Controversial £15 million solar farm deal was “signed off” by Labour claims deputy leader of Thurrock Council

LABOUR-leader, and previous Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent, has been left red-faced after attacking the ruling Conservative administration for Thurrock Council’s recently announced solar farm investment, despite the fact that the deal was signed less than a week before Labour lost their grip of the council.The solar farm deal, which will earn the council around £0.75m per year, was attacked by Cllr Kent – who used press releases to ask the question of “where is the money coming from?”, and “what oversight was there?”Cllr Shane Hebb, the council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, revealed at the recent Full Council, that the deal was finalised and signed off on 19th May 2016, under the then-Labour administration.The Conservatives became the official council administration on 25th May 2016.Shane Hebb said after Full Council: “I can’t work out whether the former Leader of the Council has shown either total hypocrisy, or given this borough the last bit of evidence needed to confirm to us that the previous administration were out of control and totally unaware of what was happening”.”When I read the press release, I thought I’d be asking what did Thurrock Labour have to hide by presiding over the deal and having it signed off days before their apparent removal of office…However, instead it seems as though their grip was too soft to have a firm handle on what was going on anyway, so what’s the point?”.Cllr Hebb firmly believes that Thurrock Labour’s handling of the issue shows why – both nationally and locally – that Labour cannot be trusted with the public purse ever again.The Conservative administration have identified their administration as pro-revenue growth, and supported the scheme before and after the press attacks by Labour.

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