A QUESTION mark has again been drawn over Thurrock Council’s ability to deliver basic services in the wake of a £469million deficit.
A week after Government appointed commissioners said even Thurrock’s statutory services would not escape some cuts, councilt leader Mark Coxshall repeated the warning.
Commissioners from Essex County Council who are carrying out a Best Value Inspection of the council over its unprecedented financial mismanagement have called for more powers to hire and fire senior management and implement a plan for the future. They warned there would be a “rapid reduction in the scope of local services” and even those the council has a statutory obligation to provide such as social care and waste management, may be reduced to a “minimum level of service for the forseeable future”.
In response Mr Coxshall said: “At full council in February, we will be setting our annual budget. This takes a considerable amount of work even in a normal year and under normal financial circumstances. As you can imagine, doing so this year will be particularly complex.
“Irrespective of our investment situation, like many other councils across the country the amount we need to spend delivering essential services is outstripping the income and funding we receive. This is not sustainable and we need to have an honest conversation about what the council should do and how to fund this.”
Mr Coxshall added: “We have been able to avoid having to do so for several years, but unfortunately we may now need to do so if we are to continue protecting and caring for the vulnerable, filling potholes, keeping our parks and green spaces safe and inviting, and making much needed improvements to our waste collections – which I know have not been up to standard in some areas, and for that I apologise. I can assure you we are working hard to make improvements.
“I want to be open and honest and not sugar coat the facts – our financial position and the challenges we face are stark.”
How can the Tory Party continue after what they have done to Thurrock’s Finances. Working on new budgets. They are becoming a Joke.
So the people that get sacked at the top, will they still get an over inflated pension and perhaps a golden good bye handshake? They will still be laughing all the way to the bank, whilst us residents of Thurrock will have to pay for their lack of management, They should be dismissed on the spot, not pension, no handouts, and any large assets they have, like million pound houses, should be sold and put back into the coffers of us Thurrock rate payers.
How much will Thurrock put up the rates this year to help cover the gaps? How about those that have large families actually pay more, as they will use more of the services, and then give senior citizens and people who live on their own a 50% discount.
The council had already closed two nurseries in Tilbury and cut other vital services elsewhere before this financial disaster had become public. The whole Borough looks like a war zone thanks to the mismanagement of our Conservative run council.
I fear we can expect raises in our council tax for little or no return, while the council sell off our assets to pay back some of this massive debt they have incurred for us.
The sinking ship has been abandoned and we have been left on board to drown.