Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Leader began his statement by outlining the increasing numbers of COVID-19 levels that were being seen both within Thurrock and across the country. He stated that last week Thurrock had had the highest COVID numbers of any unitary authority, but this had decreased this week and Thurrock were now 63 out of 149 unitary authorities for COVID rates. He explained that this figure could increase over the coming weeks with the return of schools following the Christmas break and increases of COVID in other boroughs. He commented that since December 2021 the contact tracing team had spoken to 90,000 residents, which equated to over half of the population of the borough. He added that the age groups with the lowest vaccine uptake were seeing the highest positive COVID levels, for example only 64% of residents aged 18-49 were vaccinated but accounted for 50% of all COVID positive cases. He urged residents to continue to follow government guidance and get the vaccine, as well as the booster. He stated that over the weekend the army had been helping at a walk-in vaccination centre in Grays, and the Council were currently looking at other potential walk-in vaccine sites across the borough. He stated that there were currently walk-in centres in Grays, Chadwell St Mary and Stifford Clays, and residents could also book an appointment to have their vaccine. He stated that Thurrock Council were also providing financial support for local businesses affected by COVID, and details of these schemes could be found on the Thurrock website. He stated that since the start of the pandemic, the Council had distributed more than £100mn in government grants to local businesses, which had helped them through the pandemic. He summarised and stated that Thurrock had seen 3316 positive cases in the past week, 659 of those in the under 18 age group; 1118 in the 18-49 age group; and 776 in the over 50 age group. He stated that that current positive test rate was 1863 per 100,000, but that 150,000 people had received two vaccines, and 66,000 people had received both vaccines and the booster.

The Leader moved on and stated that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in West Thurrock had been extended which prevented car cruise meetings from taking place. He stated that this had been in place since 2015 and had been extended until December 2024. He felt the PSPO had been effective at preventing car cruise meetings, which had improved resident’s safety and reduced noise levels in the local area. He stated that the Council had been working closely with Essex Police to continue to take action against those who ignored the PSPO. He stated that Thurrock Council had recently confiscated £500,000 from an illegal self-storage business that had been operating in green belt land in Bulphan, as the business did not have the necessary planning permission. The Leader summarised and stated that under the Clean It, Cut It, Fill It scheme: 2785 potholes had been filled, 99% within target time; 1256 fly-tips had been cleared; 1750 tonnes of waste had been cleared; and 3235 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued.