Sunday, April 2, 2023

Thurrock to go from ‘surviving to thriving’

THURROCK Council will be moving forward to become financially independent and commercial, councillors have heard.

Presenting his reports to the Cabinet meeting Wednesday (8 February), Cllr Shane Hebb, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Legal Services, set the new direction of travel for the council’s finances in the coming year, ahead of the Full Council meeting later this month.

Cllr Hebb updated Cabinet colleagues on the draft budget for the next financial year, and announced the administration’s proposal to make permanent funding for the Clean it, Cut it, Fill it initiative for 2017/18.

After the meeting, Cllr Hebb said: “Our ambition to be a financially independent council is clear – as is our commitment to moving Thurrock from a borough that’s surviving to one which is thriving.

“Our bottom-up Service Reviews which start next year will allow us to determine what services will be provided, and what the role of a council is. We can then have a stable baseline to assess local tax rates”.

“I want to sincerely thank opposition councillors who engaged with the Council Spending Review process for setting our balanced budget for 2017/18.”

Councillors heard of future and aspirational capital projects the council are exploring, including an integrated healthy living centre in Tilbury and using technology to improve services for residents.

A review into the oversight of major spending projects was also announced. Cllr Hebb said: “Rightly, officers and Cabinet colleagues must have the flexibility and authority to work in the best interest of residents.

“But we will be looking at the appropriateness of how decision making is delegated to ensure those spending residents’ money have the right level of oversight, and the plans themselves serve the public good.”

The council’s strategy for managing cash-flow and investments was also announced. Cllr Hebb said: “Let me be clear, if an idea is within our remit and has a clear return on investment – it will be considered”


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