FACT NO 1. Labour leader John Kent is annoyed at the Tories playing the “merger with Barking and Dagenham” tactic.
FACT NO 2. The Tories used it extensively on the doorstep at the recent by-election in Stifford Clays.
FACT NO 3. Looks like quite a few residents are “buying it”
FACT NO 4. Looks like quite a few Labour councillors are concerned that even though there is an economic case; even though they share with many other councils, the Tories have found a political mantra that resonates with the Thurrock resident and voter and could threaten the slender Labour majority in May 2014.
The Conservatives have released the following statement regarding the announcement that Thurrock’s bin collection service is to be “placed under management” from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Cllr Simon Wootton commented: “It was good to see the Labour Leader admit that his administration was letting residents down on bin collections. But I was shocked to hear that his so-called solution is to move further forward with his back door merger with Barking and Dagenham. Less than a week ago Labour were accusing us of scaremongering over their Barking merger plans. Now they are going full steam ahead with handing over control of a service that affects every Thurrock resident. ”
Meanwhile, cllr John Kent has responded to shadow environment spokesperson, cllr Simon Wootton.
Cllr Kent said: “I do not know why Cllr Wootton seems incapable of grasping a simple concept without trying to make incomprehensible, disingenuous and inaccurate political comment.
“There is no merger – back door or front door and no Thurrock services are being “handed over” to another council to run. A new Head of Environment – currently working in Barnet – has been appointed, and we will share a very experienced Director with Barking and Dagenham.
Thurrock’s management policy has been praised far and wide, by the Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, among other high-profile Tories.
The question I want answered is: Where does Cllr Wootton suggest the £1½ million savings we are making by sharing management services with several other authorities should come from?