Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Leader opened his statement and thanked Essex Police and security staff for their hard work dealing with the bomb hoax at the Civic Offices on Monday. He stated that their prompt action ensured the safety of those in the building and surrounding areas, and allowed the area to be opened as soon as possible. He explained that the hoax led to the evacuation of the Civic Offices, South Essex College, local businesses and disrupted c2c train services, but a man had been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax and possession of a knife, and was in police custody.

The Leader moved on and explained that yesterday a new project had been started to install new heating systems in three council owned tower blocks in Chadwell St Mary, to reduce heating bills and ensure efficient energy consumption. He explained that Thurrock Council had been given a £3.2 million grant from central government to undertake these works, which would improve the 273 council flats in these blocks. He stated that this system would improve energy efficiency and therefore reduce resident’s energy bills and reduce incidences of mould. He described how over the life cycle of the heat pumps, the system would save approximately 7080 tonnes of carbon emissions and improve the lives of residents. He added that the council would also be improving other areas of Chadwell St Mary by installing new play equipment on the heath; resurfacing Claudian Way; and undertaking consultation regarding the Kerb It Scheme on St Michaels Road, which would make it easier for residents to park for free and protect grass verges.

The Leader described how Cabinet Members had been pleased to see the Commonwealth baton arrive in Tilbury Port and Cruise Terminal, which he felt was a fitting place given Tilbury’s Windrush history. He added that a new coastal pathway had also recently been opened through Thurrock and ran for 85 miles along the Essex coast from Southend to London.

The Leader provided the Clean It, Cut It Fill It Update and stated that since April 2022: 534 potholes had been filled; 341 fly tips cleared; 410 tonnes of waste cleared; and 522 fixed penalty notices had been issued. He stated that COVID-19 levels were currently rising, and urged residents to follow government guidance and minimise contact with people who had contracted the virus. He added that those residents travelling abroad for their summer holidays should check the government website for COVID international entry restrictions. The Leader also urged residents to look out for vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours during the current heatwave, and to make sure they wear sunscreen, hats, drink water and stay indoors where possible during the hottest parts of the day. He explained that refuse collection teams would be starting one hour earlier at 5am to ensure they were not working during the hottest part of the day, and apologised for any disruption this could cause residents. He added that refuse collection teams had also been issued hats, shorts, and water for their work during the summer heatwave.

The Leader explained that Councillors Abbas, Thandi, and Carter, alongside the Mayor, had joined spiritual leaders for Hindu prayers at the weekend at the Grays Lightship Café, as there was no Hindu temple in Thurrock. He stated that other groups who wished to contact Councillor Abbas could do so via email or the communities team.