Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Leader began his statement and felt it had been good to see Thurrock come together to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee weekend, including community events across the borough such as street parties and five beacon lighting ceremonies, including one at Tilbury Fort. He stated that Thurrock had also been represented in the Thank-You Dance at the Mall on Sunday 5 June with fifty Thurrock volunteers included. He thanked residents for leading and participating in a variety of community events and felt that this proved the excellent and close-knit communities across the boroughs. He added that he had also attended the opening of the Little Thurrock Community Park in Delafields. He stated that the project had turned a stretch of scrubland that had been little used for decades into an outstanding park. He stated that the work had been undertaken by community volunteers and financed through donors and local businesses in either money or materials, alongside a small input from the Council. He felt that the outcome was a brilliant new open space in Thurrock and provided an excellent example of a community-led project.

The Leader stated that last week planning permission had been granted for a new government funded primary school and nursery in Aveley. He stated that Harrier Primary School was due to be built on land adjacent to the A13 and Love Lane in Aveley, and would provide space for up to 420 prospective primary students and 52 nursery places. He commented that the school was targeted to open in September 2023. The Leader moved on and explained that in the last week Thurrock has seen how important resident reports were in directing action and helping the Council and its partners target resources effectively to deal with the issues affecting them. He stated that an operation involving Environmental Enforcement Officers, the Trading Standards team and Essex Police took place in Aveley, during which officers found stolen motorbikes and three containers of potentially unsafe goods, which were now being investigated by trading standards. He explained that the owners of the site had been issued a Fixed Penalty Notice and a notice to produce documents to prove the correct disposal of waste. The Leader stated that this operation, as well as the criminality it uncovered, proved how important it was that residents report their suspicions to the Council and the police. He explained that this could be done via Thurrock’s website; through Essex Police’s Digital 101 online service; by calling 101; through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111; or 999 in an emergency.

The Leader moved on and stated that following continued protests across Thurrock, the Council had been successful in extending the injunction that prevented fuel protestors from blocking public roads in the borough. He mentioned that their activities caused widespread disruption and more than £1,000,000 to emergency services, which took away vital services from where they were needed across the borough. He stated that the 222 people named in the injunction had been ordered to pay 50% of the costs of obtaining the injunction.

The Leader added that last week planning permission was approved for the Thames Enterprise Park. He stated that this would be one of the largest and most ambitious brownfield regeneration projects in the Southeast of England, and would breathe new economic life into the former Coryton Oil refinery site. He commented that this would create up 5,500 new jobs and would add more than £350million per year into the economy. He explained that the site would be home to advanced manufacturing, next-generation energy, fuels, and storage businesses, and would therefore position Thurrock at the heart of logistics, distribution and decarbonisation. He added that the Thames Enterprise Park would also play a pivotal role in the long-term success of the Thames Freeport, which would see more than £4.5billion in new public and private investment centred around Thurrock.

The Leader updated Cabinet on the Clean It, Cut It, Fill It programme and stated that during 2021/22: 3,888 potholes had been filled, 99% within target time; 1,953 fly-tips had been cleared; 2,734 tonnes of waste had been removed; and 4,545 fixed penalty notices had been issued. He summarised and stated that Thurrock was expecting very high temperatures for the rest of the week, with forecasts reaching mid-30 degree Celsius on Friday. He urged residents to take good care of themselves during this time by staying well hydrated; cooling off indoors where possible; looking after vulnerable friends and family, particularly the very old and very young; and wearing sunscreen when outside.