Agenda and draft minutes

Reconvened on 21 July 2021, Council - Wednesday, 30th June, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, Grays, RM17 5DX

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

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 515 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Annual Council, held on 26 May 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on the 26 May 2021 were approved as a correct record.

14.

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.

15.

Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

16.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated she had a most enjoyable first month as Mayor with three visits to local schools, attended an afternoon tea with carers and raised the flag for Armed Forces Day and the Progress flag for Pride Day. The Mayor had also attended a Windrush Event at the Port of Tilbury where there had been an art exhibition remembering the people stepping off the boat at Tilbury.

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

COVID Update – Thurrock had continued to see an increase in the number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. These numbers were thankfully small but this was a worrying development nevertheless and were monitoring these developments closely but had shown just how important it was that everyone took up the offer of a vaccine. This offer had now been extended to all adults over the age of 18 and it had been great to see over 95,000 people had received their first dose and an incredible 68,473 residents had both doses. Even though vaccine take-up had been strong the Council wanted to make sure that everyone took up this opportunity to get the protection a vaccine offered not only for them but for their loved ones and the wider community. Last week a walk-in vaccine centre had been set up in North Stifford and this weekend there would be one in Thurrock Medical Centre in the Grays town centre between 8am and 8pm on Saturday for first and second doses for anyone aged 18 where no appointments were required. As of last Wednesday, 23 June:

 

·         4,437 test had been taken in the previous 7 days

·         Thurrock 7 day infection rate was 41.3 per 100,000

·         Which meant Thurrock sat at 130 out of 149 upper tier local authorities where 1 was the highest rate of infection and 149 being the lowest.

 

Investment in Grays – The Leader had attended the socially distanced gala opening of a new roof-terrace restaurant at Feast. It was a great event and it was fantastic to see that private investment was coming to Grays. This had come at the same time that Thurrock had received a £540,000 cash boost to make Grays High Street safer. Councillor Gledhill thanked the Home Office for providing this funding and the Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for supporting this bid. This additional cash would be used to improve the CCTV and street lighting in the town centre to hopefully reduce crime.

 

We were also expecting to hear the announcement of how much funding Grays had secured through the New Towns Fund any day now. This would bring up to £25 million in additional funding for the continuing redevelopment of Grays all managed by the Towns Fund Board which saw local businesses and organisations having a voice in the future of Grays. Councillor Gledhill stated that the Council were also expecting to hear the announcement of how much funding Grays had secured through the New Towns Fund. This would bring up to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 95 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.

18.

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:

Councillor Byrne presented a petition on behalf of the staff, care workers and residents against the proposed closure of Kynoch Court day care centre.

 

19.

Petitions Update Report pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

20.

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.

Additional documents:

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 Rigby as Substitute to replace Councillor Little on the Corporate Parenting Committee.

 

To add Councillor Halden to the William Palmer College Educational TrustOutside Body.

 

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 no changes to make.

 

Councillor Massey informed the Chamber he had no changes to make.

 

21.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor referred Members to the report of the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2020/21 as published in the agenda.

 

Councillor Little thanked former member Councillor Gerrish for the hard work he had undertaken as chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee and committed to carry on the good work. Councillor Little stated that overview and scrutiny in the council was an important role of members.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the contents of the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2020/21 be noted.

22.

Response to Motion at Council 27 January 2021 - Request for Committee pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gledhill presented the report that following the Council Meeting on the 21 January 2021 where Council passed a resolution to request a report for the formation of a Prevent Committee. This report responded to that resolution and made recommendations which enabled the Council to consider the formation of a committee with the relevant consequent elements. The report highlighted related matters in relation to the proposals, and incorporated the recommendations of the General Services Committee.

 

At 7.31pm Councillor J Kent recommended the meeting be adjourned due to the poor acoustics and technical issues. This was seconded by Councillor Gledhill.

 

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 7.31pm.

 

At 7.52pm, the Chief Executive stated on behalf of the Mayor that due to the unusual circumstances this evening the meeting would be adjourned following Items 11 and 12. The Mayor had acknowledged the hard work the Thameside Theatre staff had undertaken in preparation for this evenings meeting. That post adjournment, the agenda would remain and be re-set to the 21 July. The Council meeting scheduled for the 21 July would then be moved to the 28 July. In line with the question and motion process set out in the constitution from 9.00am tomorrow members and members of the public can submit questions to the 28 July Council.

 

Members agreed to the recommendations set out in Item 11 - Response to Motion at Council 27 January 2021 - Request for Committee and Item 12 - Constitutional Change – Thurrock Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 7.56pm.

 

The meeting reconvened on Wednesday 21 July 2021 at 6.00pm.

 

The Mayor greeted Members back into the Council Chambers and advised Members that the meeting was being recorded, with the audio recording to be made available on the Council’s online webcast channel.

 

The Mayor received apologies from Councillor Abbas, Baker, Churchman,
C Kent, J Kent, Maney and Massey.

 

The Mayor agreed for Councillor Byrne to resubmit his petition.

 

Councillor Byrne presented a petition on behalf of the staff, care workers and residents against the proposed closure of Kynoch Court day care centre.

