OVER 150 residents of the Frost estate in Corringham gathered at East Thurrock football club to listen to deputy leader of Thurrock Council, Val Morris-Cook over the controversial issue of waste collection.
It was a masterclass for councillors and officers alike in deploying the skills used in business and transferring them into the public arena.
The warm round of applause that Val received in the end, vindicated not only her admission that Val and the council got it wrong but also the substantial assurances of how they were going to fix the problem.
The whole issue appeared to have been “stirred up” by two Stanford and Corringham Tory councillors, Phil Anderson and Danny Nicklen. They did not attend the meeting.
So Cllr Anderson and Nicklen spend weeks winding up the residents of the Frost estate, spend hours upon hours getting a petetion together and then what? They dont even have the good grace to go to the community meeting where the waste collection problem is to be the only item on the agenda for the night.
At least Cllr Morris Cook had the guts to say when things had gone wrong and met face to face with the residents to find a solution. Watching the video clip it is obvious that she and the officers have put in the work to find a solution to the ‘stirred up’ problem.
She knows that this is not the end to the problems but she is willing to face them head on not like the two elected ward members who stayed at home rather than be seen as actively working with the oppostion to find a solution to the problem . Sometimes you have to put politics to one side but they failed miserably on this score.
Looking back it has Cllr Nicklen written all over it. Residents and shop owners should never forget that he voted for the parking charges outside the towns shops only to do a complete u turn once he go knobbled.
Firstly I would like to express my delight on behalf of residents that this issue is at last being sorted out. We warned Thurrock Council right at the beginning that to introduce a bagged waste collection on the Frost estate with no consultation would not work, and if we had been listened to then all of these problems could have been avoided.
I am very disappointed that Cllr Nicklen and I were not at the meeting this week. The simple fact is, we were not invited or even informed that it was taking place.
I am very happy to put my hand up and admit that we ‘stirred up’ the issue on behalf of local people. If we had not done so, the two public meetings, the apology from Cllr Morris-Cook, and the changes back to a proper waste collection system might never have taken place.
I am genuinely pleased that, after the trouble which their actions unnecessarily caused, the Council are now making efforts to put matters right. Admitting that you got it wrong does take a degree of courage and I welcome that. I have also said this personally to Cllr Morris-Cook. I hope that the changes this week will at last draw this unfortunate episode to a satsfactory conclusion.
Cllr Phil Anderson, Stanford East & Corringham Town.
I write this as a joint reply to Cllr Andersons comments on this and the other associated article on the same topic.
A large piece of humble pie is the order of the day….. You were indeed invited to this meeting and so was Cllr Danny Nicklen. Cllr Nicklen has been silent on the whole issue, maybe just maybe he did get his letter but…………….
Stirring up residennts is not democracy in action, going to the press and not the portfolio holder is not democracy in action.
Cllr Morris Cook called the meeting to tackle the problem , took officers with her, listened to the residents and set about putting in a plan of action. That IS democracy in action.
It was refreshing to hear a Councillor admitting that she had “got it wrong” and making an apology at a public meeting, however that was the easy bit. Cllr Morris-Cook’s apology did go on-and-on and in the end sounded somewhat patronising, especially when she told the residents how wonderful and exceptional they were and she would be promoting them to the status of “consultants” with regard to future issues. The Frost Estate appears to have particular problems with waste collection that does not only involve bins/bags/boxes etc but access for the collection lorries and also a problem regarding garden waste resulting from the “size” of the residents gardens. She gave her word to the Frost Estate residents that the Council would continue with the 3 bin weekly collection but failed to inform them that the curent Administration, which she is part of, are proposing to collect some bins e.g. the green/grey/black bins once every two weeks instead of weekly with the blue recycling bins still being collected weekly but no mention of how often the brown bin[garden waste etc] would be emptied. Cllr Morris-Cook admits that people are “passionate” about their wheelie bins and when and how often they are emptied and that the Cllrs should listen and take account of the publics concerns, would she, therefore, publicly reply to the e-mail I sent her shown below:-
Re: “Bins vow: Weekly recycling remains” Thurrock Gazette Friday October 29th 2010. Your promise that “recycling collections will NOT go fortnightly – but non-recyclable collections [i.e. grey/green/black bins] could” I would make the point that the blue recycling bin is the least likely bin to create problems if it was collected fortnightly by virtue of its content i.e. paper, glass, tins etc all non perishable and recyclable. It is the content of the proposed fortnightly bins that will cause problems. Some grey/green/black bins will contain items such as soiled baby pampers, cat litter, dogpoo bags and other disagreeable and smelly items which if uncollected for a fortnight, especially during very hot weather, would at the very least create unpleasant smells and at worse could cause health problems. I ask that you and Cllr John Kent reconsider your proposal and if it is considered essential, as a means of cutting costs, that some bins would be collected/emptied fortnightly then the blue bin would be the most preferable. By the way no mention is made of the brown bin can you say how that bin fits in with your proposals?