Sunday, July 21, 2024

Time for Labour to grow up over scrutiny committees says Tories

THE importance of scrutiny has been highlighted by Thurrock Conservatives ahead of the start of the new council year.

Leader of the Conservatives Cllr Phil Anderson said “There were no elections in Thurrock this year, and so like last year Labour still have a majority and will be running the council again.

“The role of the Conservatives in opposition is simple. We will bring ideas to the table to drive the council forward; we will support good ideas for Thurrock regardless of where they came from; but we will challenge what we think are bad decisions by Labour.

“The council has scrutiny committees which are responsible for this, and I have always been clear these should be chaired by the opposition – having Labour chairs is like marking your own homework.

“Labour leader John Kent often talks about wanting ‘grown-up politics’. It’s time for him to show he means it and give the key scrutiny roles to the opposition.”


  1. Lengthy investigations into two of his councillors. The heads of his childrens services walking out just before an OFSTED report is due. No houses being built and time for the accounts to be closed. What makes the Tories think the comrade wants to be scrutinised.

  2. Cllr Anderson does have a point. As Labour are in control of the council (by default re Baldwin and Keily) then chairing of scrutiny committees should be given over to Tories, UKIP and the Inds from East Tilbury.

    However as No Voice points out, I do not think the Labour group want to be scrutinised at all. They believe Thurrock belongs to their party and are probably disgusted at the thought of being criticised by the other parties/group.

  3. Can you just remind when the Conservatives had control of Thurrock ( under the no overall control) Did they give the chairs to the Labour Party?
    On Licensing Committee chaired by Tories Vice Ind (Tory)
    Performance and Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chaired Tory Vice chair Tory
    Planning Committee Chaired by Tory Vice chair IND (Tory)
    Public Protection Committee Chaired by Tory Vice chair Tory


    Slipt chair between labour and tories one is vice chair and other Chair apart from the planning committee which is both Labour.

    So Phil maybe you and your party should practice what you preach

  4. Grays88 – indeed – being awarded a Chair of a committee was a consolation prize for backbench Councillors for not being given a cabinet post – Chairs of Overview and Scrutiny Committees get extra allowances – awarding someone a chair of a committee also buys their loyalty to their leader as they chose who they want to be chair.

    The only reason why Garry Hague allowed a few Labour chairs of Overview and Scrutiny Committees was because he knew he couldn’t get enough votes to get all Conservative chairs so he did a deal with John Kent.

    The Conservatives never allowed Labour chairs of committees between 2004 and 2010.

    Now the Conservatives are in opposition they are crying like mewing infants that all the chairs of all the committees should be opposition Conservative Councillors. This has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the extra allowances that go with the positions.

  5. This Anderson chappy seems to lack awful or poor negotiating skills ?. Perhaps the conservatives would have been better off replacing him with someone within their political party who knows how to deal with other opposition politicians rather than have this lightweight puppet who will no doubt be flying off to some where safe in thurrock in an attempt to save his political bacon in next years local elections ?.

  6. I doubt he will hang onto Stanford East – rumour has it he has Anderson is looking at being the candidate for Orsett Ward as Mike Revell won’t be standing next year.

  7. I think the answer is cllr Anderson wasn’t a councillor, let alone leader back then. Is this a good idea? Yes. I think it should be written in the rules. And if people wish to complain about what happened under the last Tory administration, I understand the main culprit is a certain Labour councillor Hipsey…

  8. I hear Kent is taking over the education chair as well as being leader, in title anyway. Does this mean he’s cramming his pockets before he exits. Which committee is his wife on.

  9. Descamisados
    You certainly do come out fighting don’t it the fact that your group lost control of the council that upsets you so much?
    It’s quite amazing that like the government this group of individuals have to find some one to blame for everything, never us SIR
    Still you did give me a giggle ” who can we blame today ? Ah let’s blame some one that must of been gone for the past 3 years”
    If we were to have a visit from out of space they would certainly be educated if they to land in Thurrock . They would find grown Men still playing in the play ground, arguing over who going to play at being CHEiF

  10. Take a Look at history. The conservative leaderless coalition government have been in power for 3 years yet Thurrock conservatives haven’t been running Thurrock council for the same amount of time. So we shouldn’t really expect anything else from descamisados yellow or blue back doing the usual Tory buck passing statement and proclaims and wants us to believe it is just one persons fault for their local demise ?. May i suggest a look within the Thurrock Tory group and seek out the rot if you dare descamisados and work it out for yourself before the electorate do it for you !.

  11. Descamisados. Here’s a little riddle for you to solve. What has Surrey, an MP, a former prospective parliamentary candidate and a councillor all have in common ?. Join your dots up and solve part of the problem with Thurrock Tories.

  12. No political party should be heading the scrutinising committees, this should be done by lay people who have nothing to gain/lose from any decisions put forward.

    Cllr Anderson is correct in his analogy that Mr Kent chairing the committees is like marking your own homework but it would be no different if it was Cllr Anderson do this based on his own parties ideas.

    Yes both parties need to start growing up and stop mud slinging and start moving Thurrock forward instead of sitting on their hands and watching the place go to rat s***

  13. Shame really, Cllr Kent doing pretty good job as council leader but i agree with Lambo that chairs for O+S should be lay people. An idea whose time has come, perhaps.

  14. I can’t agree with lay people on scrutiny committees, there is no guarantee that lay persons would make any better decisions than Councillors and they would cop the flak should they make mistakes instead of Councillors. We elect people to represent us and make decisions on our behalf. Those elected persons must be accountable for their decisions, not un-elected lay people.


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