Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 31st January, 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item

The Mayor invited Reverend Canon Darren Barlow to lead those present in Prayer


Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Council, held on 29 November 2017.

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 29 November 2017 were approved as a correct record.


Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Mayor 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.


The Mayor informed the Chamber that he had not agreed to the consideration of any items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests

To receive any declaration of interests from Members.


No interests were declared.


Announcements on behalf of the Mayor or the Leader of the Council


The Mayor invited all those present to reflect on and remember Thurrock’s fallen of World War One.


The Mayor welcomed Members to the first Full Council meeting of the year.


Thank you to Councillor Sue Little’s team for organising the very successful ‘Give a Gift’ initiative. This had led to numerous generous gifts being bought and donated by Thurrock residents. So, on behalf of everyone involved, the Mayor thanked the Portfolio Holder for her generosity with around 1850 children in Thurrock receiving presents.


The Mayor attended a foster carer event at Orsett Hall last week that recognised the good work undertaken by Thurrock Foster Carers.


Numerous residents, school children and Members turned out to mark the international Holocaust Memorial Day on 26 January 2018. Stifford Clays and Hathaway Academy Schools had organised a presentation at Thameside Theatre to recite poems and songs in line with the theme, the Power of Words. The Mayor thanked Samson DeAlyn and Sharon of Learning Works and the students of Warren Primary, Woodside, Tudor Court, Corringham, Deneholm Primary Schools and Gable Hall.


The Mayor thanked Well House Gallery and the artist, Lisa Anderson, for continuing to allow him to showcase their work in the parlour.


The Leader of the Council, Councillor Gledhill, updated Members on the following:


Keep Britain Tidy had now reassessed the borough on its cleanliness and had improved on most of the scores with the exception of graffiti. As part of the £2.3 million windfall from working good sound investments, special equipment will be purchased to clear this up where the Council had a responsible to do so.


To date nearer 3500 enforcement notices had been issued for littering and 10 offenders prosecuted in January 2018, of which 6 of those were people from outside the borough. The Leader stated that people need to stop using Thurrock as a tip and bin their rubbish.


8 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued to a garage business in Tilbury following complaints from residents and the local school. Those businesses must be held responsible for their rubbish.


The next Lower Thames Crossing Task Force Group will meet on the 19 February 2018 and will focus on the visible impacts that the crossing may bring. Lower Thames Crossing Task Force Group meetings will now be themed to ensure that Highways England have the appropriate specialists in attendance to answer the right questions being presented by cross party Members.


That as part of the £2.3 million windfall, the Council will spend an extra £380,000 to get independent facts and data to properly challenge Highways England on their plans to build the Lower Thames Crossing through the borough. This will help the Lower Thames Task Force Group to continue their good work going forward.


The Leader met with over 100 businesses from Thurrock at a business lunch at Orsett Hall last week, which had been well received with businesses who were confident to have their business in Thurrock. Councillor Gledhill had received an increase in enquiries on how  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.


Questions from Members of the Public pdf icon PDF 40 KB

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2 (Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.


A copy of the transcript of questions and answers can be viewed under the relevant meeting date at and are attached at Appendix A at these minutes.


Councillor Fish arrived into the Council Chamber at 7.15pm.


Roger Hirst, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, and Darren Horsman, Assistant Director for Communications and Engagement, arrived into the Council Chamber at 7.18pm.


Police Fire and Crime Commissioner


The Mayor introduced the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, Assistant Director for Communications and Engagement, Darren Horsman and West Local Police Area Commander Chief/Superintendent Andy Mariner to the meeting of Council and asked that they deliver their presentation which would then be followed by questions by Members.


Roger Hirst stated that the role of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner included:


           Setting of the priorities for policing, fire and rescue

           Setting budgets for Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

           Setting the council tax precepts for each service

           Appointing, dismissing and holding the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer to account

           Actively monitors and scrutinises fire and rescue services

           Regularly engage with the public and local communities

           Allocating grants through the Community safety Development Fund and Commissioning local services

           Have a duty to bring the community together to reduce crime and support victims of crime across Essex


That the seven Policing priorities to protect Essex were:


           More local, visible and accessible policing

           Crack down on anti-social behaviour

           Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse

           Reverse the trend in serious violence

           Tackle gangs and organised crime

           Protecting children and vulnerable people

           Improve safety on our roads


Roger Hirst outlined the changes in nature of crime with crime rates and that the complexity of crimes was on the increase. That money had to be raised for Policing in Essex by increasing council tax bills by £1 per month per band D property to raise £7.5 million per year. That local Policing would benefit from investments with 150 new officers being invested into three quarters of the local Policing teams.


