Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Leader of Thurrock Council sets out to reassure borough over salt and grit stocks

THE Leader of Thurrock Council says he wants to reassure local people about salt and grit stocks as winter approaches.

Cllr John Kent was speaking after Wednesday night’s full council meeting where Cllr Sue Little suggested Thurrock ought to contact Essex County Council for free bags of salt for its roads this winter.

“First I want Cllr Little, and everyone else, to know that we have around 1,000 tonnes of grit and salt in stock now and a further 1,500 tonnes on order should we have a particularly bad winter.

“That’s enough for a worse than average winter and we know what to do if we need more if the country freezes again like it did five years ago.”

He added: “Cllr Little suggested that we should contact Essex County Council because it would provide salt free of charge. Actually that is an offer for residents of Essex and parish councils in the county.

“She appears not to understand that as far back as 1997 Thurrock and Southend successfully argued the case to become unitary authorities, breaking away from the Essex shackles.

“Until that point County Hall at Chelmsford basically had a veto on what we did here. They controlled all social care; they controlled all education and schools; and they controlled what was called strategic planning.

“That’s why our schools were left in a mess that has taken us ten years to turn around, that is why our social care is still under-funded and that is why we’ve had to sort out our planning processes – all legacies of Essex’s heavy handed approach to our borough.

“It worries me that one of our councillors does not realise where the boundaries lie and still seems to think we are beholden to the mighty county.

“In the late 90s government recognised we were better off on our own, perhaps it is time some of our councillors did the same.”

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