OBSERVERS have seen council leader John Kent grow into the role as council leader over the last eight months. Many saw the Labour leader’s speech at the opening of the Royal Opera House last week and wondered whether he had loftier ambitions in the future. However, YourThurrock wanted to speak to the leader about more immediate issues.
John reflects on the last eight months: the economic condition; staffing in the council and the economic challenge ahead.
We spoke to John about the performance of his portfolio holders; his relationships with the two Conservative MP’s which some Labour insiders feel is a bit too cosy and whether. like the Conservatives, Labour are performing too many u-turns.
“English councils are learning the details of cuts in central funding over the next two years.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the average decrease for 2011/12 would be 4.4%, with no local authority losing more than 8.9%.
Mr Pickles promised a “new democratic settlement”, with more rights being devolved to local authorities being set out in the Localism Bill”
But with no Budgets how could a Local Community Buy its local Library / Pub and does Tilbury really want to buy the Anchor?