Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 & 3, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on 13 March 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 13 March 2019 were approved as a correct record.

2.

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.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

3.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

4.

Statements by the Leader

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader opened and stated that as the Leader was currently recovering from surgery, he would be standing in as acting-Leader for the meeting of Cabinet. He began the statement by discussing the recent 75th anniversary D-Day celebrations which had taken place across the borough last week. He thanked the Royal British Legion for organising many events which were well attended by residents and Members who wished to pay tribute and thank those who had lost their lives at D-Day.

The Deputy Leader then moved onto discussing the upcoming Education Awards, which were opening this week and were in their sixth year. He stated that nominations could be received for anyone that worked in education, from early years up to adult education and should celebrate the work they had achieved. He wished to encourage all nominations and felt excited to hear education success stories. He also mentioned the new Tree Planting Strategy which was designed to increase the local wildlife population and improve the views and air quality across the borough. He stated that 32 trees had now been planted in Grays, with a following 34 trees to be planted across the borough in autumn. He stated that this had been borne of a Full Council motion from Councillors in Little Thurrock Blackshots, and thanked officers and Members for their hard work in developing the strategy.

The Deputy Leader commented on the recent success that the enforcement team had seen regarding fly-tipping. He felt this had been a challenge across the borough, but was now improving thanks to the hard work of officers. He stated that enforcement action had been taken against an individual for fly-tipping in Grays, and they had been issued a £400 fine. He added that five lorry drivers had also been moved on for nuisance parking on verges. The Deputy Leader also commented on the new additional licensing scheme for landlords which was coming into effect this month. He stated that the majority of Thurrock landlords provided good housing for residents, but some did not follow the rules. He added that Thurrock was the first Local Authority in Essex to take formal action and three landlords had been fined a total of £16,000 for breaching regulations.

The Deputy Leader congratulated the Council for their nominations in the Municipal Journal Local Government Awards, as they had been nominated for Local Authority of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for other awards in areas such as finance, senior leadership and health. He thanked the hard work of every volunteer, officer and Member who had made the nomination possible, and stated that results would be announced on 26 June 2019. He also thanked the Corporate Director of Children’s Services, who had joined the Council in 2016 and was now retiring. He stated that his team had consistently been high performing and had made positive relationships with schools and other partners.

The Deputy Leader finished his statement with the Clean It, Cut It, Fill  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Briefings on Policy, Budget and Other Issues

Minutes:

There were no briefings on policy, budget and other issues.

6.

Petitions submitted by Members of the Public

Minutes:

No petitions had been submitted by members of the public.

7.

Questions from Non-Executive Members

Minutes:

No questions had been received from non-Executive Members.

8.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet for Consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

No matters had been referred to the Cabinet for consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

9.

2018/19 Financial Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader opened the report and stated it was found on pages 15-28 of the agenda. He began by stating that every Council was statutorily obliged to balance the books, but Thurrock had achieved more. He commented that the Medium Term Financial Strategy projected a four year balanced budget, which meant a seven year total, and added that the Council were not just balancing the budget, but were running a surplus, which could be invested in services. He described some of the services which were being invested in such as £7million for a new bin fleet to tackle bin collection problems; £0.5million for mental health services; and £1.6million to fight crime and deal with social behaviour. He stated that the Council’s rainy day funds had also increased by 38%, but earmarked money was being spent on public projects. He added that he felt recent press reports had been disingenuous as they had included earmarked money, which was designed to be spent.

The Deputy Leader commented that Thurrock was a low-tax council and were finding new alternatives to make money, and this was funding capital programmes such as £49million on widening the A13; £23million on new housing stock; £7million on additional school spaces; and £20million redeveloping areas such as Grays and Purfleet. He thanked the Director of Finance and IT, the Commercial Director and other directors, as well other officers, volunteers, the community, private sector and Members for their hard work and collaborative effort. He felt that the collaboration between the council, the private sector and the community made services more efficient and allowed for reform. He added that the council would continue to reform, as well review tax and commercial delivery, without burdening tax payers. He stated that the Council Spending Review would be reformatted to focus on quality services and outreach, as this had proven successful for Grangewaters, Thameside and children’s centres. He stated that the strategy would put emphasis on volunteers and other partners to focus on quality. The Deputy Leader added that the scorecards were achieving a 66% pass rate and 80% of services were right first time, and stated that Cabinet would be continuing to improve quality using the Council Spending Review.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Noted that the General Fund net expenditure has been met within the overall budget envelope and the General Fund Balance has been maintained at £11.000m

2. Noted that the balance on the Housing Revenue Account Reserve has been maintained at £2.175m;

3. Noted that there was a total of £65.945m in capital expenditure and some of the key projects have been set out in section 5.

10.

Appointments to Outside Bodies, Statutory and Other Panels pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader listed the appointments made as stated in the Appointments Booklet. He stated that Councillor Rice was appointed for the Anglian (Eastern) Region Flood and Coastal Committee; Councillor Gledhill was appointed for the Association for Public Services Excellence; Councillor Van Day for the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Board of Governors; Councillor Collins for the Essex Partnership for Flood Management; Councillor Hebb for the Essex Pension Advisory Fund; and Councillor Gledhill for the Essex County Traveller Unit. He went on to state that Councillors Johnson and Abbas were appointed for the Local Government Association; Councillor Gledhill for South Essex Local Enterprise Partnership Strategic Board and Accountability Board; Councillor Huelin for Thurrock Arts Council; Councillor Watkins for Thurrock Sports Council; and Councillor Coxshall for the Thames Estuary 2100 Strategic Programme Board. He finished by stating that Councillor Gledhill was appointed for the Thurrock Community Safety Partnership.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Approved the nominations to Outside Bodies, Statutory and Other Panels as set out in Appendix 1.