OUTSIDE the Thurrock Conservative club in Clarence Road, a banner proudly announces a hundred years of the club: 1910 to 2010.
But it looks unlikely that the club will be celebrating it’s 101st anniversary as plans have been submitted to the council’s planning committee to convert the Clarence Road HQ into 26 bedsits.
The plans come as boroughs such as Thurrock have to brace themselves for a possible “benefits exodus” as a possible 82,000 families face losing their homes in the pricier parts of London such as Kensington and Chelsea.
Now, the planning department is braced for a wave of applications for planning proposals that may cash in on the numbers expected into the borough.
Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham, has accused the Government of deliberate social engineering.
He told the Observer: “It is an exercise in social and economic cleansing,” he said, claiming families would be thrown into turmoil with children having to move schools.
Landlords are refusing to lower their rental prices in the capital.
“It is tantamount to cleansing the poor out of rich areas – a brutal and shocking piece of social engineering,” Mr Cruddas added.
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr described the housing benefit cuts as “truly shocking”.
“Unless ministers urgently reconsider these punitive cuts, we could see more people sleeping rough than at any stage during the last 30 years,” he said.
“London is one of the most vibrant and socially mixed cities in the world – and yet the diversity, for which it is so famous, is under threat from the changes to housing benefit.”
The plans should come in front of the Thurrock council planning committee next month.