Monday, September 26, 2022

Thurrock councillors angry over “being kept in dark” over delay to civid office build

FAILURE to move into a new £10million civic centre on time has upset Thurrock councillors who say they have been kept in the dark over the delay.
The move into the new civic offices in Grays was set to take place in time for a council meeting on Wednesday but delays caused by covid and a late delivery of furniture meant it is now postponed until February.
Council meetings have had to be held in a various venues around the borough following a flood in the old civic building last year.
Speaking at a recent corporate overview and scrutiny committee meeting, Mark Coxshall, councillor responsible for regeneration, strategic planning and external relations, said: “I’m really disappointed. I was hoping we were going to be in the new civic offices by the end of the month.
“It looks like we can’t be due to covid and furniture but we will moving forward into the civic offices in February.”
John Kent, leader of the Labour group, criticised a lack of communication to councillors. He said: “We had an email this evening saying the next council meeting won’t be in the new offices. That’s the first communication that members have had at all. I was expecting to be in there because nobody has told me we wouldn’t be. There’s been nothing coming out to members at all.
In response, Mr Coxshall said: “It starts from the top. I’m not denying there is an issue with communications, internal to keep members updated or external relations. It’s a small example but it goes wider.”
The £10million project faced widespread criticism from residents and opposition councillors when it was revealed more than three years ago.
Under the plans, the existing offices on New Road, Grays have been split in two, with one side being retained and extended for council use and the other converted into a residential area comprised of 80 flats.
A Thurrock council spokesman said: “Work is ongoing on the new Civic Offices building. Major construction is now complete and work is taking place to finalise it ready for occupation in stages.
We will update residents and the local media with more details about the Civic Offices in the future.”

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