The Leader of Thurrock Council issued a stark reminder of the budget crisis facing the council at Wednesday’s meeting of the cabinet.
Cllr John Kent said: “I don’t think the people of Thurrock understand exactly what’s coming in the next year and more. It’s not surprising because I don’t think the majority of council staff or even some councillors have got it yet.
“Later this month the Government will be announcing how much grant we will be receiving and here in Thurrock we reckon that’s going to mean at least £15 million less for next year and probably £10 million less again in each of the following two years.”
Speaking outside the meeting, he explained: “That’s £35 million out of a budget of around £120 million or so. If your home’s income is now, say, £30,000 — for some easy maths — that means next year you’ll bring in £3,750 less, that’s £26,250; the year after, £2,500 less (£23,750) and the next year another £2,500!
“This means that if, in 2010 your total income was £30,000; by 2013 you’ll be living on £21,250. If your income is now £20,000, work it out … it’s frightening, then factor in inflation! Imagine what you’d have to do without; now imagine what we have to do and how it will hit the services we provide.”
Cllr Kent told the meeting: “The council could raise some — not a lot — but some of that money by increasing council tax. However, the people of Thurrock are facing enough hardship at the moment and I don’t think it right that we do that to them. I can announce here and now, that this administration wants a zero increase in council tax.”
Cllr Kent was speaking on two items — an update on austerity measures already undertaken in Thurrock, and the Thurrock’s Budget — Let’s Talk campaign.
The cabinet was told that a series of “austerity measures” were brought in when it became clear the council was overspending in the region of £1 million every other month with only around £2 million in reserves. In addition the government cut back on grants the council had been promised for this year.
Cllr Kent said: “If we hadn’t taken that emergency action, we’d be out of money by now.”
On the Let’s Talk campaign, the Leader added: “I was really heartened to see how many people took part, putting forward ideas and voting on the many proposals. Nearly 4,000 people took part with 167 ideas coming from the public and around 52,500 votes being recorded.
“Some of the ideas require a fair bit of work to see if they’re feasible, but others were simple, quick wins and we already have some of those in place.
“The idea of a handyman for the Civic Offices for example — no longer do we have to get in a contractor to do simple maintenance; and cancelling unused mobile phones is expected to save us thousands.”
After the meeting, Cllr Kent said: “I don’t want people concentrating on these budget issues to the exclusion of everything else. These are going to be hard times and we’re going to have to accept that, find new and innovative ways to provide our services and move forward.
“But these are also exciting times for Thurrock. We are uniquely placed with a massive regeneration agenda packed into a small borough. If we don’t drop the ball there, Thurrock and its people will come out of these troubling times healthier and richer.”
” It’s not surprising because I don’t think the majority of council staff or even some councillors have got it yet.”
Why does the comment above not surprise me, when how our Councillors ever git it???
Looks like the blind leading the blind
Sorry, early morning syndrome, the above post should read:
Why does the comment above not surprise me, when have our Councillors ever got it???
Ever since I can remember voting, we still here the same old bullshite! Every administration ( local or government ) tells us to bare the brunt, knuckle down and we’ll get through and the Borough/Country and the people will be richer!
What this situation boils down to, is that we have had the wrong people running our democracy, pilfering our hard earned money for them to get richer and us get poorer! This has nothing to do with the people of the world, it is to do with Government’s being manipulated by the Rich and the Banks to make more money and keep ordinary people below or just on the breadline! This is how it has been since year dot! The whole lot are bent as nine bob notes!!
Cllr Kent, there are plenty of handy men and women at the Council! Handy at taking our money! WHAT’S NEW?
How DARE John Kent say – the people of Thurrock don’t get ‘it’ – what? does he hope he’s IT? When has Thurrock ever had a REAL Leader? Council leadership here for decades has been a Demoliton Derby … fact …. disillusioned people don’t bother to Vote .. democracy is now a really sick joke ….. Laboratory L:AB.Oratory NEVER makes sense – get I.T.? They, above all others, are very adept at papering over the cracks of THEIR BLUNDERS AND FAULTS and LACK OF JUDGEMENTS IN LEADERSHIP – with use of words to THROW IT ALL BACK AT The People – the patronising label given to us MUGS by Tony Blair – the big BLARE – sorry, as an intelligent person I can’t rise above that for THEM….. they bring out contempt in time worn warriors of hard-work/decency/tolerance and other honourable attributes. Kent has put his own foot in his mouth again : that it WOULDN’T have occured to him, even, to look at CONTRACTORS expenses – and save money by use of home-grown available HANDYMEN … doesn’t that say it ALL???????? small wonder people here get ABSOLUTELY EXASPERATED and FRUSTRATED with their bumbling about – and, no doubt, Doctors surgeries fill up with people in – STRESS. The ADMINISTRATION of Thurrock Council has expanded out of control – and – fails to deliver at service point on many matters – without administration threads even noticing – because they are all busy in meetings – producing paperwork – which in absolute reality – means very little. Chris Rea warned of this bit : Road To Hell on bits of paper flying away from us … meaning less and less …. AND I don’t want to judge G.Farrant yet – but would have taken notice of his PRIVATE EYE nickname – penned by IAN HISLOP, no less, after many in depth investigations to identify ROTTEN BOROUGHS of UK : in which he is known as : CLUB-CLASS GRAHAM – arising out of his professional behaviour options – for himself. So, Mr. Kent – did YOU investigate him before offering HOW much salary ???????? Nitewolf is right – the global picture sets the scene – even for Thurrock – Argentinian Government BOUGHT the debts of CITIBANK – to pass on to the poor of Argentina – who now labour to carry that debt ….. how about us?????? i,.e. : queen of the BAWL : Cheale-Vertex – think-stink ?????? Leaders of UK – like leaders of Banks went on a BINGE of SELF IMPORTANCE AND ARROGANCE which cost us a lot of money – proving that they have no real identifiable leadership qualitites – and now they stand over us again – passing their BUCK to us. SHAME on THEM. John Kent has few leadership QUALITIES than anyone here can identify – the gross ANNE CHEALE pantomime proved that….. FACT for Thurrock IS – Labour has held the reins for most of recent history – and have made a dog’s dinner of it all for THEMselves. We still hobble around picking up their pieces. SHAME ON JOHN KENT FOR SAYING IT – he is a No.1 FOOL ….. bar none … no ‘know’ apologies … his kind of leadership leaves us all needing ANGER MANAGEMENT therapy … oh, well done J.K. and pantomime dame mare of Thurrock .. Carry on Up the Khyber with Thurrock leaders at the helm … sounds like a stitch-up don’t they? from your own mouth that became reality ….
in further respect of above overspill – re: ANGER MANAGEMENT created by Thurrock council buffoons – and with LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE in mind : a heart felt THANKS to YOUR THURROCK for providing a real branch of demcocracy in FREEDOM OF SPEECH – at least that helps to relieve tensions – though none of it is – funny …