Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Thurrock Conservatives announce plans for “meaningful co-operation” with Labour

The Conservative Group Leader on Thurrock Council has announced details of how his party would create space for political opponents to have a meaningful role if they assume power on May 25th.

Cllr Phil Anderson said: “With neither main party having enough seats to take automatic control of the Council, the electorate have made it clear that they want us to put political bickering aside and find ways to co-operate in the best interests of Thurrock. We have been looking hard at how we can achieve this, and today I am pleased to announce that a Conservative administration in Thurrock Council would invite opposition Members to chair all five of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees. This ensures that positive ideas from all sides can go through to Cabinet for proper consideration, and also provides a clear route for challenge where the administration could do things better.”

“Labour went part way towards this last year, and it worked well in the areas it was tried. Inviting the opposition to chair Overview and Scrutiny allows the talents of Councillors from all political persuasions to be employed for the benefit of our Borough. I believe that people want to see politicians co-operate as well as criticise each other when necessary. Our plan for Overview and Scrutiny achieves this, and I challenge Labour leader Cllr John Kent to sign up to the same commitment before the full Council meeting on Wednesday.”

The five Overview and Scrutiny Committees cover: Children’s Services; Health and Wellbeing; Planning, Transport, and Regeneration; Cleaner, Greener, Safer; and Corporate affairs. Labour are currently proposing a mixed chairmanship, where some committees are chaired by Members from the same party as the administration they are scrutinising.


  1. About time too! This indicates an approach with a greater maturity in the Tories than seen in recent years, a key improvement suggested for a while was that the opposition should chair scrutiny panels but it was only introduced under Labour, so I’m glad to see the Tories sign up to this. Developing this further than Labour have to enhance scrutiny should work well. It’s also a massive opportunity for the Tories – if they are willing to play the “long game” and once again demonstrate they can use power responsibly and fairly in Thurrock the chairs of scrutiny are a great way to do it. Certainly during recent months both parties havent worked well, proposals from such as Grays Beach Park just rubbed Labour up the wrong way, so hopefully greater consensual working together could become more of a reality if this type of approach is brought forward. What I like about the statement above the most is there is no malice within it – so many statements on here from the Tories have come across that way in recent months. Fingers crossed!

  2. Labour have a good Team in John Kent and Val Morris – cooperation however will be the way forward whoever gets in on 25th May. End tit for tat and everyone I know regardless of Party politics were appalled at Budget games at last moment. There are too many issues facing this Borough now. Those that work together will eventually inherit this Borough – personal thoughts. To quote a ConLib-Dem phrase “We are all in this together”!

  3. Common sense approach to politics, lets just hope it can be maintained by all involved no matter who takes control tomorrow.

    The electorate of Thurrock are fed up with the party politics that have been taking centre stage in the borough whilst everyday issues are put on the back burner.

    Here is hoping for a cohesive council that will start to tun the area around


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