Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 11th May, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL.

Contact: Lottie Raper, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 9 February 2017.


The minutes of the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 9 February 2017 were approved as a correct record.


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.


Councillor Collins highlighted a traveller incursion in Stanford-le-Hope and requested an update on the situation.  The Chair advised Members that, following guidance from Officers, a briefing note would be circulated outside the meeting.


Declaration of Interests


There were no declarations of interests.


Contracted Environmental Enforcement Services pdf icon PDF 155 KB


The Contracts & Business Development Manager presented the report which followed the pilot scheme for Environmental Enforcement Services introduced in December 2016.  The pilot scheme had provided Officers with a level of understanding and there were plans to increase the scope of services, and introduce initiatives to ensure increased payment given the importance of at least maintaining cost-neutrality, if not offering a slight surplus to re-invest.


The Chair strongly welcomed the proposals, highlighting that the Committee had taken a great interest in the matter and were united in their desire to push forward.  He asked if there was any data around where Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were being issued, it was understood that there would be a concentration on Grays town centre but was interested to learn about the rest of the borough too.  The Committee was informed that each FPN issued included the ward and a breakdown of that data could be circulated to Members after the meeting.  At present the enforcement team was not fully staffed and so Grays town centre was always manned and the remaining staff would rotate elsewhere in the borough.  The new contract required full staffing levels and contractors would be penalised for failing to meet that standard. The Chair stressed the importance of the full force being felt throughout Thurrock.


The Chair also sought clarity around the structure of the contract, as presented on page 16 of the report.  The Contracts & Business Development Manager explained that the estimated cost per ticket was based upon the pilot scheme and could change dependent upon the successful contractor..  The contract would be based on a recovery/reward basis.  The Council would pay for tickets issued and income would return through the contractor.  The Council would incur a loss for individuals who did not pay and would seek to prosecute accordingly.  The payment rate was currently 64%, which offered a small surplus to reinvest in prosecutions.  It was expected that the number of tickets issued would remain the same and the payment rate would stay the same or increase slightly as a result of publication and prosecutions.  The contract would remain viable and possible return an increased surplus due to increased FPN values.  The Chair outlined the need for Members and Officers to have a degree of oversight and control moving forward as the model offered a range from a loss of £30,000 to a net profit of £20,000. 


Members were assured that there would be monthly contract meetings to monitor how payment rates were fluctuating and staff rotations could be amended accordingly.  There was also a 3 month break clause in the contract so it was possible to exit if issues arose.  It would not be possible to control repayment rate but Officers hoped to influence it through publication, prosecution and ensuring all tickets issued were issued correctly.  The Head of Environment added that there were examples of similar schemes being successful, with one Council remaining cost neutral 7 years in, which should offer Members assurance.


Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.