That technology will be used to allow Police officers to be visible in the community for longer with reinvestment into the front line Policing by rationalising the Police estates.


Roger Hirst stated that to make it easier to contact the Police a front control room improvement plan was in place and had started to show improvement in call handling times and quality. That 9 per cent of all crime being reported was undertaken through “Do It Online”. That the number of Special Constables would be doubled with a £3 million investment into the special programme over the next 3 years. The diversion of people from a life of crime through early intervention would be addressed and work would continue with the community to identify and tackle the underlying causes of ongoing anti-social behaviour.


Members raised the following questions:


Councillor Ojetola: Raised concern of boy racers around the Lakeside area. Andy Mariner stated that Operation Wagtail was now in place and a decline in the number of racers had been reported. That work would continue with Highways England on changes to the road lay out and with the introduction of visible central barriers.


Councillor Gledhill: Whether the Police can increase the number of issued enforcements when using the Section 61 powers to move on large travellers’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.


Petitions from Members of the Public and Councillors

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2(Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.


The Mayor informed Members that, in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme, the requisite notice had been given by one Member who wished to present a petition at the meeting.


Councillor Maney presented a petition on behalf of his constituents to resurface the section of the roadway in Long Lane between Fairway in Stifford Clays and Cherrydown in Little Thurrock.


Councillor Gerrish presented a petition with 1276 resident signatures calling for more action on crime and anti-social behaviour in Thurrock. Councillor Gerrish presented a copy of petition to the Roger Hirst, the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.


Petitions Update Report pdf icon PDF 58 KB


Members received a report on the status of those petitions handed in at Council Meetings and Council Offices over the past six months.


Appointments to Committees and Outside Bodies, Statutory and Other Panels

The Council are asked to agree any changes to the appointments made to committees and outside bodies, statutory and other panels, as requested by Group Leaders.


There were no changes to the appointments previously made to committees and outside bodies, statutory and other panels.


Councillor Gerrish questioned why Members had not been presented with a change of notice in the political balance and notice of change of name following the announcement of the newly formed Thurrock Independent group.


David Lawson, Monitoring Officer, confirmed that to date no formal notice had been received to change the name or structure therefore there was no change to the political balance.


Local Council Tax Scheme pdf icon PDF 70 KB


Councillor Hebb represented the report that proposed to continue with the current Local Council Tax Support Scheme. This scheme had been implemented on the 1 April 2017 which had been agreed through public consultation exercises informed by cross party Members working groups.


Councillor Spillman questioned when Members would see the range of relief options available for care leavers.


Councillor Halden stated that the options were presented to the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee before Christmas, were no responses had been received so the report had been presented to Cabinet.




That Council agreed to maintain the existing scheme for 2018/19.


A Sustainable Children's Social Care System for the Future - Annual Public Health Report 2017 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Halden presented the statutory report on the health and wellbeing of the local population prepared by the Director of Public Health.


He stated that the key finding was to make Thurrock a place of offering an opportunity to all. To ensure that those children who had access to the social care system were seen as a whole child with every department working together and engaging. That a better way of referral would need to be addressed and cases would need to be continually monitored and challenged.


Councillor Halden stated that the Mental Health Summit had been launched to address emotional and mental health issues which contribute to the wider health and wellbeing issues among young people.


Councillor Halden stated that Thurrock was on the right track and thanked Officers for the report.


Councillor Gerrish thanked Officers for the excellent report that highlighted issues with children social care in Thurrock and that valuable lessons could be learnt to move forward. Councillor Gerrish asked what initiatives Councillor Halden would be bringing forward and what the milestones would be. Councillor Halden stated that £1.4 million savings had been made which resulted in more children being seen by education and health. With the Headstart programme being presented to Cabinet in February 2018 would focused on the transition of looked after children into housing. Councillor Halden stated that the milestone would be that children services cases do not become adult social cases.


