Thurrock Labour write open letter to Thurrock Independents on Orsett Hospital
THURROCK Labour Leader, Councillor Oliver Gerrish has written an open letter of his own in reply to Thurrock Independents Leader Councillor Luke Spillman.
In the letter, Cllr Gerrish calls for the two groups to work together on Orsett Hospital. He also criticises statements made by the Thurrock Independents and highlights when and how the Thurrock Labour Group would seek to take control of Thurrock Council.
Cllr Gerrish explained the action taken by Thurrock Labour to fight the closure, saying, “The Thurrock Labour Party has spent well over a year opposing the current plans for the closure of Orsett Hospital. Collectively, we have campaigned, we have organised rallies, we have collected paper petition responses, we have advertised an online petition, we have attended CCG information events, we have tried to push information about the consultation to as many residents as possible, we have drawn attention to the lack of publicity for the consultation, we have highlighted the issues with the consultation, we have objected through the scrutiny process, we have objected through the Joint-HOSC process, we have brought motions to council, we have asked multiple questions at council and we have constantly sought to bring in as many people as possible to help the campaign – because this is not about Labour or the Thurrock Independents, it is about the residents of Thurrock having access to the services they deserve.”
The letter concludes, “To the Thurrock Independents, I say this: we must keep talking, we must work together, and we must put Thurrock residents before our parties. Whatever else happens, I would like to extend an offer to work together on saving Orsett Hospital. I believe the leadership of our two groups should meet to discuss our available tactics, approaches and ideas to save Orsett Hospital. If we are indeed both committed to saving Orsett Hospital, let us take forward this agenda together.”
The letter also dismisses calls for Labour to take control of the council immediately. It spells out when Labour would seek to form an administration. Three key scenarios are explained:
1) Thurrock Labour controls an absolute majority of councillors on Thurrock council.
2) Thurrock Labour wins more seats than any other party, but not an overall majority.
3) Thurrock Labour is not the largest party but there is a clear majority on the council for the implementation of Labour’s local manifesto.
Councillor Gerrish adds, “I look forward with great anticipation to Thurrock Labour taking control of the council, but residents must appreciate that the main way this can happen is through electing us at the ballot box. Only by electing Labour councillors will a strong Labour manifesto, to make a fairer, safer and cleaner Thurrock, be delivered.”