Thurrock will be "an ambitious and collaborative community which is proud of its heritage and excited by its diverse opportunities and future". This is the new vision for Thurrock as agreed at Full Council on Wednesday 31 January.
A 'game-changing' association of south Essex councils has been formed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) consists of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, and Thurrock councils. All 7 councils have recognised the need to work across borders on strategic issues such as infrastructure, planning and growth.
Work on Thurrock's first Integrated Medical Centre will take a significant first step as site surveys get underway.
Beginning on 5 February, surveys in Civic Square, Tilbury will start to help inform the design and planning of the centre.
The work will include topographical surveys and assessments ranging from flood risk, utilities, ecology and transport studies over the next few months. Full public access will be maintained throughout.
At a meeting of full Council on Wednesday (31 January) night, Cllr Brian Little – Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport – presented an overview of how services performed last year.
He introduced his report by sharing some of the successes achieved.
Results of the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index have revealed Thurrock Council moved up 135 places in the official ranking – an increase of 31% compared to results from 2016. The authority now sits within the top half of organisations across the country who took part in the assessment.
It was announced at a meeting of full Council last night (31 January) that Thurrock Council will continue its current Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTS) for 2018/19.
Portfolio Holder for Finance and IT, Cllr Shane Hebb, said: "We agreed to continue supporting this scheme because remains affordable, easy to administer, reasonable and fit for purpose.
"The collection rate for 2016/17 for council tax from those in the scheme was 96.64 percent and the design of the scheme supports a high collection rate.
Over 100 people, young and old, braved the cold weather last week (Friday 26 January) at Palmer's Rest Garden in High View Avenue to pay their respects and mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
The annual event – this year themed on 'The Power of Words' – reminds us to condemn the evils of prejudice, discrimination and racism, and to value a free, tolerant and democratic society.
Rev Canon Darren Barlow opened the event and led the service. Children and their teachers from local schools joined the commemoration.
Litter offenders who spoil the borough and don't pay their fine will still face a criminal record, Thurrock's Leader of the Council has warned.
In the last year, the council has fined 3,493 people – showing action is taken against those who don’t pay their fine. The council so far has successfully prosecuted 107 people, with other cases in the pipeline.
Thurrock Council has been working with Essex Police to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB).
A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) was put in place for the Grays High Street area in April last year, which bans the continued consumption of alcohol and intoxicating substances when required to stop doing so. The order also covers verbal abuse and behaviour in a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress to another person.
Thurrock Council has continued its crackdown on unsightly abandoned vehicles in the borough.
The council issued Fixed Penalty Notices to a garage owner for leaving 8 vans in abandoned conditions which is a criminal offence. This was in response to public complaints about vehicles on the public highway in Lansdowne Road, Tilbury.
Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cllr Aaron Watkins, said: "We take these complaints very seriously.