The final item of the Council season perhaps illustrated the biggest divide between the Tories and Labour group.
“These days” it can be quite hard to distinguish between Tories and Labour in New Labour Britain but in the chamber it was clear that there were two very different attitudes towards the problem of debt and its possible solution in Credit Unions.
Labour Leader, Cllr John Kent had proposed a motion that: “Thurrock Council resolves to sponsor the creation of a Thurrock Credit Union.”
Tory Cllr Joy Redsell proposed an amendment that: “Thurrock Council resolves to investigate the potential to endorse a Credit Union in Thurrock.”
Cllr Kent said: “There are loan sharks laying waste to the lives of many of our constituents. Interest rates from Argos Cards can be as high as 222%”
“We need to take the lead from Essex and Southend which have well-established Credit Unions which can help alleviate poverty in these difficult times.”
Council Leader Garry Hague informed the opposition that they simply wanted to investigate the potential for the Union.
Deputy Leader Amanda Arnold said: “I agree with Cllr Kent that we should look to a system of ethical banking but at the same time I don’t think people should be too reliant on Thurrock Council.”
The Tory amendment won through. The vote was tied at 22-22 with Lady Mayor Cllr Maureen Pearce’s vote tipping the balance to 23-22.