Agenda and minutes

Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 11th July, 2023 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 2 February 2023.


To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 7 March 2023.



Additional documents:


The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee approved the minutes of the meetings held on the 2 February 2023 and the 7 March 2023.


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.

Additional documents:


There were no urgent items of business.


Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:


No interests were declared.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee’s terms of reference were noted.


Provisional 2022-23 Financial Outturn Report - to follow pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Additional documents:


The purpose of the report set out the provisional outturn position for the financial year 2022/23, prior to the formal closure of accounts. Further details of this executive summary can be found on-line


(Public Pack)Item 6 - Provisional Financial Outturn 2023-23 Report Agenda Supplement for Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 11/07/2023 19:00 (


Members were asked to note that recommendation 1.4 should read “note” not endorse.


The following points were highlighted:


·    In terms of investment sales, clear timeline taken to be shared with the investment panel, two stages one to be completed this Friday to assess which bids were coming forward with the second phase starting in August through to November with the aim to sell the solar investments by November.  

·     In terms of wider investments, all significant investments were being prioritised by size with the aim to bring in the sale of those assets inside this financial year.

·     Some investments had a defined process and timescales. Advisors going out to market on other renewable assets to identify the options available. Expecting positive returns from the broader investment portfolio (excluding the three investments with specific concerns) which was still considered robust and should attract market value. Due to the sensitivity of some of these investments, updates would be provided to members. (see action point 1)

·        Members were provided with an update on PWLB debt, wherever that debt had come to maturity it was being replaced with a one-year loan. In parallel with that the treasury strategy had been reset. There was no commitment for long term PWLB debt, and it was expected to sell assets to fund that borrowing. The gap on investments would be further reduced by property sales, any positive outcomes from legal action and divestments of investments.

·        Decisions would then need to be made on how to hold the remaining debt with an assessment already in progress

·        Member commented that it would be helpful if excel table headers continued onto all pages.

·        Members recognised the confidentiality around the outcomes of legal action being undertaken but hopefully would see some of that help the financial position given what the council had gone through.

·        Noted from previous scrutiny committee report on Violence Against Women there was nearly half a million underspend and queried if this was available to be carried forward. (see action point 3)

·        Questioned what action was being taken to get government money, £0.25m was promised for the Just Stop Oil demonstrations. (see action point 4)

·        Noted the overspend in Planning due to the reduced number of applications and in the context of the cost of additional consultants to support the development management team.

·        Good to see the good performance against waste disposable contracts but noted the levels of recycling were not where they should be. (see action point 5)

·        Noted the costs of the intervention and commissioner costs and how unbalanced this would look through the eyes of a resident.

·        Questioned the process of department budgets and how these were monitored.

·        In regard to the investment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Fees and Charges Review 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 304 KB

Additional documents:


The report identified as the Council faced unprecedented financial challenges it would be reviewing and revising all of its financial plans. One element of this was income from Fees and Charges.  The report presented addressed that by:


1.    Designing and proposing the adoption of a new Fees and Charges policy.

2.    Undertaking stage 1 of a three-part review of Fees and Charges.

3.    Arising from that recommending several increases in charges/new
 charges, effective from 1 October, to potentially generate £114k increase
 in income in a full year.

4.    Noting that subsequent stages will take this work further.


The following points were highlighted:


·    Review car parking charges every 2/3 years, making this more efficient. (see action point 12)

·    Some residents want to pay for a car parking space but being advised by the service that consultations cannot be funded. Members were advised that where the income more than offset the cost of the survey this should be possible. (see action point 13)

·    It was agreed this should be an option for residents to decide upon to either add or remove parking permits.

·    It was confirmed that it would be £15 for the 1st 2nd and 3rd parking permit pending cabinet approval.

·    Revenue charged for parking permits had been made on assumptions based on the current levels of activity being maintained. Therefore no negative impact from a price increase and no further enhancements, the reality of that would be seen in six months’ time and used to inform future reviews.

·    Questioned whether an impact assessment had been undertaken on charges in regard to Thameside, the chair requested an urgent note be prepared with an update on the position of the theatre and what actions need to be taken to allow the theatre to operate. (see action point 14)

·    Questioned why Thameside were unable to make bookings further than three months ahead, this included the booking of the pantomime. (see action point 15)

·    Member noted the increased costs to Thameside would deprive non-profit groups and schools from being able to afford to use the Thameside.

·    Raised concerns on why Thameside was locked during the day and why the list was still not working.

·    It had been noted that Grangewaters had received the second highest increase this year, although not costing anything to the council. It was requested that members be more informed of what the full cost of running those services would be to residents.

·    Members were referred to Appendix 1 of the report, Fees and Charges Policy, that highlighted the framework for setting the fees and charges across Thurrock and were informed that this process could take two to three years to complete.

·    Discussed took place around the CPI and noted when comparisons between the actual price increases that had been put forward for each area, were as an average for each area less than the CPI except one exception which was environment enforcement which was a specific charge for abandoned vehicles.

·     It was noted that increases in enforcement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the work programme and made the following points:


Remove the Portfolio Holder Annual Report: Central Services from the 7 December 2023 committee.


Remove the Portfolio Holder Annual Report: Culture and Communities from the 1 February 2024 committee.


To add a report on the consultation undertaken on Thameside Theatre, date to be confirmed.


A new format of how reports would be prepared was noted.


The recording of the meeting can be found from the following link:


Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday 11 July 2023, 7:00pm - Thurrock Council committee meeting webcasts (


At 8.49pm, the meeting went into exempt session to discuss recommendation 1.6 of the Provisional Financial Outturn 2022/23 Report.