This is a three part interview. The Leader of the Council, Garry Hague and Deputy Leader Amanda Arnold invited YourThurrock in to discuss the merits and challenges of the proposed savings in the council budget.
The key word there is savings. Many interpret it as cuts.
Setting aside detail for a moment, it was an impressive tour-de-force by Garry Hague. Some had doubted his ability to lead after the defection of Terry Hipsey but if this performance is anything to go by, then the Tories may be more of a force than Labour have estimated.
Mr Hague spoke for half an hour, only breathing to give Deputy Leader Amanda Arnold a chance to put her point across with respect to “Adult Social Care” as well as illustrate how the Tory group is working together to put a workable budget together.
The devil, however, is in the detail and that will be the challenge over the coming months until the budget is set in February 2010.
Here, Garry has welcomed contributions from the opposition and he may well get it: from heated discussions at committee to confrontation on the floor of the chamber.
YourThurrock will take the chance over the three interviews to examine some of the issues that will affect every citizen in the borough over the next few years.