Friday, March 24, 2023

Tories on election warpath as they slam “Stealth merger” with Barking and Dagenham (and point the finger at UKIP)

THURROCK Conservatives have demanded an end to what they see as “the increasing level of joint management between Thurrock Council and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham”.

On Wednesday night, much to Labour’s exasperation, a motion put before Thurrock council on Wednesday asked the council to “affirm its decision of 28th November 2012 not to pursue Joint Management between Thurrock Council and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, and commit not to make any further shared management arrangements between the two authorities.”

Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson said:

“In November 2012 Labour made a proposal for Thurrock and Barking and Dagenham to move to a fully joint management team. This management merger between the two authorities was defeated by Conservatives and Independents, but since then they have quietly gone ahead with merging more and more services by stealth.

“A management merger with Barking and Dagenham would distract us from our huge change and improvement challenges locally and pull us away from our key partners in Essex and the Thames Gateway. It is opposed by local people who want their council to stay focussed on Thurrock, not become part of some East London conglomerate.

“Labour made it clear last night that their plan for a management merger is still very much alive. Despite the fact that 80% of our shared services are already with Barking and Dagenham, they refused to place any limits on further joint management. It is clear that a vote for Labour or UKIP is a vote for Thurrock increasingly run out of Barking town hall.”

The Conservative motion was defeated by Labour with the support of Aveley UKIP Councillor Robert Ray.

Before the motion, Labour councillor, Richard Speight put a number of questions to the council leader, John Kent about the relationship with Barking and Dagenham.


  1. Totally agree Ed, am sure the main headline in the Tory leaflets across Thurrock will be “Say no to the London Borough of Thurrock.” Scaremongering from desperate people.

  2. As I’ve said before, the average Council only saves about 1.8% of its budget by sharing services, which is a miniscule amount compared to what Thurrock Council needs to save over the coming years to balance its books.

    But I do think the Tories have a problem. Say they get to take over the Council in May? Are they going to say to all the senior managers currently sharing their time 50/50 across the two Councils (Thurrock and London Borough of Barking & Dagenham) that in future they’ll only get paid for 2 and 1/2 days a week? I can’t see the Chief Exec, assistant CEO, Borough Solicitor, et al hanging around for that. There would be a mass exodus of the top – ahem – talent. OR, are the Tories going to go back to paying these executives for 5 days a week? Why should they, since it’s been proven over the past few years that they can do the job at Thurrock on a part-time basis?

    Either way it’s a bit of a mess.


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