Thursday, May 30, 2024

Council offices named Thurrock Town Hall

THURROCK councillors have renamed their new £10million civic building despite a raft of snags, including a smell of sewage.

The CO3 building will now be called Thurrock Town Hall following a motion put forward by Adam Carter, Conservative councillor for Chadwell St Mary.

Speaking a council meeting, Mr Carter said: “Grays is vastly different to the town it was when my great, great grandfather set up a small bicycle shop in 1891. Over time it has become more and more of a commuter town.

“In order to enhance and build a community we need a community heart and that cannot have a name like CO3. A town hall is the heart of a community and a centrepiece of growth and development. Grays is having significant investment to regenerate our town and it is only fitting that our newest building bears a name that is more in keeping with a community that is going somewhere in stark contrast to CO3 which is more reminiscent of an eastern block designated building.”

The new civic chamber should have opened in the spring but a design fault meant it could not accommodate all 49 councillors. The chamber had to be redesigned and on Thursday had its first council meeting, but councillors criticised poor wheelchair access to the building and the chamber.

Councillors were also worried have to leave the building alongside those in the public gallery as there is only one exit leading to concerns about councillors’ safety in the wake of Southend West MP Sir David Amess.
A glass panel in the chamber was said to wobble and there is only one lift despite there being another boarded up lift shaft.

In addition poor drainage is said to have left part of the building with the stench of sewage.
Gary Byrne, Independent councillor for The Homesteads tabled an unsuccessful amendment to the motion calling for the renaming to be delayed.

He said: “When a bride walks downstairs she can’t smell a bouquet she can smell raw sewage so it’s not very pleasant for a wedding. We’re not ready it’s not a town hall. It’s a mess.

“We don’t deserve a town hall with the mess the borough is in and the mess everything is in. When it’s done, when it’s built, when the borough is on a better track then maybe then call it a town hall. Until then I think it’s embarrassing.”


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