THE former leader of Thurrock Council has repined to the news that the council is failing on two of its cleanliness priorities.
A meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee was told that street cleanliness and pothole fixing were classed as “failing”.
“Thurrock’s Conservative administration has made great play of cleaning up the borough, yet the actions they are taking and the extra money they are spending is – according to their own figures – leading to poorer performance not better,” said committee chair and Thurrock Labour Leader John Kent.
“Their ‘cut it, clean it, fill it initiative’ is failing – a report to the committee explained how the council has ‘focused resource and effort on improving the standards of cleanliness in high profile areas’ however this focus has led to the rest of the borough suffering litter and poor cleanliness.
“For most of us this means more dirt and grime on the streets around our homes and the corner shop.
“It means that, overall, despite spending hundreds of thousands and despite shouting about their scheme in what seems like every press release they issue, it’s a failure. It was ill-thought through and isn’t delivering value for money.”
Cllr Kent added: “If failing to keep our streets clean wasn’t bad enough our report confirms what every driver and passenger in Thurrock knows, the number of potholes – the ‘fill it’ part of the scheme – is also getting worse not better.”
He said: “The report explained the situation was particularly bad in December, but blamed the number of gritting runs and the fact suppliers shut down over Christmas.
“While I appreciate how hard our staff were working late into the freezing nights keeping our roads safe and the ice and frost at bay, neither cold nights nor Christmas should have come as a surprise – they happen every year. The council should have been ready.”