Thursday, December 8, 2022

Labour Cabinet Agree Savings

IN an effort to save approximately £50,000 in the present financial year, Thurrock Council is to adjust the timings of some street lights in the borough.

The decision was one of several taken by Thurrock Council’s cabinet on Wednesday (11 August) evening when discussing proposals put forward by the opposition group at full council last month.

The opposition group had suggested deleting a £100,000 in-year saving on street lights, but cabinet supported changing their original proposal by 50 per cent.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Val Morris-Cook, said: “This does not mean we’re going to switch off the lights at midnight.

“We are going to tweak the timings of some of the lights. There will be no health and safety or security issues.”

Cabinet also agreed they would withdraw a £75,000 saving planned for “street cleaning and cleanliness of streets”, and cut the proposed £10,000 “locking parks and cemeteries” and “autumn horticultural planting” savings by half.

Members also agreed to maintain spending on Grays Beach, but remove the ten most high-maintenance play areas.

Cllr Morris-Cook explained that the play equipment involved was old and would have to be removed in the next 18 months anyway. She said: “This doesn’t mean we’re closing parks, but it allows us to stop high repair costs.”

The decision taken at last month’s cabinet that Chafford Hundred library would remain open for three sessions a week was endorsed by members.

The opposition had also proposed a series of possible alternative savings. Cllr Morris-Cook explained that two — cutting councillor allowances by five per cent and stopping mileage payments for councillors for trips in the borough — would have to be decided by the full council and a report would go to the September meeting.

Cabinet agreed stopping the payment for councillors’ having broadband connections and sending paper copies of meeting agendas to “”housing offices and other non-essential locations”. Meeting agendas can been seen by logging on to the council’s democracy web pages (http://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/).

Cllr Morris-Cook congratulated the mayor’s secretary who, when asked to examine a £1,000 reduction in “use of chauffeur and mayoral car” actually found £3,000 of in-year savings.

Proposals to “switch off traffic lights overnight” were turned down as officer advice was that the cost of temporary lights signs, necessary safety studies and changes to computer systems would actually increase in-year costs.

However members did agree that one currently vacant post in the corporate diversity team would be deleted — half the opposition plan.

Cllr Morris-Cook said that proposals to change library hours could not be implemented this year and that a report on the funding of voluntary organisations would be coming to a later cabinet and changers to the cabinet structure would be reviewed. She added that the administration was maintaining only a half-post “political assistant” and urged the opposition to follow suit.

A £4,000 saving by not carrying out any work on the Place Survey this year went ahead.

Three other savings proposals had been made at full council. Funding of a union representative — to be maintained this year; “implementing reduced subsidy to the Tilbury Ferry — the Port of Tilbury had already agreed to support the service by £20,000; and have the Thameside Theatre breakeven.

Cllr Morris-Cook urged all councillors to support the theatre by attending as many shows as possible and “paying for tickets to support local groups”.

1 COMMENT

  1. very much papering over the cracks, I heard that the recently started contract for housing repairs, means that TBC now have to pay for vehicles leased to them under the terms of the last contract, for up to the next two years, so any savings by installing this contract could be lost paying this debt.

    How many other skeletons are in the cupboard?

    Many of the big companies are cash cows, where they furnish shareholders in preference to the quality of service, less is more is their operating mandate.

    Regardless of what others think, LOCAL is really the best option, workforce will work with pride, that is providing the management of these areas is strong, TBC seem to self destruct with some of their choices.

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