Thurrock Tories launch another attack on Labour’s John Kent over crime

Halden Edu

THE THURROCK Conservatives have launched another attack on Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate as rumours persist that a General Election is in the offing.

On Friday, Cllr John Kent issued a press release regarding funding for Thurrock’s Youth Offending Team.

Details of the press release are below.

A few days later, the Conservatives rejected his claims.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Gledhill said “The Thurrock Youth Offending Service lost approximately half their staff in 2011 and 2012, when Cllr Kent was the Labour Leader of the Council. It’s possible he was not intentionally misleading people, after all, he wasn’t renowned for being a particularly informed council leader. The council has increased the capacity of the service, including a new dedicated post for gang issues, funded by increased funding directly ordered by myself”.

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Halden added “It’s a shame once again Labour want to talk down our public services and make it all about a tax and spend agenda. Our re-offending rate is only 29.5%, lower than the 32.8% in Essex and massively lower than the 40.1% nationally. This is a great team, making Thurrock safer, and backed clearly by this Conservative administration following years of mismanagement from Cllr Kent. The fact he would attack the very services and people trying to keep the public safe, because he thinks it will do him electoral favours, tells you all you need to know about the man”.

Cllr Halden, who last week referred to cllr Kent as an “out of work printer” made another intemperate comment on Twitter, calling cllr Kent to “Do one”.

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The original press release from Labour’s John Kent.

Thurrock’s youth offending team has had their funding slashed by half under Tories and Lib Dems

Figures uncovered by the Labour Party show that the Tories and Lib Dems have cut the Thurrock youth offending team’s funding by £230,623 since 2010 – meaning cuts of 51 per cent.

Nationally, the Tories have slashed central government funding for youth offending teams by over half from £145m in 2010/11 to £71m in 2017/18.

Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon forced the government to release the damning statistics after he demanded that the Justice Department reveal the value of central government grants given to Youth Offending Teams for each local authority area since the Coalition formed.

Labour’s candidate to be Thurrock’s next MP, John Kent, said:

“Thurrock benefits so much from our youth offending teams. They do so much good work in stopping young people committing crime or becoming victims of crime.
“It was completely unacceptable for the Tories and, in coalition, the Lib Dems to cut this funding. But it is appalling that, with youth violence rising, the government is still failing to prioritise funding for this essential service – with below-inflation real terms cuts year after year.

“You can’t keep the public safe on the cheap. Boris Johnson and our MP Jackie Doyle – Price must guarantee the resources needed to protect our communities and help prevent young people from getting involved in crime in the first place.”

Richard Burgon MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting on the figures, said:

“Our communities benefit so much from their youth offending teams. They do so much good work in stopping young people committing crime or becoming victims of crime.

“It was completely unacceptable for the Tories and, in coalition, the Lib Dems to cut this funding. But it is appalling that, with youth violence rising, the government is still failing to prioritise funding for this essential service – with below-inflation real terms cuts year after year.

“You can’t keep the public safe on the cheap. Boris Johnson must guarantee the resources needed to protect our communities and help prevent young people from getting involved in crime in the first place.”

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