LEADER of Thurrock Conservatives Phil Anderson has criticised Labour and the Trades Unions for doing Thurrock down rather than playing it up.
Cllr Anderson said: “Recent press comments from Cllr. John Kent and the GMB union have been very negative about Thurrock and I wish they’d be more positive.
At the last Council meeting in December, members welcomed the adoption of the new Core Strategy that aims, in part, to create an environment where business will want to invest in Thurrock and will want to create jobs. This will provide employment opportunities for local people and regeneration opportunities across the Borough.
The Council should be positively encouraging this type of investment, and we won’t achieve that by doing ourselves down in the media.
What Cllr. Kent should be doing, and what we would be doing were we to be in administration, would be to see what we can do to help rather than moaning.
Where we can make a difference we should. Both parties agree on removing the toll booths at the Dartford Crossing – this would be a positive move for residents and businesses and, more importantly, it is constructive. We also agree on accepting the government’s offer of a Council Tax freeze which is a practical way of helping local residents financially in these tough times.
Perhaps Labour and the Unions should remember that our Borough is growing because people choose to live here. Many local residents aren’t from Thurrock originally but have chosen to make their homes here and they’ve done that for a reason. There is a good sense of community around the Borough and that is something that can’t be underestimated. A recent report commissioned by the Halifax noted that Thurrock is in the top 25% of places to live in the country – better than York, Herefordshire, and Cambridge. We should be celebrating that, not criticising the place we are supposed to be representing.
No-one is going to deny that times are tough, but that is a national and international problem which Thurrock Council is not going to be able to solve alone. We can however do our bit, and that involves resisting the temptation to run our area down and helping people think of Thurrock in a positive light ”.