The Leader began his statement
by stating that the UK had now completed the final step of the
roadmap out of COVID lockdown, with the return of schools, colleges
and universities; as well as the reopening of shops, pubs and
restaurants. He thanked all Thurrock residents for their
determination and sacrifice during lockdown which now allowed the
reopening of the economy. He stated that although Thurrock was now
beginning to return to normality, COVID still remained present and
rates were increasing, although not as dramatically as previously
seen. He urged residents to be cautious by washing their hands more
regularly, considering wearing a face mask where appropriate, and
by respecting people’s wishes to socially distance. He also
urged residents over the age of 16 to get the COVID vaccine either
by booking an appointment over the phone or online, or by attending
a walk-in centre. He explained that even though people who were
double jabbed could still catch the virus, they were less likely to
become seriously ill and be hospitalised. He summarised and stated
that Thurrock had now delivered 198,614 doses of the vaccine:
106,551 of which were first doses, and 92,063 of which were second
doses. He explained that the current rate of infection in Thurrock
was 248 per 100,000 which was lower than the national average of
370 cases per 100,000.
The Leader moved on and described a new initiative recently launched in Grays to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. He stated that this was because £625,000 of funding that had been received, £432,500 of which had been from to a joint bid with the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. He stated that this scheme would provide additional lighting, additional CCTV, a Shop Safe communications system and two new Grays Community Engagement Officers, who would work in conjunction with the Grays Town Police. He commented that Grays would be seeing lots of regeneration projects, due to the £20m Towns Fund investment from central government and additional private investment.
The Leader then described how he had recently attended the removal of vehicle involved in fly-tipping with the Environmental Enforcement team. He stated that the offender had driven further to fly-tip than they would have done if they had used the waste and recycling centre, and had had to pay a large fine. He mentioned that fly-tipping was not a victimless crime, as the landowner or Council had to pay for the fly-tip to be removed, but the Council would continue to work to catch fly-tipping offenders. He stated that so far the Council had caught 136 offenders by utilising the new fly-tipping cameras that had been installed. He added that the team had also recently found six motorbikes, two cars, and six quadbikes that had been illegally stored in Council owned garages. He explained that the vehicles had been disposed of and the offenders fined. He thanked the residents who had made the reports, and urged residents to continue to report offenders either online, or via 101, as it helped the police and the Council to build a pattern of evidence.
The Leader summarised and highlighted the work of Clean It, Cut It, Fill It since April last year. He stated that 1992 potholes had been filled; 99% within target time; 38 fly-tips had been cleared; 728 tonnes of waste had been disposed of; and 1581 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued for offences such as littering and spitting.