AT March’s meeting of Thurrock Council, Thurrock Labour successfully passed a motion calling on the Tory Cabinet to scrap the proposal to charge residents in sheltered housing up to £780.
It was unanimously supported by the Thurrock Ukip councillors.
Councillor Barbara Rice presented a case against the charge that would be paid by many tenants for the first time.
Councillor Rice pointed out that “the residents who will be hit by this charge have done the right thing. They have worked and contributed to the system, and in addition paid into pension schemes in order to pay their own way. They are not rich, or even well off. They live in sheltered housing getting by on their well-deserved income”.
Labour condemned the Tories for seeking to plug the hole in their finances by targeting vulnerable pensioners, and called on Thurrock Council to “stand together with our pensioners to protect them from the reverse Sheriff of Nottingham approach to fiscal management”.
After the vote Councillor Jane Pothecary, who seconded the motion, added that “Thurrock Labour is proud that this motion was passed. The Tories should think again and abandon their unfair plans”.
Thurrock Labour condemned the fact that several elderly residents were not permitted to ask a question on the topic to the leader of the Council. As well as this, Thurrock Conservative councillors sought to “talk out” the meeting by extending their speeches on earlier items so that time to discuss the Labour motion was extremely limited.
Thurrock Labour claimed that this this was further proof that the Tories are running scared of proper scrutiny.