A while back, we wrote this post – This will be VERY interesting… – March 18, 2021 – about Thurrock Council being obliged by a ruling from the First-Tier Information Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to disclose how it has invested huge sums borrowed from other local authorities. This was achieved after a long running campaign by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism – a campaign that was supported by local news outlets such as Thurrock Nub News and Your Thurrock.
The information about Thurrock Council’s investment strategy was due to be released this week. Well, guess what happened? The council are applying to challenge the ruling and have been granted a ‘short extension’ until 26 April to file its detailed submission: Council battles on to keep its controversial financial dealings a secret. To be honest, given the council’s reputation for secrecy, a lack of accountability and transparency, this is probably the least surprising piece of news we’ve received in a while. The real shock would have been if they’d filed the information on time and in full.
The fact that we and probably many other residents across Thurrock are not at all surprised by this delay in the council opening up about its investment strategy speaks volumes about where we are. We’re in a situation where trust between residents and Thurrock Council is breaking down to the point where the relationship is now one of mutual antagonism. At some point, something is going to give and that’s when things will start to get really interesting…
Meanwhile, here are a selection of free graphics pointing out Thurrock Council’s pretty much non-existent relationship with concepts such as transparency and accountability. Feel free to use and share as you see fit:)