THE LABOUR Party’s prospective Parliamentary candidate, Carl Morris, says he fears Thurrock Council was not planning to follow recent tradition and mark Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January) at the rest garden, High View Avenue, Grays.
“I was told that nothing is planned this year, the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and that wasn’t good enough,”
Last year at the suggestion of Councillor Morris, the anniversary was also marked by a visit to the death camp by 19 teenage students from Thurrock schools along with three councillors.
“I understand there will be a schools visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland again this year and that’s good and important, but it is imperative we mark the anniversary here,” he said.
“Community cohesion was a ‘red flag’ for Thurrock in the recent Government One Place report which stated: ‘Community relations between people from different backgrounds in some neighbourhoods continue to be weak and community tensions, although relatively localised, can quickly occur’.
“Equally ironic is that for the past two years, Thurrock has been highlighted as a place where the differences between people is leading to residents ‘not treating one another with respect and consideration’ and there are ‘other areas of discrimination such as sexual orientation and gender’.
“I have asked senior people at the council to confirm for me whether or not the Holocaust Memorial Day event is going ahead and I would ask anyone who thinks it should to let me know. If necessary I’ll arrange it myself.”
A Thurrock Council spokesperson said: “A small memorial service will be held at the memorial gardens in High View Avenue, Grays, at 10am on Wednesday, 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day.
“The council is also hosting an event at the Thameside Theatre, Grays, two days later (Friday, 29 January). It will be centred around the schools trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The doors at the Thameside open at 3pm. This event is also free and open to all.”