THURROCK Labour has attacked Conservative plans to slash jobs in Thurrock Council’s environment team. In a paper presented to the Cleaner, Greener, Safer Overview and Scrutiny Commottee on Thursday evening, the council outlined plans to axe frontline positions in street cleaning and grounds maintenance.
The Conservative run council is facing a £34 million budget deficit. Labour spokesperson for the Environment, Cllr Jane Pothecary, told the committee she was unhappy with the plans and disappointed no alternative measures had been considered.
Speaking after the meeting, she said “It is really disappointing that after messing up the council’s finances so badly, the Conservative administration are now planning to cut vital jobs on the frontline, jobs essential to making sure our borough is clean, tidy and well looked after. There doesn’t seem to have been any serious attempts to look for alternative solutions and our local environment and the quality of our residents’ lives is going to suffer. Even the Conservative Chair of the committee chose not to back the savings proposals and ask for alternative suggestions instead.”
The Committee was asked to approve the recommended budget savings proposals before they go on to the conservative controlled Cabinet to make a decision. After some discussion, the Committee decided not to support the proposals but to make representations to Cabinet to look for savings elsewhere.