Agenda item

Progress on Thurrock Council's Improvement and Recovery (Decision: 110687)


The Leader introduced the report and welcomed the progress Thurrock has made on improvement and recovery. The Council has taken its situation and challenges seriously and implemented measures to improve. The Leader highlighted that there is always more work to be done but they should be proud of what has been done in a relatively short period of time. The Leader thanked the Senior Leadership Team for their support in delivering the changes the Council needs. The Leader stated that it is his strong belief that the Council will overcome its challenges and where there aren’t plans in place to tackle these challenges they have started work on creating these plans. The Leader assured everyone that the challenges are being monitored and tackled. They are in the process of setting the budget for 2024/25 and in the process of embedding a new Senior Leadership Team.


The Leader highlighted the following achievements: -


-       A Working Group is in place to develop a new operating model stream

-       Started development on a corporate plan

-       Made Appointments to senior posts

-       Delivering a new arrangement for Overview and Scrutiny and the Standards and Audit Committee to encourage more member engagement and scrutiny of decisions.


Councillor D Arnold confirmed that culture change may take a number of years. In the new quarter of the next municipal year measurements and controls over the improvement plan will be introduced. Councillor D Arnold queried how important is it that the 12 key outcomes are used as a test in seeing if the improvement and recovery plan is working.


The Leader responded that to see if anything is working, you have to test it against something. It is therefore that we have something tangible to test the implementation of the Improvement and Recovery Plan against. I believe that it is important that we have a test for the Improvement and Recovery Plan so that we can continue making tweaks and adjustments to continue improving Thurrock Council. The Leader agreed the 12 key points needed to be monitored and reported back on a regular basis to ensure the Council is making the improvements needed.


Councillor Carter queried how the improvement and recovery plan helps to improve the quality of officers.


The Leader responded that there is a new range of training being offered to officers so that they can be better prepared and equipped in carrying out their roles in the council and supporting and implementing member’s decisions. One of the outcomes of going into special measures was that we needed to support out officers and ensure they get the support they need. The feedback we are getting from officers at various roadshows is promising.


Councillor Coxshall queried whether the Leader could provide an update on the divestment strategy.


The Leader stated that the Council has made good progress on divestment. The aim is to have 90% of investments divested or underway by the end of March. The Leader confirmed that he could not comment on individual investments but he hoped that there will be more news in the next few weeks and months to share.




          That Cabinet:


1.1          Note the progress made on the Council’s improvement and recovery.


1.2          Refer this report to Full Council for all Members to consider and comment on the progress to date.


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