Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Council
Tuesday, 11th December, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

83.

Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

A two minutes silence was held in memory of Grace Millane, the young British backpacker who had tragically been killed in New Zealand. The Mayor stated that Grace's grandfather, Martin Millane, had served as a Labour Councillor and as Mayor in Thurrock for a period of time. The Mayor expected her sadness and thoughts were with the family at this sad time.

 

84.

Urgent Item: Issues and Options (Stage 2) Consultation pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Coxshall, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, presented the report and stated the Local Plan would be guided and shaped throughout by the right infrastructure, positive health and wellbeing impact, the housing needs of the borough, to protect and enhance the character of communities, maintain effective green belt and to meet employment needs. Councillor Coxshall stated the report was not the final plan nor was it about numbers or specific sites. It was the commitment to residents on the quality and new infrastructure into the borough and for residents to decide on the shape of future plans. Councillor Coxshall thanked the cross party working group and specifically thanked Councillor G Rice, Councillor Gerrish, Councillor Spillman and Councillor J Kent.

 

Councillor Kerin as Chair of the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee stated the document was not perfect but good enough to agree to the consultation process. That the success of the Local Plan to be adopted in 2022 and beyond would be to address affordable, low cost and Council housing, that it was crucial that communities were involved and to ensure that the urban extensions and new settlements would not destroy the character and history of the borough.

 

Councillor J Kent agreed that the consultation be undertaken with residents and businesses of Thurrock to see how the borough be shaped. That this would now be for the Council to take forward and was pleased that the document was in a much better place compared to several months ago. Councillor J Kent suggested a new recommendation that the consultation process be extended to allow sufficient time for all residents to have their say.

 

Councillor Spillman stated he would not be blocking the Local Plan and thanked Officers for the hard work undertaken.

 

Councillor Pothecary stated that the document was now in a better place and in a healthier shape with good communications amongst all groups taking place and agreed that the consultation process should be extended to allow all residents to have time to response. Councillor Pothecary stated her concern how evidence on the connection between congestion and air quality could be proven, referred Members to the development of Grays Town Centre and the proposed Urban Extensions of the Local Plan and had serious concern how these would impact those residents in the areas mentioned. Councillor Pothecary stated that she was not against going to the consultation stage only that this should have happened much sooner and that all analyse should be included in the report.

 

Councillor G Rice stated this support for the Local Plan and was pleased that the document had been in good order and the Council had committed to the infrastructure led plan in the borough. Councillor G Rice thanked Officers for the hard work undertaken and agreed that further discussions should still continue.

 

Councillor Gledhill stated that infrastructure in the borough was key alongside affordable and Council homes. That a thorough consultation would take place to involve residents through the whole process were all points  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) - Consultation Response pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gledhill presented the report which set out the draft response of the Council to the Statutory Consultation from Highways England (HE) on the proposals for the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) which commenced on 10 October 2018 and closes on 20 December 2018. Councillor Gledhill stated that in April 2017, the preferred route for the proposed LTC was announced and the Council had been clear in its unanimous objections to the LTC, setting up the cross party LTC Taskforce, including resident and business representation, and continued to raise objections to the proposals. With the Council actively working with stakeholders in sharing the concerns about the proposal including no discernible benefits for Thurrock or the surrounding South Essex areas. With Thurrock standing opposed to the LTC it was now time to say no by preparing a constructive response setting out the reasons and the shortfalls of the report.

 

Councillor Gledhill summarised the detail of the consultation response and referred Members to Appendix A, the Local Authority Response and Appendix B, the Interest in Land response.

 

Councillor Smith as Chair of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force reported on a couple of the points raised by the task force group on the LTC consultation covered their concerns on questionable value for money, response rates, lack of information, physical design and environmental standards. Councillor Smith stated there had been gaps in the LTC report and that Highways England strategic tests had not been met. Councillor Smith believed that the LTC proposal was now out of date with the consultation full of holes. That Highways England should now take away the proposals and listen to the residents of Thurrock.

 

Linda Mulley, LTC Resident Representative, stated that the Highways England proposals would destroy huge areas of greenbelt agricultural and environmentally sensitive and historic sites in Thurrock. That the loss of this land could have been used for building much needed homes that would now leave much of Thurrock population and the most vulnerable without homes in years to come. That the quality of life for those Thurrock residents would be irreversibly damaged with the potential levels of pollution that the LTC will cause. Linda Mulley stated that going forward a united resolve by every Member, cross party, to use their contacts, office and determination to prevent Highways England from going into the final approval with this destructive and flawed plan.

 

Laura Blake, Thames Crossing Action Group, thanked the Mayor for the opportunity to speak and thanked Officers who had worked on the LTC response. That time had been extremely tight for the response to be prepared adequately. Laura Blake stated her concern on the consultation being full of inadequacies such as inadequate connections to and from the LTC, the A13 detour, how traffic would be migrated between the two crossings, the increase in congestion, the increase in pollution and errors made in letters sent to residents and businesses in Thurrock from Highways England. That the LTC had not one single true benefit to the people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

86.

Political Balance and Allocation of Seats on Committees pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gledhill introduced the report that confirmed the calculations relating to the allocation of seats on committees following a change to political balance in November 2018 with the Administration gaining seats in Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor Gledhill moved the report to the vote.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the allocation of seats including manual adjustment, as set out in Appendix 1, be approved.

87.

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.

Minutes:

The Mayor enquired whether Group Leaders wished for any changes to be made to the appointments previous made by Committees and Outside Bodies, statutory and other panels.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gledhill, informed the chamber that he wished to make the following changes:

 

For Councillor Hague to be appointed as a member to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

For Councillor Jefferies to be appointed as a member to the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

For Councillor Anderson to be appointed as a member to the Licensing Committee.

 

Councillor J Kent, Leader of the Labour Group, informed the chamber that he wished to make the following change:

 

For Councillor J Kent to replace Councillor Gerrish on the General Services Committee.

 

Councillor Spillman, Leader of the Thurrock Independent Group, informed the chamber he wished to make the following changes:

 

For Councillor Gamester to be removed from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

For Councillor Baker to be removed from the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

For Councillor Cherry to be removed from the Licensing Committee.