At the start of this month, we put up this post – We can only try… – January 2, 2022 – expressing our frustrations, and those of many residents, at how hard it is to get any meaningful degree of openness and accountability from Thurrock Council. One of the many sources of frustration was trying to find out what the heck was going on with the council’s controversial investment strategy: Gaffes and finger pointing – just another day at Thurrock Council! – November 23, 2021. This strategy was covered in some detail by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: ‘Victory for taxpayers’: Bureau wins fight to reveal council investments – 17.03.21. It has also come under intense scrutiny from Thurrock Nub News.

Well, when it comes to Thurrock Council’s questionable investment strategy, it looks as though there’s a little glimmer of light as they start to open up a bit on what’s happened with it. This partial opening up is covered in full in this piece from Thurrock Nub News: Council reveals some details of its near £1.5 billion debt mountain and investments – 12.01.22. Rather than us paraphrasing, we recommend that you read the Thurrock Nub News piece in full. Included in it is a link to a page on the council’s website which offers some information about their investment strategy and the borrowing that underpinned it: Our investments and borrowing. It’s not full disclosure and many of the figures quoted are not exactly new but…it’s a start…

One skirmish in a long battle has been won. The fact that it’s taken a lot of pressure to get what’s just a partial disclosure speaks volumes about what’s wrong with local governance in this country. There’s a long way to go until we get a council that fully understands the concepts of transparency and accountability to their residents. As much as we’d love to, there’s no way we can claim any credit for this partial opening up. Looking at the viewing stats on this blog makes it clear that we don’t yet have the reach that would make an impact. Credit has to go to Thurrock Nub News who have doggedly pursued this issue.