She added: “There is one exception to that ‘ten times better’ and that’s part of the A13 and Dock Approach Road. The Highways Agency is supposed to be in charge of keeping that clean, unfortunately we can’t put up signs saying: It’s the Highways Agency, not Thurrock Council.
“There is no substitute for getting out into the community, listening to what people have to say — whether they’re angry or just concerned — and showing that we’re just as concerned as they are and want to put things right.
A national referendum on the way we vote will be held in every ward and council elections are due in all but four of Thurrock’s 20 wards. The areas which do not have local council elections scheduled for this year are: Little Thurrock Blackshots, Orsett, South Chafford, and Tilbury St Chad’s.
Magistrates were told that she had failed to engage with Thurrock Council’s Education Welfare service which had tried to meet with her to offer support several times.
Two children, aged nine and six, missed 45½ days and 44½ days respectively in 15 school weeks. Previously she had served ten days of a 28-day custodial sentence and the latest prosecution also included breach of a previous conditional discharge. The mother, who admitted the charges, received a 28 days prison sentence for all three offences to run consecutively – 84 days in total.
IT’S not too late to book your tickets to see the wonderful Ratpack at the Thameside tonight (Friday) Wayne Kennedy and his troupe re-enact the spirit of the famous Las Vegas lounge lizards as they swing their way through all of the classics.
Among those enjoying Saturday’s feel good factor was Cllr Lynn Worrall, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for Community, Culture and Leisure. She tried out the Smoothie Bike, had a go with the Wii Fit club and said afterwards: “Saturday proved a great success with hundreds of people coming into the Thameside and either trying out the bike or the Wii Fit — which was a real laugh!
The tenth Thurrock Civic Awards scheme has been launched and this year Thurrock Council and its partners have come up with a new look, new award criteria and a new award. Over the past 10 years there have been some marvellous examples of bravery, fortitude, self-sacrifice and sheer determination.
These are strips or blocks of land that help wildlife species move between different areas of their natural habitat or provide a place for wildlife and plants to thrive. In these new corridors and areas, animals and natural plants would be left to flourish, but the land would still be managed and taken care of by the council to ensure the areas work for residents as well as wildlife.
Cllr Val Morris-Cook said: “We are now recycling very nearly half the waste we produce from our homes and I want to thank residents for the way they have embraced the system. “A cleaner-greener Thurrock is one of this council’s main priorities and it’s a real pleasure to know that local people are joining with us in this aim.”
There would be changes, she said, but: “We recognise the vital role leisure services plays in our communities and we have therefore sought to make sure we are able to make short-term savings which minimise impact, while looking at future options for the long term development of leisure services.”
Demand on social care, both for adults and young people is putting ever-increasing pressure on local authorities’ budgets. The cabinet is proposing that council (meeting on March 1) support a £1 million increase in social care for adults — due to the ageing population — plus a £405,000 increase for children’s social care and a £120,000 increase in the budget for young people’s social workers.
Thurrock Council’s Chair of Public Protection, Councillor Wendy Curtis said: “These checks are part of our continued commitment to ensuring that licensed taxis are safe for the people of Thurrock. We would also like to remind people they should only ever use licensed taxis – it is easy to forget, especially late at night when you want to get home.”
Cllr Lynn Worrall, cabinet member for Community, Culture and Leisure, said: “A cross party overview and scrutiny task and finish group has been looking into this issue of getting the council, including councillors, more involved with their communities.”
Despite reducing its support by a quarter, compared to the current year, cabinet member for Transport, Cllr Yash Gupta, says he is pleased with the outcome which includes several improvements to services. He said: “The council has little say over where and when the independent bus companies run their vehicles, but by providing funds to them we can try and make sure that non-profitable public transport routes are operated.
Within this process debtors will be summonsed to attend a means enquiry at the Magistrates’ Court. The court will review information presented to decide if the failure to pay the debt is as a result of wilful refusal or culpable neglect. If the court decides either of these applies, it has the power to send the debtor to prison for up to 90 days.
Last summer, when he was involved with Thurrock in Bloom, he asked the council’s horticulture team if they would put up bird boxes around St Mary’s Church in The Broadway, Little Thurrock, if he made them.
Cllr Smith also said that Thurrock’s tenants have to pay a subsidy to the government, this year of over £11½ million to support housing nationally, nearly £2 million more than last year. However, the council is planning a range of improvements for its tenants over the coming 12 months.
National Census Day is Sunday, 27 March, and a poor response rate would mean the government thinking fewer people live in the area than actually do. This could drastically reduce the amount of funding available over the next decade. Indeed, some councils say a poor response rate to the 2001 census has cost them tens of millions of pounds over the past ten years.
There was a definite air of optimism in the air as many of the companies reported an encouraging upturn in the number of young people interested in becoming apprentices.
“It gives local talent the chance to shine on the same stage as national and international celebrities and it’s marvellous that the council’s diversity team has been able to find the external funding to ensure 2011 will be bigger, better and more fun than ever before.”
Twilight Trails is a new scheme to Thurrock aiming to educate children in a fun and interactive way, about the importance of wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing to ensure they are visible to road users.
Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “The council has to continue making significant spending cuts over the next few years. By packaging up the amount we spend on advertising — such as statutory public notices — and putting this out to competitive tender, we have been able to reduce costs by more than £60,000.
You will also develop effective customer service and communication skills; gain up-to-date qualifications in literacy and numeracy; build skills in time management, productivity and assertiveness and ultimately get the chance to apply for a job with a major retailer.
The indoor sessions will take place on Tuesdays, from 1 March to 17 May (excluding Easter holidays) from 7pm to 8pm at the Sports Hall, Gateway Academy, Marshfoot Road Tilbury, RM16 4LU.