THURROCK Tories staged a remarkable climbdown at tonight’s budget meeting when it was announced that the axe would not be falling on the funding for popular community group Ngage.
To watch Ngage’s Jacqui Payne throughout the meeting was to see one woman who had given a decade of her life to the community involvement see her fate swing this way and that in agonising fashion.
But she was bolstered by impassioned speeches from the gallery by Stanford Community Forum Chair Terry Piccolo and from the chamber by UK Community Councillor of the Year, Cllr Yash Gupta and Cllr Lynn Worrall.
The Ngage issue was clearly the key negotiating tool in the budget negotiations.
Labour wanted three amendments but this to them, was the most important one of all.
They are sure to make capital of this in the upcoming election.
The Tories stood by their guns for a long part of the meeting.
Portfolio Holder Joy Redsell said: “£81k worth of savings was initially required. The voluntary sector groups affected hold £1.4m in reserves.
A fuller report will appear in a later edition of YourThurrock.