Community college shortlisted for national award

20 December 2017
Thurrock Adult Community College (TACC) has been shortlisted for a national adult learning provider award for the second year in a row.
The college, based in Grays, has been highlighted for the Times Educational Supplement Further Education (TesFE) 2018 Adult and Community Learner Provider Award, held in association with the Education and Training Foundation. The awards celebrate excellent and innovative practice across the further education sector and are now in their seventh year.

Give a Gift wraps up for 2017

19 December 2017
1,850 children will now receive a present (or two) on Christmas day thanks to the generosity and support of everyone involved in this year’s Give a Gift project.
The project, launched in partnership with intu Lakeside on Tuesday 21 November closed the shops shutters for the final day last week (Tuesday 12 December).
In three short weeks thousands of presents have been donated, £7,500 has been raised for vulnerable children and volunteers spoke to 15 people interested in becoming a foster carer for Thurrock. 

Residential care fit for the future

19 December 2017
A report heard at Cabinet last week (Wednesday 13 December) approved a new strategy to ensure current and future demand for residential care is met.
It included proposals of a new development in South Ockendon with accommodation and services 'fit for the 21st Century' and recommended further work to consider the detail, including funding the construction of the new facility.

Cabinet agrees £300k for voluntary sector

19 December 2017
Cabinet has agreed how more than £300,000 of grants to the voluntary sector will be managed.
At the meeting this week (Wednesday 12 December), Members agreed that Thurrock CVS would continue administering the Voluntary Sector Corporate Grants Programme for three years starting in April 2018.
The programme is a key source of funding for the voluntary sector within Thurrock and helps support organisations such as Open Door, South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre, and Thurrock Play Network.

Council performance improves

18 December 2017
The council’s performance from July to September was described as "promising" this week, after a report was heard at a meeting of Thurrock Council’s Cabinet (Wednesday 13 December).
Portfolio Holder responsible for performance, Cllr Deb Huelin said: "With 68% of indicators hitting their target, it illustrates how the council is meeting many of its duties without hiding areas where there is room to improve.
"This is a promising mid-year report, giving us sufficient time to support areas requiring further attention.

Thurrock businesses benefit from energy saving grants

18 December 2017
Two Thurrock businesses have been awarded £10,000 each to support them in becoming more energy efficient.
Through the Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) project operated by Thurrock Council, Spectrum Vehicle Repairers Group were awarded £10,000 for two of their businesses to help reduce their carbon footprint.
LoCASE helps businesses to save money on energy as well as support the low carbon goods and services sector – and has granted almost £2.5million to businesses since February 2016.

New community hub facilities for Aveley approved

15 December 2017
New community hub facilities – including a library space, café and nursery – took another step forward on Wednesday (13 December) after Cabinet agreed to secure a building contractor for the site.
Cllr Mark Coxshall presented the report, which gave an overview of the progress to date, consultation and design, as well as outlining the next steps.
The expected design of the building will include:

Local author donates books to Thurrock libraries

15 December 2017
Tilbury-born author, Lesley Jones has joined other local writers in donating copies of their works to Thurrock's libraries.
Cllr Deb Huelin, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for libraries, said: "Thurrock is full of talented people. Grays library's ‘Made in Thurrock' collection gathers together a range of local popular authors such as Russell Brand, Michelle Harrison and Virginia Heath.
"Recent books donated are Lesley Jones’ breath-taking 'Carnage' series, Dave Petrie’s children’s 'tail', 'The cat who flew', and Vicky Jones and Claire Hackney's 'Meet me at 10'."

Hundreds of pupils complete road safety course

12 December 2017
Thurrock Council, together with the Safer Essex Road Partnership, has been working with 13 local schools to train 249 year-three pupils in how to keep safe on the road during winter months.
The Twillight Trail project has been hailed a success after hundreds of students completed a 6-week course that taught them the importance of 'Being Bright' and 'Being Seen' when travelling along highways on foot, bike or scooter.
 Portfolio Holder for Highways, Cllr Brian Little said: "The council is working hard to keep our youngest residents safe while outside.

Fostering recruitment is improving but more needs to be done

11 December 2017
The Foster Carers Annual Report 2016/17 was heard at Corporate Parenting committee last week (Wednesday 6 December). The report explains that lots of good work is taking place, but there is still a shortage of local foster carers.
The committee heard how 10 new carers were approved between April and March in 2016/17, and that 4 carers had resigned or retired. The committee also heard about strategies introduced to retain existing foster carers.