Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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"The only way is Essex!" says deputy Tory leader

THE Deputy Leader of Thurrock Conservatives tabled questions to the Labour Leader of Thurrock Council last week on the subject of a “joint economic board with Southend council”, and how this idea has far greater benefits than Labour’s old plan to share services with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Councillor James Halden outlined his parities view of leading Essex, not following London. Cllr Halden said: “Labour’s idea of shared services with Barking and Dagenham offered very few benefits – after all, we have nothing in common. However this new idea of working with Essex councils is excellent. We can be in a position where we are shaping massive transport, regeneration and jobs bids, opposed to simply following everyone else.

"This is because we will be at the heart of economic decision making across much of the Thames Gateway area, rising Thurrock’s profile at the negotiation table and giving us clout in the wider region.

I have pledged to roll up my sleeves and lobby Essex and wider colleagues with the administration to get this done. While I will be asking many questions to ensure that the people of Thurrock are made fully aware of what is proposed and that they have full democratic power over their local government, I think that we are moving in a cross party manner towards Thurrock taking its rightful place as an economic powerhouse with South Essex.

However, on the night, UKIP launched a confusing attack on the Conservative policy opposing shared services with Barking and Dagenham. Reacting, Cllr Halden said “UKIP seem to like being in a one-sided relationship with Labour ruled Barking and Dagenham. Although they did oppose it at one stage. They are just making policy up as they go along. Well while they may look left to Barking, we say that, economically, the only way is Essex!

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