Officers v Members: The Conflict Continues

IT was one of the major concerns that the Audit Commission had when they put Thurrock Council down in the relegation zone.

It was one of the big no-no’s for the highly-respected Interim Chief Executive Bob Coomber when he took over.

However,it still seems to be happening as Senior Planning Officer Anne Esplin and Chair of Thurrock Council Planning Committee, Cllr Stuart St-Clair-Haslam clashed over several issues at a recent meeting.

Time after time, Ms Esplin tried to interject on a variety of matters often looking to the Council solicitor to make a point of order. Cllr St-Clair-Haslam, time after time, publicly berated her.

YourThurrock has asked to speak to Cllr St-Clair-Haslam on several occasions regarding this but he does not respond to enquiries from the press. Then again, we understand that nor does he send apologies for non-attendance to his local community forum in Little Thurrock.

At a recent meeting with senior officers, we understand that Mr Coomber opined that some councillors needed “a good talking to”.

Maybe now is the time.

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