Forecast borrowing reduced by over £350million

15 January 2021
Thurrock Council is proposing to reduce its approved borrowing levels over 3 years by more than £350million.
The reduction in borrowing reflects the pause to the council's investment approach, something which was anticipated to happen over time but will now happen quicker. The new levels also provide the ability to fund infrastructure projects critical to the local and national recovery, however, which will benefit Thurrock's residents and businesses.

Draft budget published for financial year 2021/22

6 January 2021
Thurrock Council has published its draft budget for 2021/22, showing a balanced budget for the forthcoming year despite the direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget position is possible due to government grant support and resilience in council finances, notably the enlarged reserves position built from the council’s investment approach.
In line with the government's Spending Review 2020, Thurrock Council's Cabinet will hear recommendations for a 3% Adult Social Care precept increase, and a 1.99% council tax increase.

Position on investment strategy clarified

14 December 2020
Thurrock Council's investment strategy continues to pay at expected levels and over the last 2 years has brought over £70million additional income into the council, which has been used to provide services for the borough's residents.
The council is issuing details about the strategy ahead of an upcoming report, which appears set to make exaggerated claims that the strategy has been put at risk because of an issue being faced by one company making up a single digit percentage of the overall investment fund.

Financial report shows Thurrock is prepared but tough times are ahead

10 December 2020
Financial impacts in a post-coronavirus world mean that Thurrock Council will bring forward planned service reforms. Although prudential financial management and the council's investment approach have meant that these changes will be able to happen in a considered and sustainable way, there is a need to perform service reforms quicker than anticipated before coronavirus (COVID-19) struck.

Accounts get a clean bill of health for the sixth year in a row

25 November 2020
Independent external auditors have found that Thurrock Council's financial reporting and value for money plans are in good health and do not require any moderation.
This is the sixth consecutive annual external audit to come to the same conclusion. Two separate independent external auditors performed the audit over the last three occasions, and both reached the same conclusion.
The report, which auditors from accountancy firm BDO presented to members of the Standards and Audit Committee at their meeting yesterday evening (Tuesday 24 November), says:

Statement on Thurrock Council's investment policy

16 October 2020
Ahead of coverage likely to appear in the national press this weekend (17/18 October) about an active court case, Thurrock Council would like to offer reassurance around its successful investment strategy.
Thurrock Council has been open about its investment strategy and the benefits it brings to residents, not least the £65million of additional income earned over the last 2 years as a result of these investments.

Action to manage financial situation already underway

15 October 2020
Thurrock Council's Cabinet, at its meeting on Wednesday 14 October, heard that work is already underway to close a £19million budget gap caused largely by the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as ensuring more is done to protect the most vulnerable members of our community throughout the pandemic, the council has also collected less revenue from business rates and council tax, so as to offer relief to hard-pressed residents and businesses.

Closing the gap

17 September 2020
Like councils across the United Kingdom, Thurrock Council's Cabinet has discussed the future financial challenges ahead as it begins to plan to shape budgets for a post-lockdown world.
Modelling completed by the council indicates there is a budget gap of around £19m to close. Financial pressure has been caused by a variety of factors, including COVID-19 spending pressures and loss of earnings over the last 6 months, along with a pause to the investment approach.

Thurrock Council finances in a strong position

23 July 2020
At a meeting of Thurrock Council's Cabinet on Wednesday 22 July, Cllr Shane Hebb – Cabinet member for finance – presented a report that confirmed:
Thurrock Council had delivered a balanced budget between April 2019 and March 2020
reserves had increased
income achieved from investment activity was above what had been planned
Last year Thurrock Council added more than £5.8million to its reserves, taking the total reserves up by 131% since 2016 and putting Thurrock is in a strong financial position to adjust to the post-COVID world.

Thurrock Council well-prepared for future financial uncertainty

9 July 2020
Cllr Shane Hebb announced yesterday (Wednesday 8 July) at a Full Council meeting that financial resilience reserves have increased from £8m in 2016, to £18.5m in 2020, and that the focus now must be on everyone working together to deliver the best possible solution for Thurrock post-COVID-19.
Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet member for Finance, Cllr Hebb said: "We have always said that we needed to fix the roof while the sun is shining, this is exactly what we have done and it has allowed us to put Thurrock into a strong financial position before the COVID-19 pandemic.