THE FUTURE of hundreds of staff at the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (DC) will now be in the hands of Thurrock Council.
It was clear when speaking to DC staff on the phone this morning that the news came as a total and utter shock.
A spokesperson for Communities Minister confirmed that any decision regarding jobs would be in the hands of Thurrock Council.
She said: “Thurrock TGDC as a whole will become part of the council and all of the responsibilities currently undertaken by the Corporation will be taken on by the council. Any decisions on jobs will be also a matter for the council once the transfer takes effect”.
The relationship between the the DC and Thurrock Council has been an uneasy one at best ever since the quango opened for business in 2005 to “drive economic growth in Thurrock, create homes, jobs and opportunities and make Thurrock a place where people want to live and work”.
Many believed that only an organisation such as the DC had the vision and wit to drive through the regeneration agenda. Others believe that it was an unelected quango that would oversee the “paving over of the South-East”.
Others found it confusing that the council would have one regeneration plan, the Local Development Framework (LDF) while the DC would have its own series of Masterplans.
The council would vote through the building of a Badminton Gym in William Edwards School while the DC had in mind a North Grays Design Brief which would, if approved see the whole school move to Blackshots Fields.
Thurrock Council are remaining tight-lipped but it is anticipated that the matter will be discussed in some form at next weeks meeting of full council.
The “absorption” may come as a financial blow to the Leader of Thurrock Council John Kent and the Leader of the Opposition, Garry Hague whose roles on the various boards of the DC net five-figure sums per year.