Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 2 & 3, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

106.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of Cabinet held on 7 February 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 February 2018 were approved as a correct record.

107.

Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

There were no items of urgent business.

108.

Declaration of Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

109.

Statements by the Leader

Minutes:

The Leader began his statement by offering his condolences to the family of former Councillor and Mayor Ian Harrison, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.  He remembered how Ian became Mayor of Thurrock in 2004 and commented that he was the first Conservative Mayor of the Borough since it became a Unitary Authority.  The Leader then asked that those present and able to stand for one minute’s silence.

 

Councillor Gledhill updated Members on the Clean it, Cut it, Fill it scheme. In doing so, Members heard how in February 2018 the Council had filled 544 potholes, meaning the year to date figure was 5,653 since April 2017.

He continued by stating an estimated 2,244 tons of waste had been collected since April 2017 and, at present, provisional figures for February included:

 

·         80,773 bags of litter had been picked;

·         46,205 bins had been emptied;

·         131 fly tips had been removed and;

·         9,325 acres of grass had been cut.

 

The Leader advised he had asked officers that from April 2018 a running total and a monthly update be provided and made available online, so that it would be clear and transparent as to what the Council was doing in relation to the Clean it, Cut it, Fill scheme.

 

Councillor Gledhill further commented with regards to Fixed Penalty Notices that he had tasked officers with looking into publishing photographs of those people supplying false names and addresses or those caught on CCTV fly tipping, in the hope that concerned residents could supply correct details to enable appropriate action to be taken.

 

Members heard the Leader was pleased to announce that the Council had won the Parking Partnership Award at the British Parking Awards on 9th March 2018.  He continued to state that for many years Thurrock had been blighted by foreign registered heavy good vehicles parking in residential areas. Damages to grass verges and blocked footpaths had cost over £100,000 per year in repairs and clean ups.

 

In addition, the Leader provided an update on the Tilbury Ferry, he explained the Thames Swift , operated the service along with  its sister ship the Jacob Marley. He further explained that during the Thames Swift annual inspection, the Jacob Marley operated the service, however during storm Emma she was damaged and also required repair.

 

The Leader advised that the Council was in discussions with Kent County Council, who part funded the service along with Thurrock Council, to resolve the situation.

 

Finally Councillor Gledhill mentioned that Highways England had installed a temporary barrier on the A126 Dumbbell Roundabout in an attempt to prevent ‘car cruising’. He further mentioned that Highways England was continuing to investigate a permanent solution at the junction.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Health was invited to address Cabinet, and in doing so informed Members that Corringham Primary School had been ranked in the top 20 within the Schools, Students and Teachers network nationally, for Maths, English and Reading.  

 

Councillor Gledhill offered his congratulations to the school for their hard  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109.

110.

Briefings on Policy, Budget and Other Issues

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council addressed Members offering clarification following the meeting of Full Council held on 28 February 2018. It was explained that, although many proposals on the budget were put forward at the meeting, the final decision was to be made by Cabinet at the next available meeting after the election, where all proposals would be taken into consideration.

111.

Petitions submitted by Members of the Public

Minutes:

There were no petitions submitted.

112.

Questions from Non-Executive Members

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council advised that no questions had been submitted by Non-Executive Members.

113.

Matters Referred to the Cabinet for Consideration by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council informed Members that no matters had been referred to the Cabinet by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

114.

Delivery of the New Primary Inclusion Units in Thurrock Mainstream Schools. (A Hub and Spoke Model) pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Health addressed Members explaining following the closure of the Primary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) the Council was currently working with all Thurrock primary schools with the plan to open inclusion units across the borough to keep children in mainstream school settings, as opposed to the traditional primary PRU provision model.

 

He continued to advise that four inclusion units were to be rolled out across the Borough, within current primary schools, like the unit at Dilkes Academy. This would enable all children to stay within mainstream education which is where they would be best suited.

 

Councillor Halden mentioned East Tilbury Primary school approached the Council, not only offering to run an inclusion unit within their school but also to host and organise the hub and spoke model of the scheme. He further mentioned the model was to support all children during exclusions whether they be temporary or permanent.

 

The Portfolio Holder mentioned the new Treetops Free School soon to be opened in the borough which would assist the two current schools supporting children with special educational needs.

 

Councillor Coxshall thanked the Portfolio Holder for Education for his report and stated he felt there were not enough schools supporting children with special educational needs. He continued to comment that it was pleasing to see the report and the new facilities being offered for children in Thurrock.

 

Councillor Watkins welcomed the report remarking on the importance of children remaining in mainstream education. He also commented that it was pleasing to see schools working together to support Thurrock children.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

1.    Commented on the planned changes in provision for children at risk of permanent exclusion or who have been permanently excluded.

 

2.    Acknowledged and comment on the agreement with the Regional Schools Commissioner that the council will take responsibility for the new primary provision for these vulnerable children.

115.

2017/18 Capital Monitoring Report - Quarter 3 (Decision 0110466) pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Gledhill presented the report on behalf of Councillor Hebb. Members were advised the report provided a snapshot of the programme at month 9, December 2017. He continued to advise that the Council was on track and had spent £31.7million as of the 31 December 2017; this was against a budget of £62million, with the remainder going forward to complete projects over the next few years.

 

Members were reminded it was important to remember that the Council was not the only partner involved in the projects and it was often that works would have to be scheduled in with them so delivery times could vary.

