Thursday, May 30, 2024

Belhus councillors slammed for “turning backs on business”

WHILE THE young guns of Labour are out and about in the fresh air campaigning for the elections in May, the “old guard” continue to be loggerheads with their constituents.

At last nights council meeting, the deep rancour that surrounds the unauthorised lorry park at Howard Tenens in Stifford Road continues as a Belhus resident asked the leader of the council why the 347 residents had not received more support.

In a robust defence, the leader of Thurrock Council, cllr John Kent reiterated that the area was being used as an unauthorised lorry park and that two enforcement notices had been issued in relation to the site.

Campaigner Dee Lodge told the chamber that they were very disappointed with the attitude and actions of the three Belhus councillors: Wendy Curtis, Charlie Curtis and Sue Gray.

She said: “Howard Tenens could provide hundreds of jobs in the area and have done so much for the area. In the present economic climate, you would have thought Labour councillors would be fighting all they can.”

The campaigners praised the work of the three Conservative Ockendon councillors, Barry Johnson, Amanda Arnold and Lynn Carr, who were described as: “knights in shining armour for the people of Belhus.”

Councillor Arnold, speaking on behalf of the three councillors denied that they were interfering in a neighbouring ward for political purposes.

Cllr Arnold said: “We make no apology for assisting Mr and Mrs Lodge, and by extension the 347 residents who signed their petition. We have never made a statement supporting or opposing this application, and as councillors that is not our role.

This application had already been heard and decided when we were asked by Dee and Simon to offer assistance and guidance, which would enable them to navigate through the red tape of the planning system in order to appeal the TTGDC decision.

In order to advise them, we have spoken to Howard Tenens to ascertain the facts around this site:

“Howard Tenens have planning permission for the majority of the site. The comparatively small piece of land in dispute is rented to another company, therefore, if the planning application is unsuccessful, it is not Howard Tenens who will leave. Howard Tenens own the land and cannot be forced off to vacate it, unless through compulsory purchase, and it is disingenuous for anyone to suggest otherwise.

“347 residents who signed the petition headed by Mr and Mrs Lodge would rather that the lorries were not there at all, (as would the majority of residents across Ockendon and Belhus), but knowing that Howard Tenens cannot be evicted from the site over this application, have chosen to support the application and the benefits it will bring, such as a new entrance away from neighbouring properties, improvements to the woodland and recreation area, and HGV restrictions in Aveley village.

“Having spoken to Howard Tenens, a meeting for key residents has now been arranged so that they can put their concerns directly to the Group Property Director, and all the rumour and speculation can be put to one side. The residents deserve to be able to make a decision on such an important issue based on cold hard facts, not emotive statements.

“These residents, not one or two, but 347, feel that they have been cut adrift by their own councillors, who whether they personally support or oppose the application, could still have offered advice on the system and organised this meeting.

“Mr and Mrs Lodge are entitled to – as council tax payers and residents of Thurrock – access to an elected Councillor, were we supposed to refuse them that to spare the blushes of the Labour party?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank goodness for Amanda Arnold, Barry Johnson, Lynn Carr. Where would we be without these decent hard working Councillors. I for one would like to thank them for supporting the residents of Belhus, its a pity the Labour ward Councillors are unwilling or unable to learn from our knights in Shining armour.

  2. We as long suffering tenants who live, next to the Stifford Road in the Belhus ward, which is still badly affected by departures and arrivals of Eddie Stobart lorries and other polish lorries, 7 days aweek, such as one polish gentleman lorry driver who couyldnt find the right gear, and made his engine scream, this was at 0230hrs on a Saturday morning,it is nice to know that somebody on the Thurrock Council is willing to listern to long suffering residents, I am glad that, Amanda Arnold-Barry Johnson-Lynn Carr are helping us to resolve this issue with the Howard Tenens Yard, its a big big pity that the labour party let us down so badly in this ward of Belhus, I bet they will be asking for our votes very soon now, I have always voted Labour in the past, because they have always promised to help there voters, in this ward, but when it came down to helping us they, accused us of siding with the management of Howard Tenens, they also accused us all as Law breakers, and would have nothing to do with us, they even accused us of rigging the petition that 347 ward residents signed. I would also like to say a big Thank You to Simon and Dee Lodge for keeping this problem in the news, they deserve a medal.

  3. I would like to thank you Danny for your unwavering support and have no doubts that each resident who signed that petition feel exactly the same.
    Simon and I, Amanda Arnold, Cllr Charlie Curtis, and Cllr Wendy Herd had an Interesting meeting with the Managment of Howard Tenens just recently, Cllr Curtis was heard to say that he was not aware the petition was to have the Entrance moved away from the residents homes? I also heard him say that he would try to remove the Enforcement notices in time for the next hearing on May 10th. After his meeting with John Kent last Monday, I have now been informed at the SORA meeting by Cllr Charlie Curtis that the Belhus Councillors now have no control over the Enforcements notices and nothing can be done? How about a bit of support Cllr Curtis, which should have been on your agenda in the first place. Be assured our voices will not go away and we will keep fighting. The mins of the meeting will be available for anyone who would like them
    Deirdre Lodge

  4. I think it is a disgrace the way good old Cllr Charlie Curtis, who said some time ago that there isnt anything that he doesnt know about Howard Tenens and all the agreements, that were made he even tried to say that all the people in the Belhus ward were only imagining the problems with Howard Tenens, we said in the petition if he had read it, that we and Howard Tenens wanted the main gates moved away, from residents along Stifford Road, we even took the petition to SORA who said straight away, they wouldnt support anything illegal, we have now proved there wasnt anything illegal going on, does our gloriuos councillors apoligise, OF COURSE NOT, They will on niow say they have saved the day by getting the Enforcement notice withdrawn, you know you cant, dont you Charlie just more empty words, and by god your full of them, we should know, not one ward councillor as supported the people in the Belhus ward, we ahve been help and support from the Tory party, who gave there time to come over to help us, I know where my vote is going, not to the LABOUR party who I have voted for, over Forty years, I am one very dissappointed rate payer, I never fault I would see the day when three labour ward councillors, would turn there backs on the very people who voted them in, thinking they were going to make a big differance in out lives, SHAME ON YOU THREE SO CALLED WARD COUNCILLORS…

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