Councillor Watkins, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Highways, presented his portfolio holder report and stated that it was an honour to be presenting his second annual report on Environment and the first time for Highways. Councillor Watkins stated that the team had been very busy and stated the following achievements:
• That 50,000 street bins, 10.5 million residential and trade waste bins had been emptied
• That 1185 acres of grass had been cut
• That 3,837 pot holes had been filled
• That 5.2 miles of road had been resurfaced
• That significant investments had been made into the services including £0.939 million for Clean It Cut It Fill It
• That £8 million had been invested into Fleet Management
• That 29 new refuse collection vehicles and 5 gritting lorries had been procured
• That £50 million had been secured for the East Facing slips project which will improve traffic flows between Lakeside shopping centre and the A13
• That the Street Bin review had been completed with the type and design of new bins agreed and procurement completed
• That there are more Enforcement Officers carrying out duties
• That 2 Park Engagement Officers had been recruited with their role to consult and engage with residents and community groups
• That work would continue on the appearances of cemeteries
• That improvements would be made on congestion working with Smart Thurrock to provide better control and responsibility in managing road networks
• That work would continue on HGV and Parking Plans
• Working with C2C and TFL on the need for contactless payments at all Thurrock stations
Councillor Watkins reference to the sad news of two Enforcement Officers being attacked last week and wished them a speedy recovery and hoped that justice would be carried out.
Councillor Worrall thanked the Portfolio Holder for the report and questioned why the financial statement had been missed from the report. Councillor Watkins apologised for the oversight and would send this out to Members. Councillor Worrall further asked the Portfolio Holder to assure Members that the budget had not been overspent and asked what two steps were being taken to alleviate pressures on the budget. Councillor Watkins stated that waste disposal costs which were currently being discussed with contractors to get these costs back down and to address the issue of collection HGV drivers following the issues experienced in the summer.
Councillor Smith thanked the Portfolio Holder for the detailed report and had interest in the HGV Plan going forward. Councillor Smith stated that adversely more bin collections in Aveley and Purfleet were being missed and questioned was this as these collections were towards the back of the week. Councillor Watkins stated there had been pressure on the services particularly in the summer which had been recognised and plans were in place to address these. Councillor Watkins stated that in October 2018 the target rate was 99%.
Councillor Spillman requested a meeting with the Portfolio Holder and the Director of Public Health in relation to the concerns of air pollution in Tilbury.
Councillor Jefferies stated that improvements had been made on the Flowers Estate following the procurement of road sweeps and mowers but more could be done. Councillor Watkins stated that the service was in a good place but agreed more could be done and agreed to meet with ward councillors and residents of Flowers Estate.
Councillor C Kent stated the new junction between Lodge Lane and Bradleigh Avenue needed to be addressed as four accidents had already happened and residents should be move involved to ensure that junction changes are right. Councillor Watkins stated reviews are undertaken following any road junction change and would be happy to meet with ward councillors and residents.
Councillor Watkins stated he was very proud of the work undertaken by the teams in preparation for the Remembrance Weekend and particularly thanked Susan Newton for all her hard work. That Clean It Cut It Fill It would continue to be pushed forward and Bin It would improve