 

23.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Maney, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, his portfolio report would be presented at a later date.

 

24.

Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing pdf icon PDF 289 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Spillman, as Cabinet Holder for Housing, stated he was proud to present his first report as portfolio holder and paid tribute to the work undertaken by all officers, to former director Roger Harris and former assistant director, Carol Hinvest, and to Councillor Johnson the previous portfolio holder for housing. That during the COVID pandemic the housing department had excelled and surpassed all expectations. The department had faced unprecedented financial restrictions over the last few years even before COVID. That five years ago the department had been in crisis but had inherited a department that was now forming better in almost every metric providing a higher level of customer care. The department was funded and staffed more nimbler and better equipped to deal with new emerging challenges and had instructed officers for a plan in areas such as temporary accommodation, house-building and supported accommodation on a scaling scope significantly beyond which had been seen in many years. The report referred to the level of KPI performance and referred to how ways of working smarter and differently in many areas had changed due to COVID. Referred to the “Everybody In” Scheme and expressed his pride in the achievements in not only rehousing every single rough sleeper who had been reported but also linking them back to vital mental health support, drug and alcohol services. With Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, stating that street homelessness would be abolished by the end of this parliament, Thurrock was ready and willing to do their bit. Councillor Spillman referred to the impressive tenant satisfactory feedback across the services that the Council delivered and had requested a further expansion of the customer satisfaction measurement methodology to see more qualitative research and better analysis of all data collected. Look at areas that were not performing well, learn from those and action quicker than ever before. Councillor Spillman expressed his excitement in taking on the responsibility of the cabinet member for housing with a great opportunity for this budget and would do his very best to ensure those opportunities were realised.

 

Councillor Worrall welcomed Councillor Spillman to his role as cabinet member for housing and stated both were very passionate about housing. Councillor Worrall questioned how many residents, both single and families, were living in temporary accommodation out of borough and what time frame had been set to have those residents returned to the borough where they belonged. Councillor Spillman stated there were too many with a worry that the number of homeless cases would increase and as a priority had asked for plans to create a huge amount of extra places within the borough and hoped to bring plans to September committee for an extra 100 placements, council owned, in the borough. Councillor Spillman agreed to provide Councillor Worrall with the exact number.

 

Councillor Worrall expressed her concern that as the safeguards that had been put in place for private renters during COVID were lifted and landlords began to evict tenants, more tenants would become homeless and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 198 KB

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

Additional documents:

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.

26.

Reports from Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No reports were presented.

27.

Minutes of Committees

Name of Committee

Date

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

5 November 2020

Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

17 November 2020

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

10 November 2020

Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee

1 December 2020

Cleaner Greener Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee

3 December 2020

Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee

8 December 2020

Planning Committee

7 January 2021

Corporate Parenting Committee

5 January 2021

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

14 January 2021

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

21 January 2021

Standard and Audit Committee

24 November 2020

Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

19 January 2021

Planning Committee

11 February 2021

Planning Committee

25 February 2021

Planning Committee

18 March 2021

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

28.

Update on motions resolved at Council during the previous year pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

29.

Motion submitted by Councillor Worrall pdf icon PDF 90 KB

.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Thurrock Council recognises the huge problems that residents of Ward Avenue, Bradleigh Avenue, College Avenue and Cresthill Avenue caused by parents, and others, dropping off and picking up children attending the three schools in this area. Council calls on cabinet to endeavour to work with the three schools recommending they create a single, sustainable travel plan covering these schools to try and ease the problems. Council further calls for Cabinet to increase parking enforcement around these schools and calls for the drop off zone, at St Thomas of Canterbury School, to be reinstated in accordance with their planning obligations. 

 

Councillor Worrall presented her motion by asking for the help of the Council on behalf of those residents on Ward Avenue, Bradleigh Avenue, College Avenue and Cresthill Avenue who were being held prisoners in their own homes at the three school drop off and pick up times due to people parking inconsiderately. That it was a nightmare for home deliveries, mobility scooters were forced to use the road which was unacceptable and that inappropriate parking was not being enforced. A petition had been organised which had demonstrated the passion of those residents and requested the help and support of the Council to work with those three schools to create a single travel plan which would ease the problem.

 

Councillor Gledhill stated he would not be supporting this motion and appreciated what residents that lived opposite schools endured but the surroundings around schools could not be changed. This was not for Council or Cabinet to work with the schools to do their travel plans this was something that the three schools should be working on together. That other schools in the borough were having the same problems and with a limited number of dedicated enforcement officers they could not be taken away from other duties to work on this three school cluster. Councillor Gledhill agreed to urgently take up the drop off zone element of the motion with Planning Officers.

 

Councillor Kerin stated his support for the motion and it was important for the Council to work on the enforcement issue and to manage this issue across the borough. That it was important for the Council to be supporting schools as they want this enforced and urged all members to back the motion this evening.

 

Councillor Worrall stated her disappointment that the Leader was not backing the motion and reiterated that the Council should be working with the three schools and enforcement should be enforced.

 

The Mayor called a vote on the Motion.

 

The majority of Members voted against this Motion to which the Mayor announced the Motion would fall.