there were no questions to the Leader had been received and 13 questions to Cabinet Members.


At 9.04pm, the Mayor agreed to extend this item by 10 minutes to ensure all questions were heard.


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


Reports from Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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Councillor Kerin presented to Members the Annual Report of the Thurrock’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for 2020-21. Members were encouraged to read the report that had recognised the good work carried out under the chair of Phil Anderson and the former chair, John Guest. Councillor Kerin offered to answer any questions outside of the meeting.


Councillor M Coxshall thanked Councillor Kerin for the interesting report and that the offer to pursue with Religious Education in schools had continued to GCSE level.


Councillor G Coxshall also agreed with the amazing work being undertaken on Religious Education studies in schools and look forward to this work continuing.


A copy of the report can be found from the following link:


(Public Pack)Item 17 - SACRE Outside Body Report Agenda Supplement for Council, 29/06/2022 19:00 (


Minutes of Committees

Name of Committee


Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

3 March 2022

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education

5 January 2022

Planning Committee

7 April 2022

Planning Committee

21 April 2022

Cleaner Greener & Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee

3 February 2022

General Services Committee

7 February 2022

General Services Committee

10 February 2022

Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee

8 February 2022


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


Update on motions resolved at Council during the previous year pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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


Councillor Redsell requested an update on her motion submitted on the 26 February 2020 - Council calls on Cabinet to consider a new wood and bluebells to be planted on a piece of land at the edge of Woodside.


Councillor J Kent asked whether any responses had been received from MPs regarding his motion submitted on the 26 January 2022 - This Council is concerned at the impact the Cost of Living Crisis is having on residents of Thurrock and notes that domestic gas and electricity bills are predicted to rise by, almost, 50% this year - from an average of £1277 to £1865. The Council resolves to: 1. Write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask him to help residents by scrapping VAT on gas and electricity bills for one year. 2. Write to Thurrock's Members of Parliament asking that they use their positions to support residents by working to achieve a cut in VAT and 3. Write to Thurrock’s Members of Parliament asking for a temporary suspension of all green levies on domestic gas and electricity bills. To which Councillor Gledhill stated he would chase a response and circulate to members.


Motion submitted by Councillor J Kent pdf icon PDF 77 KB

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


This Council believes that a free press is a cornerstone of a fully functioning democracy. Therefore, this Council is appalled at the decision to, effectively, blacklist the editor of Thurrock Nub News - Neil Speight - and calls on "Legal and Democratic Services" to reverse their decision and fully engage with Mr Speight and all bona fide journalists.


Councillor J Kent presented the motion by stating any properly functioning democracy relied on those members here this evening being accountable to those who they served, those who elected members and residents of Thurrock. For residents to hold members to account they had to be clear, open and honest on what they were doing and how they were undertaking their roles. Members could not be truly open with residents whilst refusing to engage fully with the local media to enable them to report on activities. Councillor J Kent stated the only Thurrock based outlet was the on-line Nub News edited by Neil Speight. Councillor J Kent stated the decision not to engage with Neil Speight until July 2022 had appeared to be an overreaction, there was little justification of the ban and Neil Speight had no opportunity to discuss. The seven Nolan Principles were referred to around accountability and openness, how the secretive decision had been taken and how the decision had been communicated against those principles. Councillor J Kent concluded the Council had a duty to be open and transparent.


An amendment to this motion had been received from Councillor Gledhill and seconded by Councillor Coxshall and read as follows:


This council believes that a free press is a cornerstone of a fully functioning democracy. Therefore, we call on the Council to fully engage with Thurrock Nub News and other news organisations in line with the Council’s Communication Strategy and reasonable behaviour.


Councillor Gledhill presented the motion by agreeing to some of Councillor J Kent’s statements but stated there was a line between bluntness and where officers were not only concerned but extremely upset and felt bullied by some of the statements made. Councillor Gledhill agreed there needed to be the ability for anyone who had fallen outside the acceptable practice to have the ability to either apologise or withdraw their statement.


At 9.27pm, Councillor J Kent referred to paragraph 16.1 of the Council procedures and rules to suspend standing orders for a further 30 minutes. The Mayor called a vote to which the clear majority of Members voted in agreement to continue to 10pm.


Councillor Gledhill continued by stating discussions and decisions were allowed to be made in public and that Freedom of Information requests that were in line with policies were answered unless a matter of confidentiality. That the Council must have the ability to either not respond if they chose not to and must have the ability to not say anything if there was a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.