Targets missed as council “lacks ambition and achievement”
Councillor Oliver Gerrish, Labour chair of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny committee has called on the Tory council to improve their level of ambition and achievement.
At the June meeting of the committee, it was revealed that the council was failing on a third of its overall targets. Crucially this included targets on missed bin collections, rubbish on our streets and performance of our schools, all of which fell short.
Councillor Gerrish said, “Thurrock’s Tory Council really does need to get a grip. Some of these indicators have been failing for a long time now. Others are becoming even worse than they had been. Sadly this smacks of a council administration that has taken its eyes off the ball. It’s not acceptable that some problems, like littering on our streets are once again getting worse.
“This can’t continue. We need some real leadership and determination to tackle the problems our communities are facing, not sweep them under the carpet!” The committee referred a number of items for further investigation, and demanded that any future performance reports were accompanied by a plan to get the service back on track.
The committee also called for the council to be more ambitious when setting targets. It was revealed during the meeting that the new targets being set for this year did not aim for so much as a single extra job in Thurrock. At the same time, the target for the amount of commercial income the council was making from trading services was lower than it had actually achieved last year, prompting calls that the council was happy to be going backwards. This measure is crucial, because the more revenue the council can raise from trading commercial services, the less it has to move charges onto local residents.
Cllr Gerrish concluded, “All in all, we felt that the council needs to be far more ambitious for Thurrock – we need to be creating new and better job opportunities for our residents to take advantage of. Above all, the council needs to actually deliver on its promises. When we see the next performance report, I hope to see more achievements and fewer excuses.”