Thames Crossing Action Group anger over decision not to discuss “local plan” next week

Lower T

A STATEMENT by the Thames Crossing Action Group has told of the “shock” and “concern” at learning Thurrock Council will not be debating the new local plan next week.

The agenda for next week’s extraordinary meeting of the council which is due to discuss opposition to the crossing was released today and the expected local plam was omitted.

A statement from the campaigning action group said: “We are more than aware how important the Local Plan is to Thurrock Council’s response to the Lower Thames Crossing consultation.

“We have been told time and time again by Highways England that they cannot take the Local Plan into account until it has been officially passed. HE will not consider the impact LTC has on the Local Plan, or how the LTC can take the Local Plan into consideration in the plan and design, ie the extra traffic it will bring etc.

“Unless the Local Plan is bought to the Agenda by the Conservative Party at the 11 December meeting and passed before the response to LTC consultation is presented it means that the Local Plan cannot be used in the Council’s response to LTC.”

The campaign group’s administrator, Laura Blake, spoke of her personal anger, saying: “I have been aware of the importance of the Local Plan to LTC for some time and had been quietly talking to councillors in the hope of doing everything I could to get the Local Plan passed at this meeting, as there had been some voicing of opposition to it.

“I was actually in a position whereby I thought enough had been done that whilst the other two parties may not support the Local Plan they would abstain rather than opposing it, as they understood the importance of ensuring it was passed at the Extraordinary Meeting.

“What I did not count on was the Conservatives not putting it on the Agenda for the meeting, and I want to know why, and we need to know now!

“I have tried calling the leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill to discuss this, but so far have only been able to leave a voicemail and am waiting for his call.

“This comes just minutes after I had received a special invitation from the Mayor, to speak on the LTC response at the meeting on 11 December. This is not something that is the norm in council meetings, but has now been tarnished by the fact that without the Local Plan being on the agenda first, as was expected, the Council’s response to LTC has been greatly diluted.

“I would urge every single resident to contact your local councillor and ask why the Local Plan is not going to be on the Agenda on 11 Dec, expressing how critical it is to the Council’s response to the LTC consultation.

“We NEED the Local Plan on the Agenda and passed as a matter of great importance and urgency.

“It is time for all 49 councillors to put their money where their mouth is, with regards to their opposition to the proposed lower Thames crossing. We deserve and demand that of all Thurrock councillors NOW.”

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