Grays Beach Park and Chafford Library: “Tories maths way off the mark” claims Labour

TOP Labour councillor, Lynn Worrall has hit back at the Tory firestorm of criticism over their handling of the closure of Chafford Hundred library and the debate over the “sale” of Grays Beach Park.

YT asked cllr Worrall to re-iterate what she said at council last week.

“The Tory fixation on Chafford Hundred is understandable, all four ward councillors are Tories.

But it is their complete lack of understanding and their inability to listen gives pause and may go some way as to explain why the council’s finances were in such a mess when Labour took over the administration a year ago.

Speaking at last Wednesday’s full council meeting, Cllr Ojeotola rightly said there is £40,000 available. No argument from us there. But if he believes that £40,000 will enable a new library in Chafford Hundred he is clearly way off the mark.

There is no way – and in truth he knows this – that we can hire a building, ensure it is properly secure, install computer systems and computers, pay staff, install shelving and all of the extras for anywhere short of £100,000 and probably more.

If it was Cllr Ojetolas way of mathematics that was used while the Tories were in power it will go some way as to explain what they overspent by £4 million.

To further add to this, to open up a new library we’d also need to take all of the books away from the Chafford Hundred campus, where currently the children have easy access to them, and put them in the new building.

I can quite understand why Cllr Ojeotola is making a fuss, I just wish that he would do it with some semblance of sense and the facts.

I have said time and time again that I am available to meet with him and his fellow colleagues to see if we can find and affordable way forward for Chafford residents and that offer still stands.

As for Grays Beach Park, I was little confused by Phil Anderson’s comments at Wednesdays full council meeting regarding Grays Beach Park.

According to him the Tories changes to our budget proposals made no reference to the park, and in a through the back door kind of way that is true. The way their amendment was written it implies they don’t want to privatise anything.

But as I pointed out to Cllr Anderson it was the previous leader of the Tory group that gave a lengthy spiel explaining what it was they wanted to happen under this amendment.

He said: ‘We believe there is a real opportunity to package up leisure related facilities at Thameside Theatre, the Museum, Grays Beach, community halls and outsource these to a specialist organisation or trust who really know what they are doing in terms of creating fantastic leisure opportunities for the local people’.

Now if ‘packaging up’ all of these services, including the beach, and outsourcing to a ‘specialist organisation’ doesn’t mean privatising or selling off I don’t know what does.

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