Conservatives question Labour version of events over Ponds Farm “No-Show”

FOLLOWING a statement issued by Cllr Andy Smith last week, Thurrock Conservatives are questioning Labour’s version of events over the decision by Thurrock Council not to attend the public inquiry into a proposed industrial development at Ponds Farm near Aveley.

Conservative leader Phil Anderson said: “I was told last week by Council Officers that the decision not to defend Thurrock’s interests at the inquiry was made with the full knowledge of the portfolio Holder Cllr Andy Smith and the Leader of Council John Kent. But for Cllr Smith to now turn round and say that the decision was “not agreed by any member” means that someone has not got their facts straight.

Cllr Amanda Prevost has done exactly the right thing as a local ward member for Aveley. She has gone along to the inquiry to represent the views of local residents and explain why they oppose this development. Decisions about the formal position of Thurrock Council are the responsibility of the Labour administration. It is wrong of Cllr Smith to attempt to to duck out of that responsibility or shift the blame elsewhere.

All that we are asking is that Labour give a proper answer to the question: ‘why did Thurrock Council decide not to be represented at the Ponds Farm public inquiry?’. If they aren’t willing to give that answer now, they will get a chance next Wednesday when Cllr Prevost asks the question formally in full Council.”

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