IN his first report to the Chamber as the Cabinet Member for Education and Health, Cllr James Halden set out three key areas to focus on in order to meet his goals: council leadership, expectations and early years support.
During full council last night (27 July) Cllr Halden said: “When we came into administration in May I set officers a very clear direction, to tackle mediocrity in public services because the public deserves the very best.
“We need to show leadership as a council in a system when schools are – rightly – more independent than ever before. We need to make use of the fact that, while we no longer have direct control, our influence, our opportunities and our responsibilities are greater than ever before.
“We need to challenge our public services in areas where we have under doctored communities that are poorly served. We need to be robust on holding these to account whilst raising the expectations of the people of Thurrock.
“And we need to give a new focus to early years care. We need to bridge the gap between education and health to make sure we tackle some of the intergenerational issues that see poor education outcomes and poor health outcomes.
“Simply, we need to make sure our children are fit for adulthood.”
Cllr Halden’s full report outlined processes already underway and strategies for the future to improve health and education services in the borough, including building stronger partnerships between council services and healthcare providers, the continuing development of the Thurrock Education Alliance and the assurance of delivering the refreshed Health and Wellbeing Strategy.