Agenda and minutes

Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 5th July, 2022 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Kenna-Victoria Healey, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 699 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committeemeeting held on 1 February 2022.


Additional documents:


The minutes of the Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 1 February 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.

Additional documents:


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests

Additional documents:


There were no interests declared.


Thurrock Supported Bus Services pdf icon PDF 355 KB

Additional documents:


The Strategic Transport Manager introduced the report and outlined the three subsidised bus services currently operating within Thurrock, which were the 11, 265 and 374. He stated that the 11 service ran Monday through Friday between 7am and 7pm every two hours and covered areas such as Purfleet, Aveley, Grays, Chadwell St Mary, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Basildon Hospital. He added that the 265 operated Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the 374 operated Monday through Friday at 90-minute intervals and every three hours on a Saturday. He commented that some rural areas did not have any other public transport links such as Fobbing, Bulphan and Horndon-on-the-Hill, and the contract had been operated by Nibs since 2019. He stated that Nibs currently had a three-year contract for the services with a two-year extension option. The Strategic Transport Manager added that the current contract had come to an end in March 2022, but had been extended for a year. He stated that bus services had been affected by the pandemic as in 2019 there had been approximately 89,000 journeys compared to only 30,758 journeys in 2020 and 65,008 journeys in 2021. He explained that the service cost approximately £454,318 per year to run, but this could change due to the number of bank holidays in a year.

The Strategic Transport Manager explained that approximately 60% of service users had concessionary passes and therefore did not pay for the bus service, although this percentage was higher in some areas such as Bulphan. He stated that 40% of bus users were paying for the service and this had increased since the start of the pandemic. He mentioned that Nibs had maintained the bus services in Thurrock, but costs were expected to rise by approximately £100,000 per year due to fuel costs, driver shortages, maintenance, and tyre costs. He stated that the purpose of the report was to seek approval and endorsement to review the services to ensure they continued to provide value for money and were needed by residents, either in their current guise or at all. He added that Thurrock Council did not have a statutory duty to provide bus routes and had managed to partly subsidise these services through a £50,000 Covid grant from the Department of Transport. He explained that Nibs also received some grants from Essex County Council as the bus services partly operated in Essex County Council’s area. The Strategic Transport Manager summarised and stated that the report set out the process for consultation, which would be approximately 12 weeks and would run alongside a Community Equality Impact Assessment and user profiling. He stated that a report outlining consultation responses and other work undertaken would be brought back to the Committee in December 2022.

The Chair thanked officers for the report and questioned how removing public transport links would help the Council move towards its aims for sustainable and greener travel. The Strategic Transport Manager replied that the consultation would review how the service was provided, for example if big buses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Stanford-le-Hope Interchange Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery introduced the report and stated that the project was being brought forward in two phases: Phase 1 being the new station, which was in detailed design phase and construction stage; and the Phase 2 being the Transport Hub, which was in concept design stage. He stated that a contractor for Phase 1 had been appointed in March 2022 and the team were currently negotiating the final sign-off of the contract, which would hopefully be completed next week. He added that there was currently a one- or two-month delay to works starting on the site due to the contract execution issues, but was hopeful that the contractors could offset this delay as the detailed design phase continued. The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery added that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), who are one of the funders, had asked for an updated business case demonstrating value for money, which had been issued in draft with the aim that it be endorsed by SELEP in September. He stated that Part 2 of the business case concerning Phase 2 would describe how the concept design would be reviewed in partnership with stakeholders to ensure local businesses, such as the port, had their transport needs met and property development opportunities explored. He stated that construction of Phase 2 of the project could not begin until Phase 1 was completed, so felt that now was the optimal time to undertake a re-evaluation.

The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery explained that the contractors price met the Phase 1 budget envelope, and the team were working on a fixed cost contract, although this was currently being discussed with contractors due to the delayed execution and ongoing inflation issues. He highlighted Table 3.10 of the report which outlined the key milestones in the scheme, and explained that once the contract had been signed, activity such as enabling works could begin onsite. He added that 3.11 of the report outlined the key risks, mitigation, and opportunities for the scheme, and highlighted that Network Rail were involved in the scheme in an Asset Protection capacity and were an integral part of the design team, which meant that ideas such as reduced piling for platforms through value engineering could be progressed.

The Chair thanked officers for the report and asked if the late contract signing would influence the construction start date. The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery stated that the effect of the late contract signing would be understood when the contract had been signed and the contractors programme was submitted. Councillor Allen felt that the project had taken a long time, but felt pleased that it seemed to be moving forward. He asked if the project could still be delivered within the original budget envelope, as the detailed design had been changed. The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery felt confident that Phase 1 of the project could be delivered within the current budget  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Tilbury Town Fund Programme pdf icon PDF 710 KB

Additional documents:


The Strategic Lead Regeneration introduced the report and stated that it was being presented to the Committee ahead of submission to Cabinet next week, and it outlined the Tilbury Town Fund programme. He stated that the programme provided approximately £22.8million to Tilbury as part of central government’s levelling up programme, and officers were currently in the process of preparing a Business Case Summary to be submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities before 5 August deadline. He explained that Table 1 of the report outlined the revised programme list, which had been amended following a cost plan review and stakeholder feedback.

The Chair thanked officers for the report and felt that it was positive as it would provide approximately £22.8million in funding to Tilbury. He asked if the team had considered cost inflation for areas such as materials within the budget, as parts of the project was not due to be completed until March 2026, during which inflation may have risen further. The Strategic Lead Regeneration stated that during the programme review stage, the budget would be looked at more rigorously. He explained that there had been inconsistencies in the previous budget due to inflation, which were now being addressed as outlined in section 3.4 of the report. The Chair queried the cost increase for the Tilbury jetty. The Strategic Lead Regeneration explained that this cost increase was due to sense checking the preliminary design. He stated that the first design had been for a double-decker jetty structure, which was not required and had been over-engineered. He stated that the cost increase reflected predicted cost increases for quarter 3 in 2023 and other contingencies. He added that other areas of the fund had reduced their budget envelopes, for example the community hub and adult skills centre which had reduced costs by proposing the reuse of existing buildings rather than building a new building.

Councillor Allen felt that the proposed jetty would be more beneficial to the cruise terminal and ports rather than residents, although he felt it could be a good way to travel into London. He asked who had examined the preferred site of the youth centre at Anchor Fields and why they had determined that site to be the best location. He felt that other areas such as Brennan Road and London Road would be better sites for the youth centre, as Anchor Fields was currently designated as a Field in Trust and used as open, green space by residents. He asked if other sites could be explored and investigated for the youth centre. The Strategic Lead Regeneration explained that the Committee and Cabinet had previously considered the Town Investment Plan, which had included the proposal for the Thurrock Youth Zone. He explained that the location was subject to review, but the preferred site was Anchor Fields due to constraints with other sites. He explained that the old youth centre building was too small; the police station was also too small and not council owned;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:


Members agreed to add the following items to the Work Programme:

1. Stanford-le-Hope Interchange project at every Committee meeting
2. Grays underpass
3. Grays regeneration masterplan
4. Purfleet regeneration
5. Tilbury Town Fund to come back to Committee
6. Parking Strategy Update
7. Local Plan Update to be presented in October, and reports from the Local Development Plan Task Force to be shared with PTR Members.