On 2 September 2022, the Government appointed Essex County Council as 'Best Value Commissioner' for Thurrock Council. This intervention was in response to concerns about levels of financial risk and debt, and clear 'Best Value' failure in relation to our financial functions.
The Commissioner has full control of the financial functions of Thurrock Council and powers to assess what action may be needed to limit any risks to our services.
On 16 March 2023, the Government issued a written ministerial statement confirming further Directions for Thurrock Council – go to UK Parliament: Statement by Lee Rowley, Minister for Local Government and Building Safety, 16 March 2023.
These expanded Directions confirm the appointment of a Commissioner to act as Managing Director of Thurrock Council. They also set out the Commissioners' increased powers in making decisions about:
- employment matters related to senior managers
- the council's staff structure and operating model
- functions relating to scrutiny and transparency of strategic decision-making
Intervention details are published by the Government and Essex County Council at:
- GOV.UK: Intervention at Thurrock Council
- Essex County Council: Thurrock Council Commission and Best Value Inspection
For more information, go to Commissioners.
Best Value Inspection report
A Best Value Inspection (BVI) has been carried out by inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State last September. The inspection began on 10 October 2022.
The BVI report was published on Thursday 15 June 2023. It considers whether, in carrying out specific functions, we have effective arrangements in place for delivering Best Value in our governance, audit, risk management, overview and scrutiny functions, and how these affect the provision of services.
The full report is available at GOV.UK: Thurrock Council – Best value inspection report.
A written ministerial statement was also published on 15 June – go to UK Parliament: Statement by Lee Rowley, Minister for Local Government and Building Safety, 15 June 2023.
A written ministerial statement had previously been published on 16 March 2023, stating the BVI report would be published in due course following a further representations process – go to UK Parliament: Statement by Lee Rowley, Minister for Local Government and Building Safety, 16 March 2023.
On 13 December 2022, the BVI team had provided an update letter to the Secretary of State with initial findings and recommendations from their work and requested an extension to complete their final report. An extension was granted, and the team submitted its final report to government on 17 February 2023.