It’s been over a month since the local elections and the Thurrock Tories consolidating their control of the council. The portfolios and committees have been more or less sorted out so now, it’s down to business. It’s time for the councillors, the old hands and the newly elected, ruling group and opposition alike to start meaningfully communicating with the residents in their wards.
In particular, it’s time for the two ward councillors for Stanford-le-Hope West, Cllr. Shane Hebb (Con) and Cllr. Terry Piccolo (Con), to tell residents just what the f**k is happening with the redevelopment of Stanford-le-Hope railway station. A reminder – the existing ticket office on the upline and the gateway on the downline were demolished in February 2019. They were demolished without fully costed and worked out plans in place for a replacement. Staff and users of the station have never had a proper explanation for this bizarre course of action, let alone a full apology for what is now over two years of inconvenience.
Part of that inconvenience is staff being obliged to operate out of a ‘temporary’ structure on the other side of the main road from what’s left of the rest of the station. Another part is passengers who have no option but to be obliged to use the ticket office having to take the risk of crossing that busy main road.
It’s now been two years and four months since a possibly slightly shabby but perfectly serviceable ticket office (and attached coffee takeaway) was demolished. Demolished in a previous decade. After a farcical process of botched and rejected plans, the staff and users of the railway station are still no closer to knowing what to expect in terms of a new station, let alone when it will be completed.
We’d like to make it clear to Messrs Hebb and Piccolo that this situation is totally unacceptable. Basically, they need to pull their finger out, do their job and hold the senior council officers responsible for this debacle to account. If they’re not prepared to do that, then f**king resign, call a by-election and make way for councillors who are willing and able to take senior council officers to task over this debacle.