Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Leader began his statement by explaining that Thurrock had recently received independent verification from Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) that the borough was now cleaner than ever before. He stated that only 3.67% of sites that KBT visited had any evidence of litter, graffiti, dog fouling, fly-posting or fly-tipping. He described how this may have partly been due to COVID-19, but KBT had confirmed that they had not seen such a reduction in litter in other areas also affected by the pandemic. He outlined the percentages of the borough which had seen no evidence of issues, such as 96.33% of the borough had no littering, 94% had no graffiti, 99.8% of the borough had no fly-posting, 96.7% had no fly-tips, and 99.67% of the borough had no dog fouling. He added that there were still areas in which these problems occurred, but thanked the street cleaning teams for their hard work, particularly during such a difficult time, in keeping parks and other areas open and tidy. He also thanked residents for their participation in keeping the borough tidy, by taking rubbish home with them.

The Leader moved onto discuss the developments made in COVID-19 since the last Cabinet meeting, as pubs and restaurants had now been opened, and a new track and trace system had been launched. He stated that locally, Thurrock had produced their Outbreak Control Plan, which would help prevent and monitor the spread of COVID-19 in the borough. He stated that contact tracing had also been established, which was particularly important for people in care homes and other vulnerable residents, to ensure their safety. The Leader felt proud of Thurrock as residents had risen to the challenge to prevent the spread of the virus, and asked them to continue to enjoy the new freedoms responsibly. The Leader outlined the current government guidance including staying 2m apart from other people, 1m apart from other people when wearing a mask, staying alert for symptoms, staying indoors when necessary, and visiting shops and other local establishments safely.

The Leader also commented on the new Highways England (HE) design refinement consultation, and asked residents to get involved to make sure Thurrock voices were heard. He stated that this would likely be the third and final consultation, so would potentially be the last chance for residents to change the scheme. The Leader felt that the scheme did not go far enough to mitigate the harm that the proposed route would cause, and urged residents to make their feelings known. He stated that the consultation would run until 12 August 2020, and due to COVID-19 would be mostly online. The Leader confirmed that he had asked HE to delay the consultation due to its limited online nature, but HE had continued with their scheduled dates. He added that the previous consultations had received more responses than any HE consultations before, and thanked residents for taking part in those. He again urged residents to take part and make their voices heard.

The Leader finished his statement by giving the Clean It, Cut It, Fill It Update since April 2020, and stated that 1347 potholes had been filled in (all within target time); 777 tonnes of litter had been cleared; 388 fly-tips had been cleared; 1163 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) had been issued; and 64 £400 fines had been issued for non-payment of FPNs. He added that 58 of these non-payment of fines had been issued to court, but as courts were currently closed due to COVID-19, it could take a while for these to be heard. He summarised and stated that Cabinet had recently agreed for photographs of people who gave false information to be published on the Council’s website, which would help catch people for non-payment of FPNs.