Another busy year is coming to an end, and winter is now approaching.

The last few days of October saw our new gritters out on the streets of Thurrock with temperatures dropping.

As a year comes to an end, it is normal to reflect and seeing the new gritters out along with our new fleet of bin lorries, road sweepers, caged tippers and much more.

It makes you realise how much investment has gone back into the Environment and Highways department.

This year we have invested a further £8million in new vehicles and equipment across Environment and Highways to not only give the teams the equipment they rightly need but to strive for a better overall service.

This week we announced the Government as part of the Budget was giving Thurrock over £800,000 for further road repairs, much appreciated funding which will go hand in hand with our road maintenance and resurfacing programme which has seen over £1.8million go into it.

The service is moving on leaps and bounds with more to come.

I do this job because I love Thurrock and I want it to be a clean and tidy borough and we have put the needed investment in to help the service continue to strive and achieve.

I look forward to what 2019 has to offer with major projects starting, which will benefit residents of Thurrock, such as the redevelopment of the Household Waste and Recycling Centre, the A13 widening and the redevelopment of Stanford train.

Let’s welcome 2019 and the challenges it brings, because by moving forward together we will continue to strive for a better Thurrock.

By Aaron Watkins

Thurrock cabinet member for the environment