Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Thurrock Council respond to accusation they plan to build on WW2 memorial as part of £10 million development

By Local Democracy Reporter
Steve Shaw

THURROCK Council has denied they are building an extension to their offices on a park dedicated to the memory of D-Day planners because they have no record of the dedication.

The issue was raised by the leader of the Labour Group, Councillor John Kent, who claims that a dedication and plaque was placed in Mulberry Square sometime in the early 1990s.

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The council has said that they’ve been unable to find any record of this but admit that there may have been a plaque on the gates to the park but it has gone missing and they have no record of it being removed. This is despite the council owning the park.

A Thurrock Council spokesperson said: “We have made extensive enquiries on this matter and can find no official record of any formal dedication of Mulberry Square.

“Searches have been made on the title deeds of the square, as well as the War Memorial Register, which is maintained by the Imperial War Museum. In both cases there is no mention of a memorial garden or the square being dedicated.

“We have been advised that there was previously a plaque on the gates to the square, however we cannot find any record of it or its removal.

“The council owns the square and it has been identified as a potential development site since at least 2013.

“Under the current civic offices extension proposals, Mulberry Square would be redeveloped, however the design of the scheme allows for landscaping elsewhere in the vicinity, including public seating areas outside a new café and a new registrars garden for ceremonial use.”

Mr Kent said that in the 1980s shops were on the site but the council acquired them through compulsory purchase orders in an effort to launch a Grays regeneration scheme.

The plan fell through and the site was made into a park with a dedication taking place around the time of the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994. The name Mulberry is believed to have come the term used for artificial harbours that were constructed in Tilbury and used as part of the D-Day invasion.

The leader of the Thurrock Independents, Councillor Luke Spillman said he had only recently become aware of the dedication based on the claims from Mr Kent.

After questioning why the redevelopment was happening on the park during a meeting last month, cllr Kent asked the leader of the council, Councillor Rob Gledhill, how residents will benefit from £10million being spent on new offices.


  1. Only one benefit we get to play Musical Chairs and it ain’t going to be a current politician who gets to sit on the new £10 Million golden throme in the council chamber.

    Poetic justice if you ask me.


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