The Mayor stated the last 18 months since lockdown in March 2020 had been trulyunprecedented times and had shown the generosity of individuals,community, voluntary and faith groups and local businesses who had helped support Thurrock residents during the pandemic. The Mayor stated she had sought nominations for a special Certificate of Recognition which would be given to those in the borough who had gone above and beyond to help their community during the Covid-19 pandemic. There had been 450 nominations for a Covid-19 Community Star and a certificate as a token of appreciation for the help and support they provided would be sent out over the next couple of days.
Councillor Gledhill, Leader of the Council, made the following announcements:
Covid Update - With Christmas on the horizon, Councillor Gledhill urged everyone to remain sensible when it came to taking precautions against Covid-19. Everyone wanted to have a good Christmas celebrating with friends and family and asked residents not to undo all their hard work and risk their Christmas celebrations. That two thirds of Thurrock residents had received two vaccinations, which meant only around 30% of eligible residents had not yet been fully protected. The vaccine’s safety and effectiveness had been proved on a global scale and again urged anyone who had not yet received their vaccinations to reconsider and take up the offer as soon as possible. In terms of local rates these had been increasing from an average of 69 new cases per day in October up to 107 per day in November, which was over double in the space of a month. This showed residents could not become complacent and it remained important to do what we could to avoid spreading the virus throughout our families and communities – we must continue to carefully wash our hands, respect the wishes of those who wished to cover their faces, ventilate crowded indoor gatherings and social distance where possible.
Shop Safe, Shop Local - Earlier this month the new campaign Shop Safe, Shop Local had been launched with the support of many independent businesses across the whole of the borough. Lakeside being a brilliant asset for Thurrock but we also had many high streets with a fantastic mix of shops and places to eat. These small and often family run businesses were the beating heart of our towns, and since restrictions had lifted they had done an incredible job safely welcoming shoppers back. That shopping local helped support Thurrock’s economy, created jobs, boosted local communities, employment and helped towns thrive. Councillor Gledhill hoped this new campaign would inspire more people to think of their local shops and would give residents the confidence to shop safely. Councillor Gledhill thanked all of the businesses who had already backed the campaign.
Enforcement Success – Councillor Gledhill had joined the Council’s Environment Enforcement Team working alongside Thurrock Essex Police and Rural Engagement Team targeting anti-social behaviour which had a significant impact on the lives of residents. The two day operation had focused on fly-tipping, including unlicensed waste carriers who transported and dumped waste illegally. More than 50 individuals were spoken to in vehicles each day and some positive comments had been received from local residents on how pleased they were with the proactive approach. That 11 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued with fines totalling more than £3,000; seized three vehicles for no insurance; seized one vehicle which was not roadworthy; reported one individual for not having a driver’s licence and one reported vehicle for no MOT. Councillor Gledhill stated the Council worked well with Essex Police and would continue to do so.
Give a Gift – Councillor Gledhill stated Give a Gift was back for the sixth year, that promised to give gifts to Thurrock children, known to our children's services teams, who may receive few, if any, presents this Christmas and urged all members to get involved.
Councillor Gledhill wished everyone a Merry Christmas and extended season greetings to all Thurrock residents.