Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Comrade Val slams Thurrock Tories “Who have no idea what it’s like to live in a council house”

A WAR of words has broken out between Thurrock Labour and Tories over the growing problem with housing conditions in the borough.

Combative portfolio holder, cllr Val Morris-Cook has gone on the front foot and written a letter to the press defending the record of the council.

However, in the middle of the letter, cllr Morris-Cook accuses the Tory councillors. Cllr Morris-Cook said:
“These tenants’ complaints are being directed to the media at the same time as the department is informed. They’re being directed by Tory councillors who have no idea what it’s like to live in a council house and who stir up more difficulties instead of working with the department to improve their constituents’ lives.

Ockendon councillor, Lynn Carr has replied.

Politically motivated complaints about housing issues are par for the course and to be expected, but it has recently gone too far – I want to make some facts clear.

In January, because of the awful weather, our housing department dealt with 5,700 repair requests. Of those 5,700, there were around 30 complaints – half of one per cent.

This is usual these days since we ended the abysmal and incompetent Tory Morrison contract that only the Tories thought was a good idea – they didn’t listen to us and they didn’t even listen to tenants.

Tories in their comfortable homes think they know best, but as we know one dissatisfied tenant is one too many, these figures do not tell a story of a department in crisis.

Much the same applies to our Transforming Homes programme. Over 90 per cent of tenants whose homes have been involved so far have said their satisfaction rates “fair”, “good”, or “excellent”.

In February, the figure was 97 per cent “good” or “excellent”.

Not the story of a department in crisis.

Thurrock Council is providing its tenants with new kitchens, new bathrooms, new wiring and whatever is needed to ensure our tenants have the best, and we are spending £68 million on our homes to rectify the issues caused by over a decade of neglect.

Not the story of a department in crisis.

Thurrock Council is among the first – if not the only – authority in the country to dedicate money, £2 million, to eradicate damp and mould from its properties; Thurrock is already delivering this.

Thurrock is also leading the country in creating a company, Gloriana, that will build new and affordable homes for local people.

Not the story of a department in crisis.

In addition, Thurrock is ensuring new council homes are built for local people. We have promised 200 a year for five years and we are delivering on that already.

Then there’s the issue of the bedroom tax. Thurrock Council has worked with dozens of families who suddenly found themselves in financial peril because of the benefit changes, helping them to “down-size” and not fall foul of the law.

Not the story of a department in crisis, but one of a department and a council determined to ensure its tenants have some of the best homes in the nation.

Yet what are the newspaper headlines saying? One tenant is not happy. Another tenant has moaned or had a problem. Why are we focusing on this alone?

These tenants’ complaints are being directed to the media at the same time as the department is informed. They’re being directed by Tory councillors who have no idea what it’s like to live in a council house and who stir up more difficulties instead of working with the department to improve their constituents’ lives. Headlines ahead of health is their mantra.

That was made plain at the council tax and rent-setting council meeting when all they did was to try and delay Gloriana and the building of new homes – don’t they want new homes affordable for local people? Obviously not.

They constantly go straight to the media with housing complaints – within minutes of a complaint being made to the council. This doesn’t speed up reaction time, if anything it slows it down as staff who should be dealing with the problem are kept busy trying to look at the history and liaising with the communications team.

While the council works to make people’s lives better, it seems clear that Thurrock’s Tories are working to return to their six years of neglect and laziness.


  1. That’s a pretty infantile rant if ever I saw one. Dear old Val appears to mix facts with spin and propaganda and then presents this as truth while venting her spleen. Time to retire Val.

  2. I think Val Morris Cook has a short memory, was it not two years ago that the Labour run council brought my mould campaign into the political arena even though I had constantly implored them not to do so, why after all the bragging on how well TBC are doing is she complaining that it is political. Does she really believe that those tenants who are prepared to voice their views are politically motivated!! I think your bickering does not serve you well.

  3. I know of plenty of current and former Thurrock Conservative Councillors who have lived in Thurrock Council properties. Perhaps vacuous Val is upset with the attacks and media coverage from the Conservatives. This rant smells of desperation.

  4. it really makes me chuckle to see Tories crying crocodile tears about council houses,its like labour politicians moaning about the price of caviar.

  5. Come on Val Morris-Cook where’s your reply to this honest, well grounded, feet on the ground Councillor Lynn Carr asking you a question to detail your own living accommodation. If you throw insults at people for which you have expect to have to climb down from your ivory tower on your own little planet and join us MINIONS (do check out the meaning of minions on Wikipedia) Incidentally, I too own my own home in Thurrock which is an ex Council property, but brought up in a Council property, I also have dedicated my time voluntary in the community in particular fighting for Council Tenants local to me for the right for them to live in a decent standard of living but I’m sure in the kind of home and location that you live in yourself you don’t encounter such experiences as damp and mould. Oh well climb back up your tower and look down on us minions…but check out the meaning and ask yourself where the power is cause it’s sure not at the top of the tower!

  6. I do like the way Val talks about building new council houses and the money involved in that as though it was her and her Labour colleagues that personally provided the money.

    The Labour party did nothing about rebuilding council housing stock in 13 years in Government. It must be like trying to swallow a pane of glass sideways to her and her Labour luvvies to have to admit that it is a Tory government that has enabled councils to now do this.

    Labour the party of the people. No council houses, no referendum, low wages for all especially the poor. I do hope they never turn on the people, we’ll be digging mass graves.

