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LIVE: Full Thurrock Council meeting
Updated 9:46am Thursday 27th March 2014 in News
This live event has finished
- At tonight's meeting we'll hear from:
- Assistant Chief Constable of Essex Maurice Mason, who'll brief council on the Evolve Programme - a police model designed to be flexible and sustainable to allow for the best services possible
- The Thurrock Education Commission where council are expected to approve £1m of funding be allocated to support six recommendations made by the commission earlier this year
- An update from highways and regeneration councillor Andrew Smith and his aims for the rest of the year
- Council leader and portfolio holder for education John Kent will deliver his first report since taking on the portfolio
"I don't want to see our borough used as a toilet by others, it's not on", he says.
He says people doing this should be made an example of by police, just like people who use mobiles behind the wheel.
We're near the end now, and onto motions. Cllr Hipsey is condemning the actions of individuals who "relieve themselves" on the public highway in the borough. He says it's becoming a major occurrence and finds it upsetting when he sees individuals taking part in the "disgusting" action.
We're back onto education now and talk has inevitably turned to Ofsted. Cllr Kent wants to celebrate the success of schools, and finds the oppositions negatively towards schools ridiculous.
Cllr MacPherson asked why the council have employed a highways consultant at the cost of £60,000 for a six month contract to "tell us what we already know about pot holes".
Cllr Smith says the council has saved money due to the consultant, and that the borough will see improvemtns to pot holes "in the next few weeks."
Cllr Smith has declared he wants to start a campaign to have train station built in West Thurrock. "It's a big enough area and deserves one", he says.
Cllr Smith is now reading his report on his portfolio of transport and regeneration. He says Thurrock has some of the most exciting regeneration plans in the country including the £800m plans for Purfleet and improved retail offer at Lakeside.
He says Thurrock will only see more investment come in, with people queuing up to to invest in the borough.
Cllr Worrall has allayed any concerns that the council will become "paperless", despite increasing communication being made available through the internet.
She was answering a question that elderly and more rural residents don't always have access to such means.
Highlighting hate crime again, Cllr Worrall says she will be tackling PCC Nick Alston next week when he visits Tilbury on the figures, and will hold Mr Mason from earlier this evening to account on making sure the matter is dealt with.
Cllr Worrall is now presenting her annual equality report to the chamber. Highlights include the strengthening partnerships between the council and voluntary, community and faith groups.
Cllr Kent sums up by saying he won't be satisfied until every school in the borough is either "good" or "outstanding".
Cllr Smith asks Cllr Ojetola to stop being negative, adding everyone knows the state of play in primary education in the borough but things are on the up.
Cllr Ojetola has welcomed the report outlining the commission, but asks Cllr Kent "how high can we go?", reminding members primary schools in the borough are in the bottom three in the country.
Cllr Kent is now talking to the chamber about the Education Commission. He said an education alliance, which met for the first time last night, will serve as a strong partnership to take education further in the borough.
Summing up, Mr Mason says it's going to be a challenging time ahead, adding its important that partnership working continues but that a first class service is still provided.
Mr Mason says there is a problem with boy racers in the Lakeside area and one he's been aware since coming into position.
He adds serious violence is on the up in the borough but that it's a small number, and that serious violence is related to domestic abuse. He adds Thurrock is a "decent area".
Responding to a number of questions from members, Mr Mason says hate crime is on the up and it's one are he wants to get under control. He'd also like to see PCSO's given more power, but not so much that they get bogged down and can't deal with the day to day local issues they're there for.
Cllr Hipsey says it's unacceptable for Corringham police station to be closing, adding it's needed for the area following the closure of Stanford West station a few years ago.
Cllr Worrall has told the chamber hate crime is up in the borough by 28%. She adds 81% of these are racially motivated, and asks what the police are going to do to make residents feel safe. Cllr Worrall says there is a problem in the borough and it needs to be tackled.
Mr Mason confirms that Corringham police station will close, but he will do everything in his power to increase visibility in the town.
Presenting to the chamber, Mr Prophet says crime in the borough shows a continuous downward trend over the last decade. From 19,274 incidents in 2003/04, to 11,223 for 2013/14.
Mr Mason says the force wants to increase the number of special constables. He also says crime is down by 3.5% in the borough, despite the "thin blue line getting thinner".
Essex police assistant chief constable Maurice Mason and chief superintendent Andy Prophet are now giving their presentation on the Evolve programme.
Cllr Kent says 192,369 hours have been lost, but hazards a guess that overtime done by officers would far outweigh this number.
First up is questions from members of the public. A Mr Perrin has asked leader Cllr Kent to give out the number of "lost hours" attributable to absenteeism for Jan-Dec 2013 excluding authorised holiday absence.
Good evening, and welcome to our coverage of tonight's full council meeting. Mayor Cllr Fish has opened the meeting, which will be his last as Mayor.
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