Thursday, February 9, 2023

Labour leader slams “hysterical” Tories over booze zones

LABOUR leader cllr John Kent has slammed the Tory group for “officer bashing” over the decision to impose no alcohol zones in the borough.

The decision was made last week at council.

Cllr Kent’s comments come after an advisory group counselled the councillors to not play out their disputes in the local media.

Cllr Kent said: “There they go again. Another hysterical press release and another bout of officer bashing.

I had hoped the days of trying to ridicule council officers were over. Thurrock Council suffered in so many ways when, the then ruling. Conservative group was unable to take responsibility for it’s actions

If an officer get’s something wrong – and they will, we all do – then it should be raised it in private not through a press release.

On this occasion if the Conservatives believed the report on the DPPO to be inaccurate they had plenty of time to have it clarified before the meeting, they could have raised it at the meeting – but no, they chose to wait and do it through the press. I think that tells you all you need to know about their real priorities.

The Labour Chair of the Licensing Committee, Mike Stone, in fact proposed – against the recommendation of officers – that DPPOs should be introduced in four areas of Little Thurrock and Ockendon.

The Labour Group was happy to support the move because we know only too well the misery drink fuelled nuisance causes many residents and hope the DPPO will prove to be a valuable weapon in the Police armoury.”

9 COMMENTS

  1. If I were Cllr Kent, complaining that this issue is a private matter and the press shouldn’t be involved, the last thing I would do is talk to the PRESS.

  2. The problem with the Tories is that they have no credibility and it is purely little village politics. if the report is incorrect say something to those involved and sort it out. one thing can be said of Cllr kent he is at least trying to give leadership and without a weekly press release blasting the tories. This is not Benny Hill we are dealing with real issues. Tell the tories to grow up, and stop crying to mummy.

  3. How will theswe orders be a valuable weapon in the Police armoury? The Police didn’t want them and didn’t feel they were necessary. And the Comrade complains to the press about the T

  4. How will theswe orders be a valuable weapon in the Police armoury? The Police didn’t want them and didn’t feel they were necessary. And the Comrade complains to the press about the Tories complaining to the Press. The Labour party know enough about using the press. What did their parliamentary candidate do before backing Milibrain for the Labour leadership.

  5. Metacalfe aid in disability gaffe, tories complain about council officers, tories, tories, barmy tories. if the council ever changes back to a conservative council god help everybody. can we get some proper leadership, mature politics, i agree at least Cllr kent is providing a mature approach to politics locally speaking when needed about local issues like the airport, then shutting up when it is needed. if the tories believed that the report on the DPPO was inaccurate like kent said why didnt they check before the meeting, discuss concerns in the meeting and get things sorted out!!!! these so called officers may also be residents, with a vote, and lets hope they use it.

  6. As Abbie has said why go to the press now if he wants it to be a private matter? I have to admit to having been a Labour supporter back in 97 but my vote would NEVER again go to a party whoses members do nothing but try to make each and every one of us depend on the state, and unions and not try to help ourselves!!! Surely making an example of inadequate reporting by officers should be made PUBLIC? and not try to be swept under the carpet?

  7. it may well be that reason has left the building. we all work somewhere and in what workplace would it be appropriate for your boss or people you work with to go to the press each time you made a mistake at work. This is juvenile politics i guess people think that these officers licensing officers and the police intend to fabricate these reports and make changes because they have a hidden agenda and intention to undermine the conservatives!! lets get sensible about these debates. The problem is that once one side of the political spectrum goes to the press the other has to respond in the press. it is a vicious circle. Thurrock is the only place where the press don’t have to look for stories the politician call them up and give it to them. So childish.

  8. it may well be that reason has left the building. we all work somewhere and in what workplace would it be appropriate for your boss or people you work with to go to the press each time you made a mistake at work. This is juvenile politics i guess the conservatives must think that these licensing officers and the police intend to fabricate these reports and make changes because they have a hidden agenda and intention to undermine the conservatives!! lets get sensible about these debates. The problem is that once one side of the political spectrum goes to the press the other has to respond in the press. it is a vicious circle. Thurrock is the only place where the press don’t have to look for stories the politician call them up and give it to them. So childish.

  9. This LGC article titled ‘when in doubt, blame the officers’ makes the point that it clear that the conservative blame culture is it sees a ‘national sport’!!

    LGC Ruth Keeling 1 February, 2012

    Ministers have opened a new front in their fight to secure a council tax freeze across the country.

    Having appealed to councillors’ morality and warned them of imminent electoral punishment if they increase council tax next year, ministers have returned to the fail-safe option when stuck in a tight policy corner – a bit of public servant bashing.

    It began on Wednesday when communities secretary Eric Pickles admitted a number of council leaders had contacted him to express concerns about the financial viability of the government’s one-year freeze funding.

    “They seem to be divided into two,” he said. “Those that say ‘my officers tell me’ in the first sentence, and those that say ‘my officers tell me’ in the second sentence.”

    On the very same day local government minister Bob Neill wrote for Conservative Home: “Council finance officers may want to fill their town hall coffers,” he said. “Yet the last thing any councillor with his or her heart in the right place should want to do is to put up local taxes now. Instead, we need to provide real help now to families’ cost of living.”

    Officer-baiting has traditionally been a Conservative sport, but on council tax it appears the coalition is more solid than it is on other issues with Gerald Vernon-Jackson, vice chair of the LGA and leader of the body’s Liberal Democrat group, leading the charge.

    Speaking to an audience made up almost entirely of local government finance officers on Friday, he revealed that one of the jobs of elected political is to “is protect the people from rapacious council officers who always want to push the council tax as high as possible”.

    His almost-Dickensian description of finance directors brought a smile to the face of Mr Pickles as he walked to take the stage. “Your comments about rapacious finance officers warms the cockles of my heart and makes me realise the coalition is stronger than ever,” he said.

    Jokes aside, he went on to issue a stern warning to the many finance officers assembled before him. There was, he said, “a danger here of being involved in politics” in the way increases recommended were not breaching the 3.5% trigger for a referendum. This was, he warned, “a highly political decision” and, turning his ire on members, he said those heeding such advice “would be advised to move over and let their councils be run by the finance officer”.

    It is interesting that the attack on officers has come into play only since Conservative authorities told Mr Pickles where to put his money.

    Presumably, the secretary of state’s intention is to make it clear that no Tory leader would themselves propose or support a tax rise – it would have to come from “rapacious” officers full of sob stories about empty coffers and threatened services.

    Unfortunately, this train of thought ultimately leads to the conclusion that there are some Tory leaders out there – say in Cambridge, Surry or Peterborough – who are too feeble minded to have their own ideas or stand their ground.

    But I’m sure that’s not what Mr Pickles meant. End.

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