Tories question value for money over Royal Opera House grant

THE THURROCK Conservatives have questioned what benefit Thurrock residents will see from the council’s decision to give the Royal Opera House £2 million in grants and loans.

The decision, taken at Cabinet last week, sees the Royal Opera House, who run the Production Park and in Purfleet, given £500,000 towards building a Costume Workshop. An additional £1.5 million will be loaned at commercial rates.

Leader of the Conservatives Cllr Phil Anderson said “The Royal Opera House facility in Purfleet is a great asset, but that doesn’t automatically mean we should spend scarce public money on it. The grant given to them alone is more than the entire rest of the voluntary sector in Thurrock gets put together.

“Labour don’t know whether this will create new jobs or how much those jobs are worth, so have no idea whether this is value for money compared to other options. When I asked whether there was any formal commitment that jobs would go to local people I got told ‘don’t worry about it’, which I suspect means ‘no’.

“Before spending money on projects like this, we need to be confident that they will give us more than just a warm feeling and that they represent value for money for Thurrock taxpayers.”

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