Councillor Okunade commended Ian Wake, Director of Public Health, and his team for the excellent report and stated that recommendations from the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee where sent to all Members, as Corporate Parents, for their information. Councillor Okunade asked that the report be kept as a working document for social care teams. Councillor Halden stated that this was a live document that focused on forecasts for future demand and working reforms to ensure that children get the best help when needed.


Councillor Spillman questioned when Members from the Corporate Parenting and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committees would see the range of council tax exemptions so that they could make their recommendations.


Councillor Halden stated that the options had already been outlined with Members with an offer of further conversations if required. Those Members have had the time and opportunity to discuss this further.




1.         That the contents and recommendations of the report be noted by Council.

2.         That Council approve to hold a mental Health summit to address emotional and mental health issues which contribute to the wider health and wellbeing issues amongst young people.


Review of Vision and Corporate Priorities pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Snell, as a member of the working party, presented the proposed new vision and priorities report that had been considered further following a recommendation that a Vision and Priorities Working Group be established at the February 2017 Full Council Meeting. That all political parties, partners and residents had been involved in the consideration, consultation and feedback process.  Councillor Snell quoted the new proposed vision and priorities and opened the floor for Member questions.


Councillor Gerrish stated that progress had been made but had not gone far enough. With a number of issues that included the language used in the report. That extra time should be given to addressing some of the priorities, such as better public services, the connection of people and places and the prosperity of commercial public services. That the report would not benefit the residents of Thurrock and stated that he would be voting against the report in its current form.


Councillor Hebb stated it had been a privilege to attend the working group and the changes proposed were better with the vision being diverse, in plain English and reflected partner views. That all three political parties had been involved with Labour not bringing anything to the table until now. Councillor Hebb continued to thank Kristina Jackson, Mandy Ansell, Frank Jones and the Youth Cabinet for their valued contributions.


Councillor Snell summed up by stating that everyone had their own visions and the report would not please everyone.  The proposed new vision and priorities were clear, concise and were acceptable to all on the working group.


The Mayor called a vote on the recommendation.


Upon being put to the vote, 27 Members noted in favour of the recommendation with 11 Members against whereupon the Mayor declared the recommendation carried.




That Council agreed the working group’s recommendation that the proposed new vision and priorities replace the existing vision and priorities and Community Strategy as part of the Policy Framework with immediate effect.


Thurrock Regeneration Ltd – Proposed Development of Belmont Road Site, Grays pdf icon PDF 93 KB


Councillor Gledhill presented the report that provided Members with details of Thurrock Regeneration Ltd proposals to develop the Belmont Road site in Grays and recommended that the Council agreed to lend the funds to Thurrock Regeneration Ltd to deliver the scheme. That the use of Right to Buy receipts was discussed as an option to purchase Belmont Road affordable units which would result in 28 new council homes for those on the Council’s waiting list. That the development would consist of 80 terrace and semi-detached houses and bungalows being built on brown land with three parks being incorporated within the proposed scheme.


The report proposed that delegated authority be given to the S151 Officer in consultation with the Chief Executive, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Leader to approve the scheme funding to Thurrock Regeneration Ltd and related amendment to the Council’s finances. The delegated authority would be subject to the scheme that would meet the key financial parameters.


Councillor Snell thanked Councillor Gledhill for the report and that it was good news that development was being undertaken on brown land instead of the green belt. Councillor Snell asked for assurance that ground works had been completed and that no contamination had been identified that would prevent the scheme going forward. Councillor Gledhill stated that checks had been undertaken and any future problems would be reported by Thurrock Regeneration Ltd to shareholders.


Councillor Gerrish asked for the Portfolio Holder’s commitment that lessons had been learnt from the St Chads development and that communication with residents would be improved. Councillor Gledhill stated that he could not agree more and lessons had been learnt. That regularly meetings will be held with the developer to ensure that the 28 new council homes are delivered.


Councillor Kerin thanked Councillor Gledhill for the positive report and was glad to see the regeneration in his ward but had concerns over congestion particularly in Parker Road and near the Belmont Castle Academy. Councillor Gledhill stated he was aware of the concerns and that three planning applications had been submitted, which would do the upmost to avoid traffic gridlocks in that area.


