Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Leader began his statement by explaining that the focus of the Cabinet meeting would be the budget, which would outline the complexities of the budget and investment strategy. He stated that there were positive changes for fully vaccinated people in regards to COVID-19, as from Friday the UK would no longer require a COVID test upon arrival to the country. He stated that there was also the possibility for further guidance regarding the lifting of additional restrictions expected in the coming weeks. He commented that the best place to find all of the rules regarding COVID restrictions was the website, which provided regular updates on the rules in place. The Leader thanked the volunteers and the NHS for delivering the vaccine and booster programmes, but stated that Thurrock currently had one of the lowest vaccine rates in the UK and urged residents to get their vaccines and booster jabs. He stated that pop-up vaccine centres had been established across Thurrock to make it easier for residents to get their vaccines, and volunteers would be sent out into the community to provide advice and share vaccine news with local residents, in a bid to increase vaccine take up.

The Leader stated that during the meeting Cabinet would be considering proposals for a single use plastics policy, and highlighted that the Council were committed to ensuring sustainability across the borough. He added that the Council were also undertaking more environmentally friendly road surfacing repairs, which reduced the need for heat and mixing and therefore was more environmentally friendly. He stated that the Council were also piloting a programme that would halve the cost of pothole repairs, but would improve the road surface and reduce environmental impact.

The Leader commented that the Prime Minister had recently visited the Port of Tilbury. He stated that the Port of Tilbury would benefit from the recently agreed Thames Freeport, which would lead to approximately £4.5billion of investment. He thanked the hard work of senior officers, who had spent an estimated 1000 hours on the Thames Freeport project. He added that the Prime Minister also listened to the investment plans for Tilbury through the Tilbury Towns Fund, such as investment in the beach, youth centre, and train station.

The Leader then provided an update on Clean It, Cut It, Fill It and stated that 2912 potholes had been filled, 99% within target time; 1419 fly-tips had been cleared; 1975 tonnes of waste had been removed; and 3366 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued. He summarised and stated that an invite would be sent to all Councillors to attend Operation Abbey that would be held in Grays on Friday 18 February, which would partner businesses, the Council, and local communities for a one-off clean-up action day. He stated that the aim of Operation Abbey was to remove stickers on businesses shutters and would help tackle the blight of flyposting. He explained that the borough’s Keep Britain Tidy scores were affected by the issue of flyposting, and felt that the removal of the stickers would make it more difficult for the perpetrators to attach flyers to the shutters. He stated that it would also make it easier for business owners to remove the flyers, and if successful in Grays would be rolled out to other towns in the borough.