Thursday, September 28, 2023

Labour councillor “steaming mad” at Tory proposals to close community college

GRAYS councillor Cathy Kent says she is “steaming mad” at proposals to close and sell off the Adult Community College for housing.

“It’s not just the college itself, it’s everything that goes with it,” said Cllr Kent.

“The Tories pushed through their proposal to close the college in Richmond Road and sell the land for housing without thinking of the thousands of people this will affect.

“Hundreds of people attend classes every day and there are all sorts of community organisations, from drama groups to art groups – even a short tennis club which will struggle to survive without the use of the college’s rooms and hall.”

“There is already a shortage of pre-school places in Grays, so this will make the situation even worse.

“I’m steaming mad that the Tories and their independent supporters put people’s lives on hold and want to deny children an early education just to make some cheap headlines, it’s unbelievable they could be so callous and thoughtless.”


  1. Well said Kathy, there has been no thought for the consequences for the community at all. I would urge all the students and their parents and carers and all of the parents of use the childcare facilities at the college to get in touch with their councillors to let them know they are not happy about this. Let’s hear from the community groups as well who have used the college for many years. The residents of the Richmond and Bridge Roads (and surrounding roads) also should be worried about what will happen to them if the land is sold off as planned to property developers.

  2. Why don’t TC put out the idea to public consultation about the Tory proposals, to see what Thurrock residents feel about it?

  3. JMW118 This is exactly what was proposed by cllr kent last week but the tories did not want to do this – probably think they knew what the public consultation results would be.

    Cllr Kent asked that they agreed to look at each item and then agree those that could be met – he agreed that some were good ideas and others just not workable. Would they budge? They were not for turning and Adult Ed along with the other public services were cut.

    The tories have had since last year to put on the table any proposals or changes to the budget – Adult Ed included.

    The budget that was on the table at council last week had been agreed by officers been through the whole of the scrutiny process and cabinet of which they were part of. If Gary and his fellow tories felt any decision was wrong they could have called the decision in. They did not call any in and they did not offer up any alternative budget. Until last Tuesday at 7pm!

    What they did to adult ed was wrong but if the thurrock residents think back to last year it was on the list of cuts that they were proposing – under the tories Grays Adult Ed was always doomed and the site for sale for more houses.

    This was all for headlines but lets hope it all comes back on them on May 5th. This could be Thurrock Tories – Poll tax protest moment. Lets hope so.

  4. Enquires made at Council appear to show that New College construction in South Grays would not be available until at least 2014. Therefore my concerns with Redundancies / Loss of Staff and costs of a new start up are valid. Couple this with the loss of the college for two years just adds to the problems. Time for a petition to save existing College as it is. The motion to close is costly; no savings taking into account closure and reopening effect on staffing costs and detrimental to the Community with a loss of facilities for possibly two years thus motion has no merit.

  5. it seems to me that the tory’s knew exactly what they were doing by pulling out their last minute (7pm) proposal. the least time you give people the chance to voice their concerns and express their feelings about such an important service to the community, the easier it is to get things your own way!!!! democracy???


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