Thurrock Council leader slams Labour over “fake news machine”

Gledhill litter

CONSERVATIVE Group Leader, Rob Gledhill, has stuck back at Labour’s “Fake News Machine” over recent changes in his cabinet. Cllr Gledhill said: “As residents can imagine turning round six years of Labour’s political neglect and blaming central government for their poor spending choices cannot be reversed overnight, nor is it something that can be achieved with minimal input.

“When we took over the council Labour had cut nearly 60 staff from the environment team, we had nearly no functioning grass cutting machinery and you practically had to wade through the rubbish in our town centres. This had to change -leading on that was Cllr Pauline Tolson.”

After launching its Clean it, Cut it, Fill it programme the Conservative-run council now has 20 street cleaners back on the street from next to none, cleared up over 56,000 bags of litter, 1500 fly tips and cut the equivalent of 2500 rugby pitches of grass. It also introduced an environmental enforcement team which has issued over 1600 fix penalty notices to those dropping litter at no cost to the Thurrock tax payer.

Rob added “trying to unpick more than half a decade of Labour’s neglect is a very demanding role. Cllr Tolson did a sterling job to start the transition from dirty streets and uncut parks to where we are now but we are clear there is still more to do. However, due to a number of family pressures, Cllr Tolson asked me to find a replacement who could dedicate the time needed to drive forward the environmental service. Such is the level of commitment to Thurrock residents my team have that a key figure, like Pauline, would rather step away from the role and ask the Leader to find a replacement than let residents down. I have now appointed Cllr Aaron Watkins into the environmental portfolio who will now help take clean it and cut it to the next level.

I would say I was disappointed in Labour’s statement to the press but I am not. They are a part of an organization that relies on its fake news machine to churn out this type of nonsense and half truths both locally and nationally. They completely ignore the fact that their entire group, failed to support the extra £1 million being spent on Clean it, Cut it, Fill it this year; the £7 million on new equipment and vehicles in the environment team or the fact they spending six years cutting front line services to try and prove a political point instead of supporting residents.”

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