The Mayor invited all those present to reflect on and remember Thurrock’s fallen of World War One. Councillor Coxshall thanked Mr Perrin for raising such a good Motion and it had been fabulous to hear all the names being read out. The Mayor echoed Councillor Coxshall comment and thanked Mr Perrin on behalf of all the Members in the Chamber.
The Mayor sadly announced the passing of former Councillor Beverley Barton and a minute silence was held.
The Mayor was pleased to announce the launch of “Give a Gift” on Monday 26 November at Intu Lakeside and encouraged Members to take a star from her this evening so that a suitable gift could be donated.
The Mayor invited Council Gledhill to make any announcements he wished to make as Leader of the Council.
The Leader provided an update on Lower Thames Crossing and stated that despite the Council submitting a written request to Highways England to bring a final version of the consultation response to January Full Council for agreement unfortunately Highways England had insisting that it be submitted on the day the consultation closed on Thursday 20 December 2018. This had left the Council no choice but to arrange an Extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 11 December 2018 to present and discuss the report and the consultation response. The Leader stated that the Project Director of Highways England had specifically told him in a meeting before the statutory consultation began, the Council’s response could be submitted later and be submitted in January but stated that every time the Council speak to Highways England the story changed the very second that it did not suit them. This meant Officers had been given less time to view the thousands of pages of documentation including the consultation before developing the response. With the information given to the Council the same time as everybody else. The Leader encouraged every resident and business in the Borough to complete a response of the consultation.
The Leader was pleased to announce free Saturday parking over the Christmas period to ensure that small businesses had enough access to residents using those shops rather than going elsewhere in order to get their Christmas shopping. The Leader also announced that the Council had been working with the King Street car park owners in Stanford-le-Hope to provide two hours free parking on Saturdays over Christmas and the New Year period. The Leader stated that Thurrock had some excellent shops and small businesses and encouraged everybody to get out and use them.
The Leader stated it was fantastic to see more progress had been made to create much needed school spaces across Thurrock. Together with the Council’s partners who had invested more than £70 million to create more than 3500 new school places across the Borough. The Leader further stated that at Cabinet last month, it had been agreed to spend another £7 million on the expansion at St Clere’s school in Stanford-le-Hope and the recreation of temporary classrooms ahead of the opening of the proposed new Orsett Heath Academy in Grays.
The Leader referenced the new Harris Academy Riverside project which had been built in Purfleet and hosted a ‘topping out’ ceremony. This project would form part of the vital regeneration plan of Purfleet and was also another example on how the Council was getting community and structure in place for new housing.
The Leader stated that the successful education awards had been held last Thursday at the Civic Hall to celebrate teachers, support staff, governors, trusts and head teachers across Thurrock. With winners being announced across 14 award categories and the Leader congratulated all those that were not only nominated but also won.
And finally, the Leader gave a quick update on Clean it, Cut it, Fill it with 2591 fixed penalty tickets being issued for offences such as littering, dropping cigarette butts, anti-social behaviour and had prosecuted 163 people for not paying the fines. The Leader stated that further updates would be provided by the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Highways this evening and in the Leader’s Portfolio Holder report being presented in January.