 

The Leader then mentioned the Council was on target to spend 60% of the budget by the end of the financial year and, although the figures given did not include the one off funds set aside from this year’s surplus, he felt it was important to update Members although the figures were approximate ones:

 

·         £590,000 to be allocated to resurfacing work, this was processing and was due to be completed by April 2018;

·         £310,000 had been allocated for white lining and central reservation bollard cleaning, this was underway and was anticipated to be completed by October 2018;

·         £250,000 to be allocated for borough signage, which was now on order and would be implemented over the next few months;

·         £345,000 had been allocated for environment equipment and drainage improvements and;

·         £380,000 had been allocated to assist with data gathering for the Lower Thames Crossing.

 

Councillor Gledhill commented the works were additional to those expected to be completed during the current year and would be achievable due to the investments made during the past year.

 

Councillor Halden commented it was notable to remember those listed within Appendix 2 were the capital projects being run by the council, the list didn’t include the projects the Council was part of but didn’t hold all of the capital for such as the new Free Schools and the Integrated Medical Centres. These were projects where the Council was working with a number of different partners. 

 

The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration remarked on the £380,000 being allocated to assist with data gathering for the Lower Thames Crossing. He stated that a report would be brought to Cabinet in due course.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet:

 

1.    Noted the General Fund capital programme is projected to have available resources of £10.577m as at 31 March 2018 with this funding carried forward to 2018/19 to fund schemes currently in progress;

 

2.    In addition, there is a further £118.266m in the approved programme that is under development and/or dependent on third party actions as set out in paragraph 3.5;

 

3.    Noted the Housing Revenue Account capital programme is projected to have available resources of £0.065m as at 31 March 2018 with this funding carried forward to 2018/19 to fund schemes currently in progress.

 

Reason for Decision – as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

116.

Revenue Budget Monitoring - Quarter 3 December 2017 (Decision 0110467) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Minutes:

The Leader notified Members the report outlined the underspends and overspends in the various directorates across the Council as of 31 December 2017.

 

Councillor Gledhill stated that he had spoken with the Section 151 Officer , who had assured him that by the end of the year the overspend as reported in December 2017 as £223,000 would be less than zero; the council would again finish the current year having underspent. He continued to explain this was partially due to income from investments, in addition to departments continuing to make savings and generate income.

 

The Leader then touched on the two services which were currently at an overspend.  Firstly he spoke of Children’s Services, reminding Cabinet that in previous years the department had overspent between £3-6Million. It was discussed how a lot had been done over the past two years, which would assist in the reduction of the overspend of the service.

 

Councillor Gledhill was pleased to report that previously Thurrock had 4 to 5 times the number of unaccompanied asylum seeker children in their care; this was now reduced from 103 to 31 children by the end of the year, which was closer to the council’s threshold of 28.

 

The Leader secondly touched on the pressures within the Environment directorate, highlighting the largest pressure was the rise in the cost of waste disposal.

 

Councillor Watkins commented that the new recycling message had been completed and included with resident’s council tax letters. The message had also been included on the new waste vehicles as signage. He continued to advise Cabinet that the new permits for the Linford Refuse site were also in place and information had been included within residents Council Tax letters. 

 

Councillor Gledhill congratulated those departments who had come in under budget, thereby assisting those departments with unavoidable overspends.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Cabinet noted the forecast outturn position for 2017/18 and that further mitigation is required to outturn within the agreed budget envelope.

 

Reason for Decision – as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

117.

Purfleet Centre Update (Decision 0110468) pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration introduced the report highlighting the aim to provide an update on the Purfleet Centre Project and to secure a range of approvals to ensure that the Project can continue into the next stage.

 

He continued to highlight the importance of developing on brownfield land, of ensuring infrastructure is delivered at an early point in the scheme and of engaging the community and considered the Purfleet scheme meets these objectives.  Phase 1 of programme was to enable significant infrastructure, such as the replacement of the level crossing at Purfleet Station, development of the town centre and providing a new Integrated Medical Centre for 2020.

 

Councillor Coxshall further highlighted that the 2,850 homes proposed were to be developed on brown field land, and this was to include a secondary school due to open in 2019 and a primary school to follow in due course.

 

The importance of community involvement was discussed, the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration stated the local community were encouraged and had engaged with the programme from day one.

 

Councillor Halden congratulated the Portfolio Holder on his report. He continued by seconding the importance of community engagement within the programme. He further mentioned the importance of the council working with other partners to ensure any project was completed on time.

 

The Leader also commented on the importance of engaging with local communities and residents, when working on a project such as Purfleet. He continued to commend Councillor Coxshall and thanked officers for the report.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet are asked to:

 

a)    Noted progress on the Purfleet Centre Project;

 

b)    Agreed these recommendations on the basis that a full Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) can only be made by Cabinet at a future Cabinet meeting;

 

c)    Resolved as a matter of principle, that the Council is prepared to use its compulsory purchase powers pursuant to section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to acquire land to deliver the comprehensive regeneration of Purfleet Centre;

 

d)    Noted that the regeneration team is progressing negotiations to acquire the land and interests required by private treaty and to delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration to approve and enter into agreements with the owners and/or occupiers of the land so as to facilitate its acquisition;

 

e)    Noted the progress on the land referencing exercise and, if required, delegate authority to the Corporate Director, Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Assistant Director of Law and Governance to issue requisitions for information pursuant to section 5A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 to persons who have a potential legal interest in or who occupy the area in respect of which compulsory purchase powers are proposed to be used;

 

f)     Authorised the regeneration team under the direction of the Corporate Director, Place to undertake the work needed to prepare for the making of a possible Compulsory Purchase Order(s)(CPO) together with the associated documentation;

 

g)    Delegated authority to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 117.