Agenda item

Announcements on behalf of the Mayor or the Leader of the Council


The Mayor requested that those Members laying wreaths on his behalf to do all they could to remain socially distanced and if there were more than six people gathered around the memorial to hang back until it was safe to lay the wreath. The Mayor announced that he would be laying a wreath at Purfleet on Thames this Sunday and on the 8 November would be attending the Remembrance Day Service at St Peters and St Pauls Church in Grays at 11am and then would be laying a wreath at Chafford Hundred in the afternoon. The Mayor thanked all those residents who would be observing the two minutes silence and laying wreaths outside their own homes.


The Mayor also announced that he was still looking for imaginative ways of raising money for GiFT, the Mayor’s chosen charity, but this was proving difficult with the restriction on gatherings of more than six people.


The Mayor thanked the many shops and organisations that were supporting people during these arduous times.


The Deputy Leader of the Council made the following announcements on behalf of the Leader who had been taken unwell and was unable to join the meeting this evening.


In regards to COVID, the Council had taken the decision that Thurrock should remain in the lowest risk level, Medium Alert or Tier 1, based on the available data, information and balancing the risk posed by coronavirus with the harm we knew would be caused to our residents if stricter rules were imposed on their lives. The decision was not made based on just one metric, that being the number of positive COVID tests per 100,000 people in the population, but on a number of factors including the number of residents in hospital and the number of deaths where COVID was a factor. Councillor Hebb confirmed that between the 1 September 2020 and the 27 October 2020, 17 people from Thurrock had positive COVID results and had entered hospitalisation at Basildon Hospital and positive result tests was still being seen across the borough. It was important to note that the outbreaks in Thurrock were in two specific non-community environments, those in a single care home and in hospital where there was an increased positive infection rates attributed to those settings.


We know that Thurrock’s strong communities, determination and common sense have helped but we have so much more to do. We must ensure we remain vigilant against the threat posed by COVID, now was not the time to allow complacency to creep in. We have already come together to achieve so much. By carrying on taking personal responsibility, playing our part and looking out for each other we can continue to make sure the borough stays as safe as possible. We now must play an active role in the fight against his virus and that none of us could have predicted that we would find ourselves in this position but would definitely have predicted that Thurrock and our communities would have risen so superbly to the challenge.


The pandemic was global but the solutions were local and the best defence will come from our actions. If we all continue to practise hands, face, space abide by the rule of six and most people use their common sense to help prevent the spread of this virus that way we are doing all we can to ensure that Thurrock stays at the lowest level wherever possible and stricter rules were not imposed on us.

We continue to closely monitor and review the situation on a weekly basis and would make sure that all decisions we make put our residents’ health and wellbeing first and protect us all no matter what.


Councillor Hebb took the opportunity to thank the Government who so far had provided more than £14 million of emergency funding which had been fully spent on covering the extra costs of the coronavirus such as:

·         Our excellent test and trace service which had around a 95% success rate in getting in touch with people who had been in contact with someone who had tested positive.

·         Contracting our own testing service for the borough’s care homes to help protect those most vulnerable.

·         Providing help and extra care to the most vulnerable people in the borough including those who had to shield, the homeless and young people.


Remembrance Day - This year we would not be able to mark Remembrance Day as we usually would by coming together but I would encourage all residents to mark this, the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, privately and remotely as we honour the tremendous sacrifices and efforts made by that generation by making a small sacrifice ourselves and staying at home and marking the event in our own way.


There would still be a two minute silence which we can observe on our doorsteps but we would not be able to gather for large communal events as the Mayor had already mentioned. Instead we would have to come together virtually or show our appreciation privately. It was the most fitting way to commemorate our nation’s heroes and thank all those who had served. The Leader would like to thank the local Royal British Legion for helping us shape how we remember those who made that ultimate sacrifice in a way which respected both them and the needs imposed by this pandemic and there were a number of communities across the borough who would rise to that challenge.


Halloween and Bonfire Night - I would ask everyone to be considerate and respectful of their neighbours. The Leader had been asked what the rules would be for the upcoming Halloween and Bonfire Night to which the Deputy Leader stated there were no specific rules for these events and would go back to what was said previously, residents should use their own common sense and think of the risk that would be imposed on groups of children knocking on residents doors, residents who may be susceptible or vulnerable or indeed infectious. Regarding bonfire night this year would see no organised events across the borough and I am sure many residents would be planning on holding private family displays in their garden. I would urge them all to make sure they know the fireworks code and have taken all precautions they need to prevent injury and accident. If they are buying fireworks they should do so from reputable dealers and not buy those intended for large displays and feel that using them in their back garden was a safe option. We should also remember the impact this has on our furry friends and should think about pets and wildlife and should think of that as well as their own safety. There was plenty of advice on how this can be done and I would urge residents to seek that out.


The Deputy Leader stated that last week had marked the first anniversary of the tragic incident that had happened in Eastern Avenue with the Leader taking a strong view that he hoped his colleagues in France and Belgium regularly watched the approach taken by Thurrock and urged their authorities to work with their respective border control forces to help prevent further issues of people being put at risk by ruthless people and urged all Members to take a moment’s thought for those that had died on that sad and tragic morning.


The Deputy Leader provided a Clean It, Cut It, Fill It update:


·       Filled 1,776 potholes, every single one of them within agree timescales

·       Cleared 1,700 tonnes of litter from our streets

·       Cleared 776 fly-tips

·       Issued 1,935 fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour like spitting, littering and dropping cigarette ends.