Agenda item

Statements by the Leader


The Deputy Leader opened and stated that as the Leader was currently recovering from surgery, he would be standing in as acting-Leader for the meeting of Cabinet. He began the statement by discussing the recent 75th anniversary D-Day celebrations which had taken place across the borough last week. He thanked the Royal British Legion for organising many events which were well attended by residents and Members who wished to pay tribute and thank those who had lost their lives at D-Day.

The Deputy Leader then moved onto discussing the upcoming Education Awards, which were opening this week and were in their sixth year. He stated that nominations could be received for anyone that worked in education, from early years up to adult education and should celebrate the work they had achieved. He wished to encourage all nominations and felt excited to hear education success stories. He also mentioned the new Tree Planting Strategy which was designed to increase the local wildlife population and improve the views and air quality across the borough. He stated that 32 trees had now been planted in Grays, with a following 34 trees to be planted across the borough in autumn. He stated that this had been borne of a Full Council motion from Councillors in Little Thurrock Blackshots, and thanked officers and Members for their hard work in developing the strategy.

The Deputy Leader commented on the recent success that the enforcement team had seen regarding fly-tipping. He felt this had been a challenge across the borough, but was now improving thanks to the hard work of officers. He stated that enforcement action had been taken against an individual for fly-tipping in Grays, and they had been issued a £400 fine. He added that five lorry drivers had also been moved on for nuisance parking on verges. The Deputy Leader also commented on the new additional licensing scheme for landlords which was coming into effect this month. He stated that the majority of Thurrock landlords provided good housing for residents, but some did not follow the rules. He added that Thurrock was the first Local Authority in Essex to take formal action and three landlords had been fined a total of £16,000 for breaching regulations.

The Deputy Leader congratulated the Council for their nominations in the Municipal Journal Local Government Awards, as they had been nominated for Local Authority of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for other awards in areas such as finance, senior leadership and health. He thanked the hard work of every volunteer, officer and Member who had made the nomination possible, and stated that results would be announced on 26 June 2019. He also thanked the Corporate Director of Children’s Services, who had joined the Council in 2016 and was now retiring. He stated that his team had consistently been high performing and had made positive relationships with schools and other partners.

The Deputy Leader finished his statement with the Clean It, Cut It, Fill It update, and since April 2019: 350 potholes had been filled; 150 fly-tips had been cleared; 224 tonnes of waste had been removed; and 445 fixed penalty notices had been issued for offences such as littering and spitting.