  7. Tez, the work that you have been doing for the minions is commendable, sadly this Labour run council feel we have no right to complain. I note in this article Val has complained that tenants are going to the media with their complaints and not giving repairs time to act. As we all know on here that my condition is terminal through inhaling the Toxic mould from my property which I have had in my bedroom ceiling since 1995 and still have. I would like to point out to Val Morris Cook that I had a meeting with the Head of Services in march last year to discuss the mould in my bedroom and a year on I have got no where, how long does she expect a tenant to wait!! Going through the repairs system is something to be desired, you have to push it to a stage three complaint before action is taken and then the works carried out are sub standard. New tenants moving into void properties are finding that they are now also living with mould, what a surprise. I find her comments to Lynn Carr offensive, Cllr Carr has over the years fought for her residents and yes she maybe a Tory but let’s look at what our Labour councillors have done for their residents, we are ridiculed, shown contempt, attacked physically, spread malicious roumors that are untrue about tenants, and worst of all they have no regard for the well being of their residents, especially our children who are made to live in appalling conditions. I have no political views, but over the years working alongside this Labour run council has opened my eyes to the reckless and foolish attitude they hold. What I say, give us more Lynn Carr’s.

  8. Snakebiteuk, Thanks for your comments. I know some of the struggles you have had and continue to have with Thurrock Council, I sat and took minutes for you when a Thurrock Council officer attended your property on 7th November 2013. It saddens me to know that this same officer requested that the minutes of his visit be changed the quote from him was “In order to help him help you” he wanted particular wording amended to suit him even though it was I recall contradictory to what was said. it appears that this current Labour run Thurrock Council have done very little if anything at all to resolve your issue, but continue to send more TC representatives around to your home. The amount of money this council wastes by repeat visits from surveyors, and other officers speaks volumes. I’m sure if this money was calculated the council could have built some new homes. Your case is not an isolated one, I hear time and time again about endless repeat visits. This out of touch person making unfounded comments quotes that out of 5,700 calls there were only 30 complaints which elates to half of one percent what she fails to advise is that when you do ring to complain Thurrock Council themselves decide whether your complaint is logged as a “Complaint” or a “Concern” This happened to one of the tenants I’m involved with. So it does not take a lot of working out that they fiddle their own KPI’s (Key performance Indicators). It also happened to myself when I rang and specifically asked to raise a complaint, when I rang to chase up what had happened to my complaint I was told that it wasn’t a complaint it was a concern. I dug my heals in and asked them to play back the conversation where I had said “complaint” not “concern”. They closed the concern and raised it as a complaint. Clearly people contacting Thurrock Council to raise a complaint should have their wishes honoured and feel comfortable that the complaints procedure is followed. Oh and Val Morris-Cook it you would like to dispute that this actually happends, I put this to the Director of Housing at a recent councillors surgery and had it confirmed straight from the horses mouth! (No pun intended)

  9. I’m wondering if the last comments made are of a parrot, I have heard this squark before on your Thurrock, am I right that parrots have a lot of mouth but very little brain.

  10. In response to Rocket1 I’m fortunate enough to have been in a position to own my own property. I take pride in helping those who are not so fortunate and have no other option than to live in Thurrock Council properties, I find it uncharitable for your approach to think that people are all in a financial position to “buy their own home” and clearly you demonstrate a two tier society of “Home Owners” and “Council Tenants” Myself, I view everyone as equal and that means that people should not be bullied due to their poor living conditions. Perhaps when your comfortable on your perch you would like to aquaint yourself with the Landlord and Tenant Act.as Berty Bassett would say…It takes allsorts!

  11. someone else might say,beggars can’t be choosers,if you were paying the market rent you might be justified in moaning constantly.

  12. Well said Cllr Lynn Carr (who always puts her money where her mouth is!) I would love to know where Val Morris-Cook resides. Another champagne Socialist I bet! Having been helped tremendously by Cllr Carr in the past, I cannot fault this wonderful, compassionate and caring lady. She is a credit to the Conservative party and indeed Thurrock Council. And this is from someone who has never been interested (and is remains uninterested) in politics. Cllr Carr puts her heart and soul into what she believes in – there are no frills – what you see is what you get. Can we say the same for all pearls and no knickers Val?

  13. Val Morris-Cook, what a twat??? Do you really not research your spiteful comments before publicly stating them? If you did you would know that Cllr Lynn Carr was brought up in a council house and lives in an ex council house now lol!! What do you get paid for, as you cannot even perform the most basic of sarcastic comments. If you even took the time to listen to anyone that Cllr Lynn Carr has helped you would know that what you see is what you get and for me and every resident of South Ockendon that knows her and has been helped by her in the past, we all know that she is worth her weight in gold and more. If we had more Cllr’s like her, what a successful and wonderful world we would live in. Unfortunately people like you think it is ok to act as the school ground bully. Grow up and do something useful like resign over your spiteful and incorrect comment or grow a pair and take a leaf out of Cllr Lynn Carr’s book after publicly admitting your error and apologise to her!

  14. Rocket1 your comments are rather tiresome. If you have an opinion about my life, please raise your hand- Now do us all a favour and put it over your mouth.

  15. Should a Middle Class Chafford Hundred dwelling champagne socialist with her pretentious personalised number plate be lecturing on council housing? Does she still dress like a North Korean in the Council Chamber?


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