Council leader responds to Tory criticism on alcohol zones

COUNCIL LEADER, cllr John Kent has put the record straight over the consultation process regarding alcohol free zones.

Cllr Kent said: “There are a number of points in Cllr Kelly’s statement that require clarification.

First and foremost, I have not gone back on my word, in fact it is partly because of what I had promised that things were delayed over a weekend. I had said this consultation would be in the clearest English and in the first draft there were some glitches, both in clear English and in ways to navigate through the consultation, which covers several different areas.

There were also issues about putting the maps online which needed resolving over the weekend. That was done and the consultation went live on our website on Monday morning and runs until 18 December, the standard length of time for such a consultation. It’s easy to access by clicking on the “Consultations” link on the home page (www.thurrock.gov.uk).

The link Cllr Kelly was sent was to a draft version of the consultation and not supposed to be available to everyone.

As far as different “formats” are concerned. I am assured that council officers have already taken telephone calls on this issue and arranged personal meetings with those who called. A number of meetings have also been set up and officers have already agreed to meet local people (at the Flowers estate) and the community forum at Little Thurrock.

In addition the council will be issuing a press release on this consultation for next week’s papers as is usually the case.

I understand only too well how frustrating the process for implementing DPPOs can be. It took almost two years of painstaking work to establish the DPPO in my own ward in Grays – and that order was even supported by the police!

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