Blogpost: Destroying the defence of Thurrock Council’s ‘service charges’

Blogspot: By Myles Cook

CLLR Gledhill states that “the housing department is responsible for a number of area based facilities – including 14 play parks, 50 hectares of green space,13 hectares of footpaths, a further 30 hectares of hard surfaces and over 2,000 trees. It also provides 4 million kilowatt hours of electricity for heating and lighting in our communal areas, helping to keep 3,000 of our tenants safe in their blocks.”

Let’s look closely at this statement and how it fails to justify some of the new ‘service charges’.

In the leaflet, Council tax bill 2017/18 – services, which is downloadable from the Thurrock Council website (, it is clear that the Tory-led council’s much lauded but very much unsuccessful “Clean it, Cut it, Fill it” initiative is funded by Council Tax. This initiative includes making “our borough is cleaner, looks tidier, and safe to ride or drive around”. It is clearly stated that, as part of this initiative, the council has “cut more grass” which means that grass-cutting is included within the Council Tax payments made by all residents of Thurrock. This means that the “50 hectares of green space” mentioned in Cllr Gledhill’s defence of the service charge is already on shaky ground as grass-cutting is part of the grounds maintenance charge which is just one of the new charges being added to council residents’ rent bills.

The rest of the article can be found at

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