Thurrock Council has responded to the government's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities after receiving and considering proposed further directions for the council, based on the commissioners' first report and a Best Value Inspection update report submitted before Christmas.
The proposed updated directions recommend that a commissioner is appointed to act as Managing Director of the authority and sets out proposals for increased powers for the commissioners 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
The full letter is available at GOV.UK: Letter to the acting Chief Executive of Thurrock Council setting out a proposed expansion to the intervention package.
In his response Ian Wake, Acting Chief Executive of Thurrock Council, has written to the department to say the council accepts and supports the proposals.
He said: "On behalf of the council I accept and welcome these proposals. We are at the beginning of a long journey to make improvements to the way Thurrock Council operates, particularly in our finance and governance functions, but we are already making strong progress.
"Thurrock Council has a committed workforce that has often gone above and beyond what is expected of them to provide services to our residents, despite financial issues not of their making. The new support and additional leadership promised by the government will help us to carry on this good work.
"We will continue to work closely with the commissioners and government to create improvement at Thurrock Council. A great deal of work has already taken place and there is a great deal more to do."
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "I have discussed the recommendations with council officers and councillors across all parties.
"We remain resolute that we will deliver improvements through our work with the commissioners and the delivery of our comprehensive improvement and recovery plan."