Saturday, September 30, 2023

“Answer the question on PCSO’s!” demands Tory crime councillor

THE SHADOW Conservative councillor in charge of public protection has demanded that the Labour portfolio holder come clean over staffing for PCSO’s in Thurrock.

The call comes after an angry exchange between the two councillors at last weeks full council meeting.

Shadow cabinet member for public protection,cllr James Halden said: “The Labour council has laid out a plan to cut £230,000 out of community policing. While Cllr Rice tried to duck the question by citing the coalition cuts but the Conservative group is only interested in Thurrock, right here right now!”

“Cllr Rice is not in control of his brief because he won’t accept that he has broken an election promise by cutting the PCSO’s but he simply blames the government for his lack of action.”

“The Conservatives funded the PCSO’s continuously because we acknowledge that a visible police presence is essential and one of the key things people look for when they ask if they are getting value for money for their council tax. If we as a council will not support the PCSO’s match funding then we must make a provision so there is a value for money visible police presence in Thurrock.”

“Labour council leader John Kent said in a spring 2009 leaflet that taking money away from PCSO’s would “be a daft idea that will have a negative impact on every part of Thurrock” – I must say that the Conservative agree with him!”

“A conservative administration will acknowledge that a strong police service is a important mark of tax payers getting the basic and fundamental defence to their community and property that they deserve and thus we back PCSO funding for 2011/2012.”

At the meeting, portfolio holder, Gerard Rice said: “The key funding cuts come from a coalition government that is taking £55 million from Essex Police. That could mean 400 police officers from the streets of Essex.”


  1. Cllr Halden is right to be concerned about Thurrock and so does every councillor and resident living here. Cllr Halden says in the interview that Cllr Rice isnt in control of his brief well as far as i can see Cllr Halden doesnt understand the brief. Cllr Rice has no option but to make cuts in his portfolio as does every member of the cabinet.

    He is playing politics by trying to get people to take their eye off the real issue and that its the cuts that have been forced on Thurrock by the Conservative led Coalition government.

    Nobody would wants to see a cut to the PCSO’s but the extra money is not there, they couldnt be funded from the reserves because when they were in charge they spent all the money. Thurrock Coucil’s support for PCSo was started under Labour so it would not be a cut they took lightly. This level of cuts mirrors those up and down the country.

    He would do well to remember that since Mr Cameron took over at the helm Thurrock council has had in the region of £14 million slashded from its budget. You cannot take this amount of money out of the budget and not have deep cuts to services. Only as time goes on this year will the full impact of the cuts be felt by the residents in Thurrock.

    Of course the Conservatives were able to support the police with the funding for PCSO’s up until this year and Cllr Kent would have said that any cuts would be daft.

    Why… because there was a Labour government up until last May and they was’nt slashing public services like his government is doing. Yes we all know there needed to be cuts but they are too deep and too fast.

    My advise to him is write to his MP Jackie Doyle Price and complain about this years cut of £10 million cuts to Thurrock council. Only with an increase in the funding Thurrock Council recieves will you see the council reinstating funding of this level for funding to PCSOs.

  2. It does make me smile when I see the “Cuts are too deep and too fast” line. Nobody ever mentions that the spending under Labour was too steep too quickly! The fact is that, under Labour, the country was living beyond its means and all the ‘investment’ was actually borrowing. As hard as it may seem now, we don’t have the money to fund the services we had before. There is going to have to be a very tough realignment of public services to match the budget that is now available. I suggest that, if there is any complaining to be done, you address your letters to a certain Mr Brown of Kircaldy.

  3. Gray64 i cannot say i agree with your views here.

    In case you did not notice we were in a world recession and one very much caused predominatley by fat greedy bankers, those same bankers that Cameron and Clegg promised to clamp down on only to give them a free reign to pay themselved great bit bonuses while you and me suffer and our services local services are cut.

    Labour did in fact recognise the needs for cuts but their plan was to do this over a longer period, this would mean that our public services including our police and fire service would not be facing the level of cuts that are currently being imposed on them. Dont even start me on the broken election pledges around protecting childrens centres, education and our treasure the NHS.

    I like your words realignment isnt that just another way of saying ‘CUTS’. Shame the ‘realignment’ cuts have not been fair across the board, Labour councils have taken the biggest hits with the Conservative run councils facing average cuts of 3% of their grants.

  4. Oh boy, you really have bought the party line! The finances were pretty dreadful before the recession, we were already spending way beyond tax receipts. The crash just brought it all home to roost a lot quicker. It is true that some banks were conducting themselves appallingly but you have to remember that it was by no means all Banks and it wasn’t every Bank that needed to be bailed out. Blaming just the Banks for our current situation is a little off beam. To constantly use the word cuts is also inaccurate. If you are spending £150 when you are only earning £100 then you don’t make a cut to your spending you bring it back into line with your earnings. You don’t have the extra £50 so how can you ‘cut’ it?
    As for election promises, if you believe those then you are doomed. All parties are guilty of flagrant breaches of their promises and it makes me just as mad as it does you. The only way that will ever change is if election manifesto’s are forced to become legally binding contracts between the Perty seeking election and the electorate.

  5. And here i agree with you – all parties should be made to live up to there election pledges and should be held to account by the communities they represent.

    I like your only spending £100 and not £150 if that is all you have got – shame Thurrock Tories did not live by the same rule. They overspent in the region of 2 million year on year and were only 10 months away from bancruptcy when Labour took over last May. If they had been a bit more prudent the cuts would not be as severe and we would not be seeing the cuts to the PCSO, which takes us back to the start of this article.


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