Cllr Mike Stone, Chair of Thurrock Council’s Licensing Committee, has responded to Cllr Tunde Ojetola’s claims following last week’s Licensing committee.
He said: “It is really disappointing that Cllr Ojetola is seeking to create a row where none exists.
He says himself that Thurrock Conservatives have been pushing for this service to be self funding for a number of years.
They had six years to address the issue and failed. It was left to us to sort the problem out. Ideally, licensing fees and charges would have been increased gradually, in line with inflation. That hasn’t been done and leaves residents funding a large shortfall.
All members agree that situation needs to be addressed – but the proposals that council officers came up with went too far, too quickly. Frankly the proposed fee increases for taxi operators were far too high .
No member disagreed with this and there was genuine consensus – cross party – that officers should look again at this issue and also consider, where possible, sticking with the current three yearly renewal period rather than moving to a yearly one.
It is a real shame that the local Tories feel the need to pull cheap political tricks rather than focusing on working together for the mutual benefit of all of our residents.”