Agenda item

Announcements on behalf of the Mayor or the Leader of the Council


The Leader started his announcements by welcoming all re-elected, new and returning members to the meeting this evening.


New Building – Opened early April for the first wedding ceremonies held in the Lacey Room and in the Mulberry Suite. Meeting had been held in committee rooms one and two separately with tonight’s event being the first meeting in both and it being transmitted live into the Mulberry Suite as a test to ensure other larger events can take place. The Leader had been informed that the public areas would start to open on 8 June, again to test its functionality. This would include private areas for those who truly need to see officers face to face and a discrete area for residents who had been made homeless to seat.


Members could see the open parts of the building had been finished to a high standard something that we are ensuring will be across the whole of building. The Council Chamber was progressing well but as with any construction project of this size had not been helped by the national, and indeed international, shortage and delay on materials or craftspeople. The Leader stated they would deliver a chamber that would stand for many generations to come.


This new wing of the Civic Offices was part of the exciting regeneration of Grays that we will see over the coming years and how the Council was financially backing the regeneration of the borough.


Jubilee Celebrations - Thurrock, much like the rest of the country, was getting ready to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, the first time a monarch had reached this incredible milestone. Earlier this year new trees had been planted across the borough as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. Those trees would each have a plaque commemorating the event and they would grow and thrive as they served as a living celebration of this auspicious year. The Leader announced that beacons would be lit in Bulphan, Coalhouse Point, Purfleet-on-Thames and Tilbury Fort on 2 June at 9.45pm, joining 1,500 beacons being lit throughout the country and commonwealth. The Leader thanked forums and charities for holding these events and to English Heritage for organising the event at Tilbury Fort. There would also be a series of activities in libraries with a special exhibition at Thurrock Museum as well as all the street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches taking place across the borough.


Commonwealth Baton - Thurrock would also be thrust into the spotlight on Friday 8 July when the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Thurrock during its final journey through the country this summer. Thurrock will be delighted to play a part in the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay, and the Port of Tilbury had the honour of welcoming the Baton through the London International Cruise.


Windrush 2022 - The motto ‘By Thames to all People of the World’ reflected the important role the River Thames, Tilbury Docks and Thurrock continued to play in facilitating world trade, travel and communication. Tilbury was home to historical events such as the rallying of troops against the threat of invasion in 1588 and the arrival of the first large groups of post-war Caribbean settlers in 1948 on the 'Empire Windrush’. On 22 June, Tilbury would be part of the Windrush 2022 celebrations when 180 people – including some who arrived at Tilbury on the original Windrush sailing - would sail from Waterloo Pier to the dock where the MV Empire Windrush originally docked in Tilbury and the journey will end at the walkway of memories which opened last year to commemorate the arrival of the Windrush Generation and all they have contributed to this country.


New Towns Fund – Would be moving forward with the two towns funds boards to deliver impacting changes to both Grays and Tilbury. They would start to deliver beaches, youth and community provision, new ferry access, better connectivity both physically and electronically to improve both towns. We had towns funds boards, businesses, council officers, residents and elected members all wanting this to happen, and we would be updating everybody on progress as and when it happened.


The Thames Freeport had now started to open for business and had made a good start, Tilbury 2 Port had opened making 160 acres of port facilities available for shipping companies around the world. Thames Freeport would generate £4.5 billion of new public and private investment into jobs, skills, communities, infrastructure and would create 21,000 direct jobs in the industry trade.


To achieve this the Leader announced that the new Deputy Leader would be Councillor Mark Coxshall and appointed a new cabinet as follows:



Portfolio Holder

Public Protection

Cllr Gledhill

Highways and Transport

Cllr Maney

Communities and Equalities

Cllr Abbas


Cllr Spillman

Children’s Social Care and Education

Cllr Johnson

Adults and Health

Cllr Huelin

Finance and Communication

Cllr Duffin

Regeneration and External Affairs

Cllr M Coxshall

Transformation and Performance

Cllr Hebb

Environment and Air Quality

Cllr Jefferies


Councillor Gledhill made a fond temporary farewell to Councillors Mayes who requested that he expand his knowledge and became the chair of Housing Overview and Scrutiny to pick up how that area of delivery worked.