THURROCK Labour Leader John Kent has hit out at the latest spending plans announced by the council.
Speaking on Friday, 16 September, he said: "Once again Tory Thurrock Council seem to have forgotten all the things they promised before taking office, and even on the night they took control.
"Scrutiny was the key word according to new Tory Leader Rob Gledhill; no decisions would be made without scrutiny.
"Yet the first councillors and the good people of our borough knew of plans to spend Â£15 million of their money on a solar farm in Swindon was a press release and a quote from portfolio holder for finance, Shane Hebb.
"This might well be a great idea, it may be a worthwhile investment, but how do we know? How do we know how much this is costing us – I understand it is Â£15 million, where is that money coming from – is it through increased borrowing?
All we have to go on is a 200-word press release that tells us the council is proud and delighted."
He added: "The release admits that in recent years – under Labour control remember – the council ‘has been exploring more inventive ways of treasury management’.
"All well and good, but I somehow doubt that a decision of this magnitude had to be made on the spur of the moment without a proper opportunity to examine the pros and cons, to shine a light on the proposals and scrutinise them in detail.
"So why all the secrecy? If Thurrock Council is proud, why sneak the announcement out in a press release? Is Cllr Hebb afraid of scrutiny?
"While, as I said, this could well prove a great investment, we don’t know that for sure and I fear Cllr Hebb’s latest slogan will be: hide it, spend it, waste it.