Sunday, July 21, 2024

Full Investigation launched into Titan Lorry Park (but it will be in secret)

COUNCILLORS have called for an internal investigation into the continuing saga of a controversial lorry park.

The Titan lorry park in West Thurrock has been at the centre of local feuding between residents, councillors, Thurrock Council officers and representatives of Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

Allegation and counter allegation have marked a bitter political debate, with “hints of corruption” which for many have dragged the reputation and integrity of the local authority into question.

At last nights meeting of the planning committee, the councillors led by chairman Terry Hipsey voted in favour of an investigation into all the circumstances surrounding the lorry park, an investigation led by the chief executive Graham Farrant and leader of the council, John Kent.

The debate over the park began badly for the councillors when they were told that a stop order couldn’t be issued because the site had been operating for more than four years, a significantly contrasting view to that issued by the Council’s Chief Executive and its planning chief just less than six months ago.

Labour councillor Gerard Rice appeared to compound potential officer embarrassment by revealing transcripts of a conversation by the Titan lorry park’s operators’ agent saying that the park didn’t start operating until August 2007, which contradicts the officers’ view put before councillors.

The council monitoring officer rejected this by stating that August 2007 was the date that the park officially opened.

Following his revelations, councillors reacted with a wave of condemnation.

Mayor Cllr Anne Cheale said: “I have real concerns here. The whole situation is a little mind-blowing. We need a more in-depth account of all this.”

Councillor Cheale also quizzed the legal officer to ask if there was a incident at the lorry park which lead to loss of life, who would be liable.

The officer replied: ‘That would depend on the circumstances.”

Tory Phil Anderson said: “We are attempting to get egg off our faces,” which prompted a rebuke from committee chairman, Labour’s Terry Hipsey, who said: “We purely acted with the best interests of Thurrock residents.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Will the ‘secret’ investigation also take into account the nine or more buildings on this site without planning and the fact that the lorry park is in a top tier COMAH site, was noticably absent from the enforcement report. Perhaps people should ask why the reticence to investigate what the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council have known for at least six months (or much, much longer) and to whose benefit a secret and ‘in house’ investigation will be. Sounds like a case of incest and lets keep it in the family I do believe. Not in the public interest is an overused and tired phrase that doesn’t wash. Especially as it is the public of Thurrock who have paid for the corrupt goings on and the public of Thurrock who are suffering with all the cuts to spending. Sickest of all it is the public of Thurrock who will be paying all over again for a whitewash. What was the expression used by John Kent in full cabinet , when it was brought it to his attention that Tory councillors sit in an office on the premises of this same company and vote on their landlord’s unauthorised lorry park (does anyone wonder what the vote was?). The same Tory councillors that have no planning permission to be there and sit on the planning committee with full knowledge of Legal services, voting on whether someone has to take a window out because it is an inch too big ………………………………’not on my watch’ was what you said. Well this very much ‘on your watch’ Mr Kent.

  2. So what you’re saying Donovan, the Tories in Thurrock have got an office on this companies site without planning permission and these same Tories sit on the planning committee at Thurrock council making decisions on the man on the streets planning. How can this be? Why doesn’t the Legal department do something about it? I have come to the same conclusion as you Donovan. What’s the use? Of the internal investigation. Why is John Kent doing nothing about it, why is nobody doing anything about it? Why are officers blatantly telling the public as well as members lies and nothing is done about it. I think it’s about time somebody or a body came in to Thurrock council and do something about this corruption and graft it is totally wrong

  3. just one question for everyone involved .
    Where are all the hundreds of lorries that use this truck stop going to park up if this facility is closed?
    Ask any lorry driver and they will tell you that Thurrock services are packed with “foeign lorries” and the residents around the globe works are up in arms about lorries parking up round their area (and i don’t blame them either).
    We are not talking about a picturesque village area here we are talking about and industrial area away from houses ect and a former power station site!!!!!
    Why all this fuss and expense and time wasting over this issue when there’s far more important issues in the borough to worry about.

  4. top tier COMAH site mgriffiths91 that means every nasty chemical in the world is inside that site together with 300 lorry drivers at risk a school 500 yards away and everybody who works down oliver road and stoneness road all at risk because they have no planning and therefore no regulations in the case of an incident how would the fire brigade the police and the emergency services get on to the site when the lorry park is not included in any contingency plan that’s why its important to have regulations in these matters

  5. Albert while i fully appreciate there are dangerouse chemicals on this site and lorry drivers are parked close to them ,having seen it with my own eyes on an episode of police intercepters(yes i know i’m sad lol) the police at least know were this truck park is and would also like to point out that while you using emotive language about the safety of the rest of the area and the school ect i would like to add to tis all them big petrol tanks of the Vopac site at the other end of oliver road and the fact that when they rebuilt the school they moved it nearer to this site not further away.
    I thorougly agree all the emergency services ect should be involved in continguincy plans ect and i would be very surprised if they haven’t been in contact however it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to access the site due to the massive sign they have at the entrance so it’s not as if they are hiding the fact they have a truck park there

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