Councillor Pothecary thanked Councillor Gledhill for the report and welcomed the scheme and the available affordable options but asked for further guarantees that concerns over parking would be addressed particularly at the top of Parker Road. Councillor Pothecary also had concerns over primary school places taking into account that Belmont Castle Academy was already full. Councillor Gledhill stated he would be more than happy to attend a site meeting with Councillor Pothecary and Councillor B Little to look at parking in that area. Councillor Gledhill agreed to speak to Councillor Halden with regards to school places and stated that future planning applications should interact with educational needs.


Councillor Gledhill would be happy to answer any further questions outside of the Council Chamber.




1.         That Council agreed that Thurrock Regeneration Ltd develop the Belmont Road, Grays site in accordance with the consented planning application.


2.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.


Report of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation pdf icon PDF 178 KB


Councillor B Little, Cabinet Member for Transport, introduced the report and stated he was pleased to be presenting his second report as Portfolio Holder.


Councillor B Little updated Members on the following achievements:


           The Council’s Highways Team received an award for the ‘Most Improved Authority’ in the Highway Maintenance theme.

           Customer satisfaction showed an improvement of around 8%.

           The Council’s £6 million investment project in LED retrofit of street lighting, completed in July 2017, was shortlisted for an award at the Highways Awards 2017 in the Highways Maintenance Efficiency category.

           The Council submitted a joint bid for £3.3m to support walking and the cycling infrastructure across the borough.

           The Stanford-le-Hope Transport Interchange.

           The major A13 widening works will begin in May 2018.

           The Lower Thames Task Force Group had been set up working with Highways England to ensure the best for Thurrock residents.

           To address the Highways England contraflow for when the Dartford Crossing was closed.

           High wind tests were being undertaken by using wind tunnels to establish whether the Dartford Crossing could remain open in higher wind conditions.

           That the Thurrock Road User Group had been set up to give residents the opportunity to have their say.

           The Local Permit Scheme had been set up to control and schedule works.

           The Local Plan had been delivered.


Councillor B Little thanked all Officers, Residents and Forums for their hard work and contributions.


At 9.15pm, the Mayor moved a motion to suspend Council Procedure Rule 11.1 to allow the meeting to continue beyond the 2.5 hour time limit until 10.00pm. Members indicated their agreement to the proposal.


Councillor Snell questioned what could be done with road users stopping in yellow box junctions, particularly at the Dartford Crossing junction. Councillor B Little stated that the Council were working with Highways England on a joint approach to addressing this issue. That no cameras were installed in this area with only the Police being authorised to enforce fines. That this area will also now be picked up with the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner following his presentation tonight.


Councillor Gerrish stated that the wording of Councillor B Little report were exactly the same words used in his portfolio holder report two years ago. Councillor Gerrish asked Councillor B Little what had made his two years as portfolio holder unique. Councillor B Little stated that he now chaired the Congestion Task Force Group, the Network Management Team had been set up and the Permitting Scheme to monitor and control all road works in the borough was now up and running successfully.


Councillor Pothecary asked for an update on the 2-way traffic proposal for Grays Town Centre. Councillor B Little stated that over the next few months this will move into the final phase. Councillor B Little stated that the Council had to ensure that the new traffic proposal would be undertaken to make the matter better not worse.


Councillor Okunade asked the Portfolio  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.


Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 43 KB

In accordance with Chapter 2, Part 2 (Rule 14) of the Council’s Constitution.


The Mayor informed the Chamber that one question to the Leader had been received and four questions to Cabinet Members.


A copy of the transcript of questions and answers can be found at Appendix A to these minutes.


Reports from Members representing the Council on Outside Bodies


The Mayor informed the Chamber that no reports had been received.


Minutes of Committees

Name of Committee


Corporate Parenting Committee

6 September 2017

Planning Committee

2 November 2017

Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee

10 October 2017

Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee

12 October 2017

Cleaner Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Extraordinary Committee

15 November 2017

Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

17 October 2017

Planning Committee

7 December 2017

Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee

14 November 2017

Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee

16 November 2017



The Minutes of Committees as set out in the Agenda were received.


Update on motions resolved at Council during the previous year pdf icon PDF 71 KB


Members received an information report updating the progress in respect of Motions received at Council over the last year.