DETAILS of Thurrock Council’s response to the Highways England consultation into a proposed new Thames crossing were revealed this week.
Agenda papers for the council meeting on Wednesday, 23 March, were made public and included the proposed response – which is expected to be approved by all members.
The council’s opposition to the proposal for another crossing in the borough was unanimously agreed on 28 November 2012, unanimously reaffirmed on 25 November 2015, and again confirmed by all councillors at full council on 27 January 2016.
Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said on Wednesday (16 January): “I would urge everyone to make sure they respond to Highways England’s consultation before its closing date of Thursday, 24 March.
“We have been waiting for our expert consultant’s final report, which is now available and online along with a summary.
“I think people should look at what we’re saying and put their response in their own words and in their own order. Some people believe the air quality issue should be top of the agenda, others the green belt and others still congestion and value for money.
“Then there’s the shambolic way the consultation was run and organised; changing the rules a third of the way through and failing to provide all the information necessary simply is not good enough.”
Cllr Kent added: “If Thurrock Council organised a consultation in this disorganised, confused, and muddled way we would be lampooned – and quite rightly too.
“Our response has 17 points detailing why the council believes neither Option A nor Option C – or Routes 1, 2, 3, or 4 – should go ahead.
“They make it perfectly clear this is not a knee-jerk NIMBY response, but that the proposals are wrong in 17 different and 17 evidence-based ways.”
And he added: “We are also demanding a seat ‘at the table’ if the government ignores our arguments and rides roughshod over the people of Thurrock. If that happens I want to be there fighting for local people’s future and the future of this borough as a whole.
“We live here and we want a say.”