Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Labour: “Tories made an inept effort to mess up budget”

LABOUR cabinet members have reacted angrily to the Tories’amendments to the Thurrock Council’s budget for 2012/13.

The Tories put forward – and lost – a series of amendments at Wednesday’s full council meeting.

Speaking on Thursday (1 March), Cllr John Kent, Leader of the Council, said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing last night.

“A year ago the Tories forced through changes to the budget at a minute’s notice and they’ve tried the same again this year.”

In particular the Tories were suggesting the council could save an extra £3.7 million by reviewing its bus subsidy, its school bus funding and community transport.

Cllr Andy Smith, cabinet member for transport, said: “The subsidies we have for buses ensure routes which may not be ‘commercial’, but which are invaluable for many people, can keep going.

“Bus operators, understandably, only want to operate on routes and at times when they can make a profit. By putting our money in to support lesser-used routes we make sure those who do not have access to cars, still have access to public transport.”

He added: “Our home to school bus services are another invaluable community asset, allowing parents to know their children will get to school safely and on time – while they can get to work.

“This also cuts the number of vehicles in and around our schools, making the roads there safer.

“I can’t believe the Tories want to end these subsidies … but they obviously do.”

And Cllr Lynn Worall, cabinet member for Communities added: “TransVol provides an invaluable community transport service and although its name was not mentioned in the Tory amendment, have no doubt: it was the target of their swinging axe!”

She said: “There are thousands of people who rely on TransVol’s superb service. Its funding is already reduced as is every other charity and public authority, that can’t be helped at the moment, but Thurrock’s Tories apparently aren’t satisfied. They, apparently, want to swing the axe harder and slash even more from this over-worked service. I simply won’t have it.”

Cllr Kent concluded: “Last year the Tories managed to squeeze through their mealy-mouthed amendments. This year they tried to do the same, but members are not stupid. They saw how much wrath was stirred up last year; how much anger and hurt people felt when their jobs were put on the line with no notice – they saw through the emperor’s new clothes.

“Thurrock Council said ‘enough is enough’, we are not going to approve stupid, party-politicking, and pointless changes to the budget which have not had a moment’s scrutiny.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Could anyone confirm the rumours that some Conservatives actualy left before the end of the meeting?

  2. This behaviour from the conservative group is disgraceful, and can only be described as ‘dirty politics’ a few weeks ago the headline from the conservatives was ‘democracy must be seen to be done’, this week they are putting up budget proposals without any scrutiny.

    This is shameful conduct from the conservatives who have made it clear that they have no regard for the welfare of local residents or those that need the help of the council. Cuts to transvol, cuts to subsidies, cuts to thameside theatre, cuts to school budgets, cuts to anything that has any real value to local people. For goodness sake enough is enough, this party-politicking is pointless. Well done to Cllr Kent, Cllr Worrall for standing up to these bigots.

    Finally labour is showing some merit and backbone and giving local people a clear option come May. Dave Peterson it appears true, a number of conservatives left before the end. it appears it was a long meeting and they had better things to do than represent local people and talk about the issues that are important to residents in Thurrock. The rumour is that Cllr MacPherson and the usual conservatives ‘in waiting’ were amongst a number of tories to walk out- Shameful !!

  3. Did the labour councillor for Ockendon even make the meeting?
    Did he even give his appologies?
    No on both counts, same old same old Dave , you blog on the story you want heard, a bit like the labour party, “dont worry everyone just keepvoting for us and we will ensure you all live off benefits and handouts” when will they learn that you cant go on funding, if the monet aint there?

  4. Truth is out now on home to school denominational transport.. Tories want to cut it for Catholic and Church of England school children. At least they are honest.

  5. The bus subsidies will have to continue in Thurrock, after all with all the new houses being proposed in Thurrock and the closure of the Tec and no proposals to build any new infrastructure like Schools and Hospitals pupils will need to travel further afield for their education……………

  6. The problem with Thurrock Tories is their inept attempt in not explaining clearly exactly what their alternative budget proposals mean.

    Because of their failure to communicate, either by fault or design, it leves the door wide open for Labour to interpret the Conservative proposals whoever they want with no robust defence from Cllr Anderson and co.

    Labour launched their local election campaign this weekend – where is the tories campaign and election pledges for this May?

  7. It was only a week ago that we were told that Labour had presented their budget documents to the Tories, giving them less than a week to take it all in and come up with sensible objections/amendments where necessary. It was recognised then that a week wasn’t enough time to digest the information properly. It’s no suprise then that the Tories proposed amendments come across as badly thought out. I think they fell right into, what was a fairly avoidable, Labour trap. What they should have done is made clear they had insufficient time to come up with alternatives and instead issued a budget response in much the same way as the opposition does in Parliament. Instead, they come across as a touch inept and have awarded Labour the opportunity to have a pop at them.

  8. gary64 you are being rather kind.. inept is not the description i would give to these tory proposals. i would call them incompetent and without a shred of vision. When will these politicians remember that they represent the people? it is not about party politics but getting the best deal for Thurrock residents. At least Cllr Kent agreed to review some of their proposals and that shows at least some political maturity.

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