COUNCILLOR Oliver Gerrish, Leader of the Thurrock Labour Group has highlighted a projected overspend of more than one million pounds in the Thurrock Council budget and called on the ruling Tory administration to publish their plans to get back on track.
The overspend was detailed in a report to the September Cabinet meeting of Thurrock Council. It showed that the Tory-controlled administration are projected to spend more than a million pounds over their available budget by the end of the financial year.
A number of projects initiated by the Conservative council have failed to deliver as promised – including £80,000 savings from a Library Service “review”, which is yet to materialise.
Another project which went awry was the projected £25,000 savings on the waste disposal contract which turned into a loss of £75,000.
Several local politicians have pointed to echoes of the previous Tory administration which overspent its budget by four million pounds in 2009/10 and nearly bankrupted the council.
Speaking after the meeting where the overspend was challenged, Councillor Gerrish said: “Because it’s early in the year, the overspend can be corrected – this has been done a number of times in the past – but it’s very important that the Tory administration acts with urgency and doesn’t let it spiral out of control as they did last time they were in power.
“I am calling on them to quickly publish their detailed plans to recover the budget position and to spell out what this means for service delivery.
“I am particularly disappointed that a number of the Tory initiatives which the Labour Group highlighted as being ‘fantasy budgeting’ earlier in this year have, as expected, failed to produce a saving.
“I hope that Thurrock residents are not left to count the cost of another year of Tory control.”