How much damage will this financial black hole do?

The long, sorry saga of Thurrock Council’s financial woes shows no sign of going away: Council set to run at a loss of almost £50 million over next three years: Residents set to be asked to cough up 4.99 per cent increase in council tax. And when you drill down in this report to paragraph four, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation Cllr. Shane Hebb, acknowledges that a significant part of the cash shortfall is down to lower than expected returns on their financial investment strategy.

Yes, that ‘investment’ strategy… The one that has raised a fair few eyebrows among keen observers of the farce that’s Thurrock Council. The one we’ve written about more times than we care to remember. These are some of the highlights:

Sliding ever further into the mire

Thurrock Council sliding into the mire

Under pressure?

Murkier and murkier…

Who’s paying for this? From April, we, the residents will be paying with a 4.99% increase in our council tax – just 0.01% less than the maximum increase allowed. After enduring over a year of the local economy being stuffed by a series of lockdowns and tiered restrictions that are pushing an increasing number of households in Thurrock closer to the cliff edge, we’re asked to dip our hands into our pockets to make up for the shortfall caused by the council’s flawed investment strategy.

Thurrock Council are also seeking to save £4 million by not filling vacant posts. On top of this they also plan to cut the pay and conditions of their staff, mainly at the lower end of the payscale. Understandably, a fair number of the council’s front line workers are far from happy at this prospect:

Word from the frontline

Suffice to say, hard pressed residents and screwed over front line council workers will have our full solidarity in resisting Thurrock Council’s attempts to make us pay for their screw ups.

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