THURROCK Council is inviting top officials, ministers and councillors to the borough to discuss proposals for another Lower Thames Crossing.
The council’s planning, transport and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee agreed the move and the special sitting of the committee will be on Monday, 1 July.
Open to the public throughout, the meeting will be held in “select committee” style in the afternoon, with an open public session in the evening.
Details are still being finalised, but the committee agreed at its last meeting that hearing evidence from as wide an audience as possible and as many different opinions would help the council formulate its final response to the government’s consultation.
The afternoon session – from 2pm – will include discussions with experts and interest groups from inside and outside the borough. Among those invited are the Highways Agency, Department for Transport, MPs and senior councilors from areas affected by the proposals; Thurrock, Dartford, Gravesham and Medway.
At 7pm there should be a public meeting style discussion for residents, community groups and other Thurrock councilors who might wish to make a contribution.
The government is running a consultation on three proposed options for a new crossing. The consultation can be easily accessed through the council’s website, www.thurrock.gov.uk
Planning, transport and regeneration overview and scrutiny chair, Cllr Gerard Rice, said: “It is important that the council and local people have as much information as possible before they respond to the consultation.
“We must be able to say no to the three options and either suggest an alternative route or explain why a crossing isn’t needed.
“Simply saying no is not the way to go, we need a reasoned approach.”
And Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, added: “It seems like a great idea. We should ask civil servants and politicians to come here and explain the reasons they are support or objecting these options.”
Comments from local people would be welcomed and anybody interested in taking part in the evening public discussion session is asked to contact the Executive Assistant to David Bull, Director of Planning and Transportation (email email@example.com), so suitable arrangements can be made.