Cllr. Rob Gledhill, the leader of the ruling Tory group on Thurrock Council has attempted the pretty much impossible task of defending the council’s financial strategy… Stop sniggering at the back!
This is a strategy that will eventually see 500 jobs cut, assets such as the Thameside Complex and Grangewaters lined up to be flogged off and service cuts across the board. This is how Gledhill’s attempt to redeem the council and the subsequent finger pointing and blame evasion was reported by Thurrock Nub News: Tory leader and the missing £21 million of ‘debt’ claim – “I’m sorry for any unintended confusion” says Rob Gledhill but there are no answers to renewed question. Rather than us attempting to paraphrase what this piece said, we suggest you read it in full.
What we have to say is this… As a result of a botched investment strategy, Thurrock as a borough is in pretty serious trouble as we outlined in this piece: Austerity 2.0 – November 17, 2021. It’s us, the residents and council tax payers who are going to be made to pay for this debacle. Not just through our council tax being hiked up to the maximum possible but also through cut and reduced services, and the threatened loss of much loved community assets such as the Thameside Theatre. All because ruling group councillors didn’t exercise due diligence and supervision over the senior council officers responsible for an investment strategy that has basically failed.
Rather that finger pointing, blame shifting and pathetic attempts at making excuses for what has happened, the councillors and senior officers responsible owe every resident in Thurrock and full and unreserved apology. Mind you, we won’t be holding our breath waiting for one – getting an apology out of a council like Thurrock is akin to trying to ge blood out of a stone!
All this proves is that as we’ve said more times than we care to remember, the system of local governance we have is not fit for purpose. One of many reasons for its unfitness is the lack of transparency and accountability to the residents whose council tax pays the expenses and salaries of the councillors and the officers. Without transparency and accountability, there is no trust. What little trust the people of Thurrock may have once had in the council is evaporating day by day. At some point, thing have to come to a head so we can start to bring about some badly needed change.