Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 12th July, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices 3, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 434 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 8 March 2022.

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The minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2022 were approved as a true and correct record.


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.

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There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests

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There were no interests declared.


Asset Review and 3Rs pdf icon PDF 413 KB

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The Interim Assistant Director Property introduced the report and stated that it was being presented to Committee ahead of Cabinet submission later in the month. He explained that the report followed a Cabinet decision from July 2021, which had declared some assets as surplus and had generated £9.3 million in capital receipts, as well as rationalising the Council's property portfolio. He commented that the report was split into four sections: pieces of land the council held which were considered to have no beneficial use; operational assets such as children’s centres; scout huts which were leased to the Scout Association; and village halls. The Interim Assistant Director Property explained that the scout huts and village halls would be given to the relevant committees and trustees for a peppercorn, which would ensure that they could access grants and funding not currently available to them.

The Interim Assistant Director Property highlighted land in Purfleet colloquially known as VOSA on Tank Hill Road, which could be suitable land for housing and could be looked at by Thurrock Regeneration Limited (TRL) or the housing regeneration team. He explained that if the site was not suitable for housing the team would look to dispose for capital receipts. The Interim Assistant Director Property moved on and outlined the former landfill site at Buckingham Hill which surrounded the civic amenity site. He stated that the site was 52 acres and was currently fallow and could be suitable for leasehold development. He moved on and described the former depot site at Curzon Drive which had had buildings demolished three years ago and was currently sat unused. He explained that the site was relatively valuable and could generate approximately £170,000 in terms of leasehold rental income, and therefore would need a Cabinet decision for disposal. He stated that the report also contained several public houses, some of which were assets of community value or had long leases left, which meant that the council would struggle to develop these in a profitable way. He added that a number of leaseholders had enquired about purchasing the sites as this would make it easier for the owners to develop the sites. He explained that there was one site within the Purfleet regeneration area that had been identified for short term lease, which would not impact upon the development of the Purfleet area, but required delegation due to the amount of revenue that could be created.

The Interim Assistant Director Property moved on and explained that there were also two care home sites, operated by Runwood Homes, which the Council were conflicted on as the Council were the main client and also freeholder, which could make the finances difficult to manage. He added that the sites were currently under rented by approximately £100-125,000, but the Council could dispose of the sites to earn capital receipts whilst also remaining the main client. He stated that the land adjacent to Essex Arena was currently lying fallow, but also required a Cabinet decision due to delegations, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


End of Year (April 2021 to March 2022) Corporate Performance Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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The Strategy Manager introduced the report and stated that 67.5% of indicators had met target, which was better than 2020/21, but lower overall than the pre-COVID position. She explained that in 2021/22 some service delivery was still impacted by COVID, and this was outlined in the report. She added that it was anticipated that future report would not include a specific section on COVID impacts, but would be referenced in commentary if it continued to affect specific indicators. She added that commentary had been included for each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) which had missed target, and, because this was the end of year report, qualitative highlights had also been included at 3.4.

Councillor Kent highlighted page 79 and the KPI relating to the percentage of refuse bins collected on the correct day. He thanked the environment team for their hard work collecting bins throughout the year, and asked how the KPI data was collected. The Strategy Manager explained that due to the strike action that occurred, the KPI did not include data for April and May 2022, but did include all other months. She added that the data was based on collection information from refuse lorries. Councillor Kent moved onto the KPI regarding payment of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) on page 81 and felt concerned about the lack of payment. He queried how many people chose not to pay the FPN and went to court instead. The Strategy Manager stated that she did not have the specific data so would ask the service leads and report back to the Committee. Councillor Kent queried the number of apprenticeships as outlined on page 84 and asked how many of those apprenticeships were completed. He felt concerned that some people were not completing apprenticeships as they became full-time Council employees, which meant people were not receiving the qualifications and Thurrock Adult Community College did not receive their completion funding. The Strategy Manager stated that she did not have the data but would come back to the Committee. She highlighted that the figure also included substantive members of Thurrock Council staff who were undertaking apprenticeships alongside their roles. Councillor Kent asked if the KPI could include numbers for people starting and finishing apprenticeships; and to recommend to Cabinet that apprentices who start at the Council and become full-time employees are encouraged to complete their apprenticeship qualification.

Councillor Carter thanked officers for the report and felt pleased to see that the majority of KPIs had met target. He highlighted page 79 of the report and stated that some KPIs had exceeded their target by a large amount. The Chair echoed Councillor Carter’s comments. He felt pleased to see that COVID was not expected to affect as many services in future, and requested that any additional information requested be sent to the Committee as soon as possible. Councillor Hebb, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Performance, highlighted recommendation 1.3 to refresh the borough vision following changes in Thurrock such as Thames Freeport, and proposed central government changes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 98 KB

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Councillor Hebb asked if three items could be added to the Work Programme:

1. Analysis of enquiries which come in from residents and elected Members, for example a report on the interactions between the Council and elected Members/residents to identify any emerging themes and propose any necessary recommendations. Including customer service calls and emails; Member’s enquiries; complaints and complements.

2. Customer Service, including the feasibility of a new Thurrock app in the medium to long term, to report missed bin collections, potholes, pay fines etc., whilst retaining face-to-face services.

3. Senior officer performance framework report – outlining how Members currently, and could further, contribute to the Chief Executive and senior officer performance appraisals.

The Senior Democratic Services Officer stated that she would liaise with senior officers and the Chair to include these on the Work Programme, where appropriate.

The Chair agreed that an updated Asset Review report would be added to the Work Programme in early 2023.