A few weeks ago, we put up this post about the issues with dud lights on the Seabrooke Rise estate in Grays: Does it really have to take over a year to fix the lights on the Seabrooke Rise estate? – November 1, 2021. In this post, we noted that residents and the local ward councillors were calling for Thurrock Council to undertake a proper audit of the lights on the estate. Unsurprisingly, fed up with waiting for the council to pull their finger out a ward councillor, Martin Kerin, along with a local resident undertook an audit themselves: Turning the spotlight on a dark issue in Grays community – 15.11.21. They found over sixty lights on the estate in need of repair.
Sixty broken lights on just one estate. An estate that is literally a few minutes walk from the offices of Thurrock Council. It’s right under their noses yet they never got round to undertaking the audit of the lights that the residents wanted. Ensuring lights on an estate are in proper working order should be a basic, core function of what any local council does. It should be routine. It should never have to reach the point where residents have to do the work in collating reports of dud lights themselves. It’s what we pay our sodding council tax for!
Yet again, this is another example of how local authorities who are supposed to look after our interests are failing to get even the most basic parts of their job done in a timely and efficient manner. It’s not just a Thurrock issue. It also happens in Basildon with both the local council and Essex County Council failing to do the basics. The flooding in the Gloucester Park underpass in Basildon is just one example of negligence from the county council: Low priority? Really?! – November 4, 2021. It’s happening with pretty much all local authorities, regardless of the political colours of the ruling groups or coalitions.
We coined a term for this and wrote a post about it on our sister blog, The Stirrer: Institutional rot – August 1, 2021. Things cannot be allowed to go on like this. There has to be change…
We’ll leave you with this quote taken from the Stirrer post which suggests how some of that change could happen: “What needs to happen is that power comes from the grassroots upwards and is not exercised from the top down. A lot more decision making needs to be done at ward level and that needs to be informed by resident input facilitated by a system of street / estate representatives. Every representative and councillor needs to be regarded as a delegate – recallable if it’s felt that they’re not representing the wishes of the residents or that they’re being manipulated by dubious interests. Any officers employed under this system will be there to provide the necessary expertise needed to facilitate the wises of the residents. The officers would understand that their role is to serve the residents, not to dictate to them.”