THE Leader of the Opposition on Thurrock Council, Labour councillor Oliver Gerrish, has demanded a better performance from the council after it failed a number of key targets.
During the June meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the council’s annual performance report was reviewed by councillors. The report revealed that the council had failed a range of targets last year, including the percentage of bins emptied on correct days, the percentage of potholes filled on time and the speed of dealing with resident complaints.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Gerrish said “It is disappointing that this many targets are still being missed by the council. It is particularly concerning to see the council performing poorly on KPIs that reflect the quality of their interactions with residents such as dealing with complaints quickly or the poor satisfaction with the Housing service.
“It all points to a council that needs to be much better at listening to residents about their issues and concerns, and reacting to them.”
The performance of the council reflects poorly on the stated priorities of “clean it, cut it, fill it” of the Conservative Administration, with many of the related activities struggling to hit target. It also comes after a senior council officer was forced to apologise for the poor performance on grass cutting across the borough.
“The performance report also highlighted that the average weekly household earnings for Thurrock residents had dropped from £576.80 to £556.10.
Councillor Gerrish said, “This drop means that average income is falling in Thurrock while costs continue to rise. The council needs a new focus on bringing high quality job opportunities to Thurrock that push wages up for our residents rather than pulling them down.”
Thurrock Independent’s deputy leader and deputy chair of the overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Jsck Duffin also had a number of comments to make. He believed there was an attempt to drop the council target on ‘% of potholes repaired within policy and agreed timeframe’ from the 100% that the Conservatives Administration promised.
Cllr Duffin challenged this and caused the Council to u-turn on their plans.
Deputy Chairman for Corporate O&S, Thurrock Independents Cllr Jack Duffin said: “The Conservatives promised to fix every pothole in the borough on time, unfortunately they failed last year on one of their top 3 pledges.
“It is disappointing that they tried to sneak through a change in their policy in the small print of an appendix rather than being honest and announcing they are failing and worried they won’t hit their target next year. Once they were caught out they were quick to rectify the change in target and u-turn.
“I have asked that moving forward the Council should be more proactive on the issue and start dealing with poor road surfaces before potholes occur. The council must maintain our roads to a much higher standard to protect residents vehicles.
“As all residents know this is just another example of the Conservative Clean It, Cut It, Fill It policy being in complete disarray. We heard that the pothole target was missed and street cleanliness is getting worse. If the Conservatives have dropped the ball on their top 3 pledges, we have to wonder what else is going wrong on behind the scenes.”