Saturday, July 20, 2024

Labour leader slams Tory attempt to “re-write history”

THE LABOUR leader of Thurrock Council has slammed the Conservative groups attempts to ‘re-write history”.

Speaking after Wednesday evening’s Full Council meeting John Kent said:

“What we saw this evening was a breathtaking attempt from Thurrock Conservatives to re write history.

“First we had Cllr Rob Gledhill criticising the Council for the way we collect Council Tax. I have to remind Cllr Gledhill that, when he was a Cabinet member, Thurrock Council had the third worst Council tax collection rate in the country.

“We are now one of the best performing councils anywhere when it comes to collecting the Council Tax. If we had carried on at the Conservatives collection rate we would have lost £1.5m – equal to almost 3% on every single Council Tax bill.

“We then had Cllr Shane Hebb attempting to suggest that under the Conservatives Thurrock Council provided fantastic value for money!

“I know Cllr Hebb is relatively newly elected so may not be aware of the facts, but under the Tories Council Tax bills rocketed by over 20% at the same time they spent more than £1.8m on staff pay offs.

“In their last year in control they overspent the council budgets by over £4m and reduced the council’s reserves from £8m to less than £2m and were just four months away from going broke.

“By contrast under this Labour administration Council Tax has gone down, we have changed the rules so a cross-party committee of councillors has to agree any – so called – compromise agreements, delivered balanced budgets and restored the council’s cash reserves back to at least £8m.

“The independent Audit Commission has also issued an unqualified audit opinion on both the council’s “Value for Money Assessment” and on the financial accounts for last year – something Cllr Hebb’s and Cllr Gledhill’s Conservatives didn’t manage once in the six years they were running the council.

“I am the first to admit that we are still far from perfect but I know we are getting there and that’s despite all the hurdles being put in our way by the coalition.

“By any reckoning, Thurrock Council is in a far better place now and it has a positive and exciting future.

“There are issues, but we know what they are and we are dealing with them – something, sadly, it seems our short-sighted opposition cannot deal with or accept.”


  1. Cllr Kent is clearly riled that a unified Tory shadow cabinet, ably supported by newer councillors like Shane Hebb and Charlie Key, is making mincemeat of his cabinet member Phil Smith. This month he even stopped trying to answer the questions put to him, giving up and inviting a further point from Rob Gledhill!

    Coupled with Gerard “indeFENCEable” Rice and Comrade Keily, Abu Hamza’s personal representative on Thurrock Council, it really is clear that the administration is unravelling at a rate of knots.

    I love the desperate attempt to claim credit for the council tax cut, which is a direct result of a) the Conservative Government providing funding for a council tax freeze and b) the local Conservatives ammendments to his budget to provide for a small cut – which he vehemently opposed at the time. All this barely a week after he threatened to RAISE council tax!

    A hypocrite in office, but not in power?

  2. I hardly think the Comrade is in a position to accuse the Tories of not knowing the facts when the entire Labour party and its supporters seem to have had a collective amnesia attack about the 13 years they were in government.

  3. “There are issues, but we know what they are and we are dealing with them – something, sadly, it seems our short-sighted opposition cannot deal with or accept.”

    Labour do not deal with issues hence Cllr Aaron “Hamza/Diane Abbott” Kiely, The Rices who seem to be above the law and sticking up fences wherever they want, the regeneration of Grays which is going swimmingly and the decrepid nature of the State, not to mention all that fantastic town bulding thats not going on in Purfleet.

    On the plus side at least we are sliding even further into becoming a London Borough through our links with the ever glamourous Barking and Dagenham (two areas which Labour also ruined beyond belief).

  4. I think you’ll find that ALL political parties attempt to re-write history to show them in the best possible light and their opponents in the worst, it’s not just a Tory thing.

    NoVoice – You’re talking national Government with your comment about Labour’s duration of power. This issue is about local re-writing of history.


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