Agenda and draft minutes

Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 14th July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 4 February 2021.

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Minutes:

The minutes of the Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on the 4 February 2021 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.

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Minutes:

There were no urgent items of business.

3.

Declaration of Interests

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Minutes:

No interests were declared.

4.

Parking Enforcement vehicle removals pdf icon PDF 256 KB

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Minutes:

Phil Carver presented the report that set out proposals for the Council to commence the use of vehicle removal in the Council’s parking enforcement approach in specific incidents. The report sought the approval for the Parking Team to remove vehicles parked in contravention with priority removals to those classed as persistent evaders or if a vehicle was parked in a manner that was obstructive or dangerous to other road users, in line with legislative powers and best practice.

 

Councillor Redsell thanked Officers for the good report and asked where the specific areas were in Grays that the report referred to. Phil Carver provided Members with a brief list of roads in Grays and stated a more definitive list could be made available to Councillor Redsell if she so wished to see it.

 

Councillor Redsell commented that residents were more likely to ignore a PCNs but would pay to have their lifted vehicle returned.

 

Councillor Thandi questioned whether automatic numberplate recognition was used in Thurrock and asked what the process was for those vehicles where residents stated they were not the registered keeper.  Phil Carver stated that automatic numberplate recognition was not currently used in Thurrock but was currently being looked into for vehicles illegally parking outside of schools. There was a statutory process for parking where the DVLA would be contacted to get the registered keeper details and that persistent evaders knew that if they did not register their vehicle with the DVLA the result would come back as unregistered keeper. This would be pursued and DVLA would be contacted again. Councillor Thandi questioned why details of taxed vehicles were not known as this information would be held by the DVLA to which Phil Carver stated this was the information being supplied by DVLA. David Kleinberg stated there were 1000s of vehicles on roads that had not been taxed, had no registered keeper, no MOT or with no insurance and it was those vehicles that were impacting on the space in Thurrock.

 

Councillor Pothecary thanked Officers for the report and welcomed the new measures and continued to ask for clarification on whether paragraph 3.5 (a) and (d) would both be aimed at persistent evaders. Phil Carver confirmed that it applied to all on that list, from (a) to (d), a PCN would be issued and then the removal of the vehicle. It would be the priority to remove those vehicles of persistent evaders.

 

Councillor Rigby questioned the number of times a PCN was given before the vehicle would be removed. Phil Carver stated it would be three or more outstanding PCNs.

 

Councillor Pearce questioned those vehicles being issued with PCNs were new or old cars to which Phil Carver stated it was a mixture of both. Councillor Pearce questioned whether Thurrock Council could keep those cars and sell them. Phil Carver stated that if the vehicle’s value was more than £1500.00 it would go to auction and Thurrock Council would receive that money back. This was controlled by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Thurrock Council Animal Welfare Review pdf icon PDF 130 KB

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Minutes:

Gavin Dennett presented the report that stated in May 2021 the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a report on the work of Public Protection that related to animals and as a result of that report the Committee determined that it should form a working group to review the Councils Animal Welfare Policy. This working group was formed and comprised of Councillor Rigby, as chair, and Councillors Van Day and Fletcher. The working group met on several occasions to review the Council’s Animal Welfare Policy.

 

Councillor Pothecary thanked Officers and Members for their contributions to this Policy and commented that it was good it was now up to date. Councillor Pothecary questioned the wording in the section on horses and requested that this be checked with the Legal Department on the accuracy. Gavin Dennett confirmed the legal implications of the report had been signed off by the legal department but agreed to check and send any update to Councillor Pothecary.

 

Councillor Pothecary referred to the executive summary of the Policy and stated that the following additional information could be considered for inclusion into this part of the Policy (1) links to the wildlife section of the Local Plan and (2) refer to the Motion raised by Councillor Rigby at February 2020 Council on the high use of fireworks in the borough that was causing distress and injury to pets and wildlife with an impact on air quality.

 

Councillor Pearce questioned whether a licence was required to breed cats to sell in Thurrock Housing properties to which Gavin Dennett stated a licence would not be required but certain conditions would be covered in tenancy agreements.

 

Councillor Redsell questioned whether checks would be undertaken on animal prizes at circuses or fairs in the borough to which Gavin Dennett informed Members that an additional heading “Animals as Prizes” had been included into the Policy “Animals as Prizes - The Council would prohibit the use of animals as prizes at circuses, fairs and for any other activities of a similar nature that take place on its land and will discourage this on other land within Thurrock where it had powers or influence”. Gavin Dennett also stated that conditions would be written into the letting agreements of any such land used for these events. That this was already been undertaken by the Leisure Services Manager and checks against such conditions would be undertaken.

 

Councillor Redsell thanked the working group and officers for all their hard work to get the Policy up to date.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommend to Cabinet to adopt the revised Animal Welfare Policy for Thurrock Council.

6.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 15 KB

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Minutes:

Members discussed the scrutiny review and work programme.

 

Councillor Pothecary requested an update on recycling levels to which Councillor Redsell stated this could be covered in the “Street Cleansing Strategy” item scheduled for the October meeting.

 

Councillor Pothecary requested an update following the IPRI climate and fairness report to which Councillor Redsell stated could be covered in the “Impact on Air Quality in lockdown in the borough” item scheduled for the October meeting.

 

Councillor Pothecary requested that Essex Police attend a committee so that members can raise their concerns and ask questions around the safety within the borough. Democratic Services would liaise with Michelle Cunningham and report back to the committee.

 

Councillor Liddiard requested an update on the air quality within the borough, particularly in Tilbury to which Councillor Redsell stated could be covered in the “Impact on Air Quality in lockdown in the borough” item scheduled for the October meeting.

 

Councillor Liddiard requested an update on the responsibilities that now fell within the remit of the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sports & Leisure. Councillor Redsell suggested that an invite be extended to the portfolio holder for the next meeting.