Labour propose fund to challenge need for 32,000 new houses
THE Labour Group has successfully tabled an amendment to the Thurrock Council Budget for funding to challenge the requirement to build 32,000 new houses in Thurrock in the next 20 years.
Thurrock Labour are concerned that the current plan is simply too many new houses, built too quickly. Even worse, the plan comes at a time when the Tories are trying to close Orsett Hospital, and cutting police and school budgets resulting in fewer and fewer local services for local residents.
The amendment was moved by Labour Leader Councillor Oliver Gerrish who said, “Many of us are concerned at the prospect of 32,000 additional houses that are to be built in Thurrock, with approximately 24,000 in the green belt.
“We cannot simply say ‘no’ to the new houses because of the process that the council must follow. We need evidence to build a robust case if we are to minimise the impact on Thurrock
“In order to do that, the Labour Group proposed creating a fund to enable us to buy in support and scrutinise in detail the data on which the assumptions are made and to build up our own evidence base.
“We do need new affordable houses in Thurrock – but they must be genuinely affordable houses, which benefit Thurrock residents and our communities. We also need to make sure that we do not build more than we can support with the right infrastructure and services.”
The Conservative and Thurrock Independent groups declined to back Labour’s amendment, instead choosing to abstain. Only the Labour Group voted in favour. Labour have subsequently called for the other local parties to come together to ensure that the plans are properly scrutinised and challenged, rather than just waved through.