Agenda and draft minutes

General Services Committee - Thursday, 17th December, 2020 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Matthew Boulter, Democratic & Governance Services Manager and Deputy Monitoring Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

67.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of General Services Committee meeting held on 9November 2020 and 16 November 2020.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the General Services Committees held on the 9 November 2020 and 16 November 2020 were approved as a correct record.

68.

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.

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Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

69.

Declarations of Interests

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

70.

Thurrock Regeneration Limited pdf icon PDF 229 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Place introduced the report stating that there was a need to appoint an interim director to Thurrock Regeneration Limited (TRL) due to previous directors resigning from their posts. Cllr Coxshall continued that the report was a technical one and recommended that the committee reconvene in early 2021 to set the longer term position for TRL.

 

Cllr Kent asked a number of questions including why there was a need to form a subsidiary company but also the reasons why the previous directors had resigned. It was explained that most housing companies of this kind would establish a subsidiary company as a property management company. In other words the subsidiary company manages the lettings and maintenance of the properties that the Council retains in its ownership. With regards to the resignation of directors Cllr Coxshall stated that the Administration wanted a faster paced delivery of housing and to change the processes and structure to achieve this. This in turn created conflicts of interest with the directors who held posts within the council. Officers added that the previous directors were finding that holding positions both in TRL and the Council a challenge. Anna Eastgate clarified that she was the director identified in the report who left due to a specific conflict of interest, namely that in September her job title changed to include Place Delivery, which included housing delivery. Cllr Kent questioned why, if that was the case, a current senior housing manager who sat as a director of TRL did not have a similar interest.

 

Cllr Kent further queried why this committee, as shareholders, had not been informed of the resignations when they occurred. Cllr Coxshall believed that his response to a Full Council question and his press statement was sufficient to alert all Members to the events. He received no queries from Members at the time or since and therefore had assumed the resignations were a widely known fact and that a specific report was not therefore required.

 

Cllr Byrne queried whether Roger Harris, the proposed new interim director and a current corporate director at the Council, did not have a similar conflict of interest to the previous directors. It was highlighted that 2.3 of the report explained why there was no conflict of interest and it was added that Mr Harris was leaving the Council in March and his experience in housing matters put him in a good position to steer the day to day matters of the company until a permanent alternative was put in place. It was included, in response to a further query, that should Mr Harris become ill or unable to undertake the director role the Council would follow a similar process to now in that an interim arrangements could be made within a timeframe.

Cllr Okunade explored the reasoning for the numbers to be appointed and Cllr Coxshall confirmed that the two positions being requested to be filled tonight were interim measures to fill the necessary positions as is. It was hoped  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.