The Mayor requested a one minute silence was held in respect of the former Councillor June Brown who had sadly passed.
The Mayor stated this month instead of providing refreshments she had made donations to Cancer Research.
The Mayor also stated she had planted a tree with Councillor Jefferies in Ockendon in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and urged members to let officers know what area in their ward they would like their tree planted.
Councillor Gledhill, Leader of the Council, made the following announcements:
Council Chamber - Disappointed we were not in the new chamber this evening as hoped, this had been due to a combination of Covid outbreaks and supply difficulties that had gone on longer than expected with the finishing touches inside being not up to the standard we would expect and were being rectified by Keir. The Leader assured Members this had not come at any extra expense to the project or more importantly to the taxpayer.
Covid Update - From tomorrow, the rules and restrictions around Covid were to be lifted. Instead, there would be guidance and each of us would have to make our own decisions about how best to manage the risk of Covid, much as we had done for many years with seasonal flu and other illnesses. Thurrock had seen significant reductions in the number of people testing positive for Covid in the past few weeks with Thurrock going from being amongst the Upper Tier Local Authorities with the highest rate of infections to now being among some of the lowest. The Leader stated we should all be proud of what had been achieved so far. This was thanks to everyone doing all they could to keep one another safe. However, it needed to be said that Covid had not disappeared and was still important that as many people sought the protection of the vaccines. Thanks to £485,000in Government funding, the Council were able to do more out-reach work to encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer of a vaccine. Over the past few days, the Government’s National Surge Rapid Response Team had dropped leaflets through letterboxes in West Thurrock, South Stifford, South Chafford and some parts of Grays Riverside, making residents aware of the vaccination opportunities local to them. This week, a pop-up vaccine centre had been in operation at Ikea Lakeside and next week there will be one at South Essex college campus with other pop-ups opening in the future. The Council had repeatedly asked partners in the NHS to make sure they were spread across the whole of Thurrock and shared details of where these were and when. The best advice the Leader could give to residents was to make sure they were keeping up to date with guidance and travel rules by visiting the gov.uk website. This was especially important if they were planning to travel where the rules and requirements were likely to be different.
Storm Damage – Took the opportunity to thank officers and residents that worked so hard last Friday and over the weekend to make sure residents were safe and the borough could keep moving following the high winds and rain. The Highways teams dealt with a number of issues including fallen or damaged lampposts and incidents including collapsed walls and other structures, bricks and roof tiles being blown onto the road and damaged road signs. The Council’s trees team were called to a number of emergencies and were able to do some excellent work clearing trees that were blocking the road, pavement or were in a precarious position. The Leader also highlighted the Council’s waste collection crews who started early on Friday to make sure they could complete as much of their rounds and worked on Saturday to get any bins they missed as a result of the treacherous conditions on Friday. The Leader also thanked all those residents who helped their neighbours, whether it was farmers using heavy machinery to clear roads or residents collecting bins to put back in neighbour’s gardens where they had blown away.
Clean It, Cut It, Fill It - Since April 2021:
· Had filled 3,175 potholes on our borough’s roads. More than 99% within agreed timeframes.
· Had cleared 1,586 fly-tips.
· Had issued 255 Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping and seized eight vehicles in relation to this crime.
· Had issued 3,965 fixed penalty notices for offences including littering, spitting and dropping cigarette ends.
· 518 people had been prosecuted in court for failing to pay an FPN.
· During the Covid period we had worked with every person who had contacted us to say they faced difficulties paying these fixed penalty notices to make sure we could help those who were willing to pay but could not meet the deadlines.
· Had also removed 2,112 tonnes of waste from our streets and other public areas.
Finally, the Leader paid tribute to former Councillor June Brown who had sadly passed and stated there were many here this evening who would remember June and the fantastic contribution she made to Tilbury both in her role as a councillor and had been a real pillar of the community. June had not only been a Tilbury Riverside councillor but had been a stalwart protector and ambassador for the whole of Tilbury and knowing June personally she was a good person to turn to for such advice. Also, June continued to help Tilbury be a better place and had put her heart and soul into the Tilbury Festival. One of the co-founders of the Riverside Project had helped promote Tilbury both past and present also being the chief reporter for About Tilbury, one of the many community projects supported by Tilbury Port and equally one of many she took an active role in. Tilbury had lost a great one of their own with her passing and I am sure Members would join me in ensuring our thoughts were with her family and friends at this sad time.
Councillor J Kent also paid tribute and stated June would be remembered as an honest and straight forward person and was Tilbury to her core. The good work was still being carried on in Tilbury and would sadly be missed and thoughts were with her family at this sad time.