THURROCK Council has gone on the record in order to answer questions over where funds for a Lower Thames Crossing “fighting fund” went.
A Thurrock Council spokesperson said: “Thurrock Council voted unanimously against any new crossing in Thurrock in November 2015.
On 10 February 2016, £30,000 revenue funding was agreed by Cabinet to support work to respond to the Lower Thames Crossing consultation. £10,000 was spent for expert legal and technical advice, like traffic management and air quality, during the consultation process which helped inform the Council’s official response.
In the same meeting, cabinet agreed £50,000 funding to continue supporting this area of work. £18,000 was spent on holding public meetings and printing communications materials to support Thurrock residents contribute to the consultation.
The support included holding and facilitating two public meetings. Nearly 1500 people attended across the two sessions, despite only having two weeks to arrange the second meeting after the consultation was launched. The funding assisted in venue hire, supply of chairs, staging, lighting, audio and visual equipment for multiple rooms as well as advertisements in local papers. The unspent funds have been carried over to 2017/18 as no announcement was made until April 2017.
£50,000 has been made available as part of the budget setting process and provisionally agreed for each year ongoing to assist in the delivery of work and actions as determined by members with any money unspent being carried forward.
Currently, there is £102,000 set aside to continue supporting appropriate work around the Lower Thames Crossing. This funding will continually be reviewed to ensure support to the borough in managing the implications or, and responding to, the Lower Thames Crossing proposal.
Thurrock Council is holding an Council meeting tonight (26 July) with an agenda item about the Lower Thames Crossing.
The agenda can be viewed here: http://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=134&MId=5178&Ver=4