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Monday, May 27, 2024

Thurrock Conservatives pleased with progress on budget

THURROCK Conservatives have welcomed the inclusion of some of their ideas in the latest round of budget proposals revealed at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, but are demanding that the Labour administration look again at proposals to cut community policing and raise council tax.

Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson said: “for the first time in many years the opposition have put positive ideas for the budget forwards at an early stage in the process. I was pleased to see on Wednesday that as a result, at least some of our ideas are being accepted. This shows the kind of opposition politics that I want to see for Thurrock: tough but constructive, with a willingness to work together where we agree even as we strongly oppose where we don’t.

“One area where we can’t agree is Labour’s proposed cut to community policing. We knew that continued match-funding of Police Community Support Officers was in doubt, so the Conservatives went direct to the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston to find out whether the scheme could continue in Thurrock. I’m pleased to say that we have obtained that commitment, and in the light of this the council should definitely continue to fund our half of the deal. Our PCSOs have built up years of detailed local knowledge, and this would be totally the wrong time to be losing up to 14 uniformed officers off Thurrock streets.

“The other area Labour need to look at again is their proposed council tax rise. The government are offering us half a million pounds if we freeze council tax, but Labour are proposing to refuse this and instead take an extra million out of council tax payers’ pockets. The Conservatives have always been the party of low taxation, and this is doubly important at the moment when so many households in Thurrock are feeling the squeeze. I can’t look Thurrock taxpayers in the eye and demand a penny more in tax until I am convinced that every last penny of waste and inefficiency in the council has been eliminated.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. No other local authority in Essex pays for their PCSOs.

    Only Thurrock has to pay to get the same number of PCSOs that other policing areas like Basildon and Thurrock have.

    For political reasons Thurrock Council has unnecessarily continued to give Essex Police hundreds of thousands of taxpayers cash every year.

    Before the roll out in Essex of community police teams the extra funding given to the Police did fund extra PCSOs in Thurrock.

    But then with the Essex wide roll out of Community Policing teams around 2006 (if my memory is correct) other areas in Essex had the number of PCSOs increased to the same level as Thurrock. The only difference being Thurrock continued to give money to Essex Police.

    In 2009 the Conservative group at Thurrock Council did consider cutting the money it gave to the Police but due to the Labour campaign to ‘Save the PCSOs’ they continued to give more tax payers cash away.

    In 2010, with Labour controlling the Council, it was Labour’s turn to consider cutting funding and it was the Conservatives turn to campaign to ‘Save the PCSOs’ and come the budget in 2011 Thurrock Council continued to pay money it didn’t need to pay.

    Now in 2013, at last, this funding is being cut, but over the past four years, due to Labour and Conservative politicians playing political football with this issue £1 million of Thurrock Taxpayers cash has been paid for PCSOs that other local authorities get without having to pay a penny extra for.

  2. second paragraph should have said: ‘Only Thurrock has to pay to get the same number of PCSOs that other policing areas like Basildon and Southend have.’

  3. Ed, you appear to be wrong on this front. A number of other councils in Essex match fund PCSOs – mostly on a smaller scale than Thurrock, because it’s mostly smaller councils doing it.

    The Essex police budget for 11/12 shows £1.2 million expected in match funding contributions. This is a significant part of £3.8 million expected for the year in public authority contributions.
    http://www.essex.police.uk/authority/pdf/budgetbook1112.pdf – page 10

    That’s approximately 5 times what Thurrock pays for it’s PCSOs, suggesting around 50 match funded PCSOs elsewhere in Essex.

    The police budget for 12/13 unfortunately doesn’t breakdown the figures in quite the same way, but shows no budgeted reduction in PCSO numbers year on year http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/20120801-Budget-Book-2012-13.pdf – page 2

    You could FoI it if you wanted to confirm it but I can’t find any press reports of councils ceasing match funding. Brentwood, Maldon, Uttlesford and Castle Point had 4 each, Epping Forest 6.

    Am happy to take corrections if you have more info?

  4. Dear Phil – good Mr Anderson,
    Can I jog your memory back to when labour took over thurrock council which was half a million pounds from bankruptcy when Garry Hague was in charge . Have you forgot about that with your robust stance at looking at other people’s budget proposals

  5. Mike
    I do realise some of the comments made on here sometimes by myself seem quite childish and insulting but what you have to remember mike, when members such as Anderson routinely make comments purely aimed at political gain and out and out untruths in his snide subtle manner he must be expected to receive some of the same back instead of crying and complaining to you about these comments I mean you have only got to look at him to see he has not smiled in twenty years, life isn’t serious 24hours a day perhaps if the gentleman would lighten up a bit he might even see the funny side of these comments because if he thinks people are having a laugh at his expense I would say to him and his fellow colleagues are having a laugh at the expense at thurrock residents 24/7 so I will try once more if he doesn’t like the heat in the kitchen at least eat something while your in there

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