Tuesday, June 25, 2024

New leader’s John Kent’s pledge: “It’s up to us, every councillor – all of us – to debunk the doubters and show real commitment to restore people’s faith”

AHEAD of this evening’s (Wednesday, 22 May) annual meeting of Thurrock Council, its new leader Cllr John Kent has laid out his plans to regain the trust of borough residents following the financial collapse of the authority under the previous Conservative administration.

At tonight’s meeting (which can be viewed live via this link) Cllr Kent will succeed Conservative Cllr Andrew Jefferies as council leader and he will name the key posts in a new majority Labour administration – ending the Tory control that stretches back to May 2016.

Ahead of the annual meeting Cllr Kent says he wants to share the principles that will guide the administration he will lead.

Cllr Kent says: “We all know the story of Thurrock’s toxic Tory legacy, and the financial mess Labour has inherited, and we will work hard to rebuild the council finances and deliver a sustainable 

“But, perhaps even more worrying than the catastrophic state of this Council’s finances, is the prevailing easy narrative we have all heard and seen, that councillors are “all the same”, or “nothing will change whoever’s in charge”, or “they are all useless”. 

“We are grateful for the support of the people across Thurrock at the election earlier in May and, indeed the past two years. 

“While not everyone votes for Labour –this council is here to serve everyone. Some may have lost sight of this in recent years – Labour never will, and we will not let you down. 

“It will not be business as usual as we set out our plans to give Thurrock the fresh start Thurrock needs, and people voted for.

“It’s up to us, every councillor – all of us – to debunk the doubters and show real commitmentto restore people’s faith and re-establish links with our local communities.

“Given where we are, it will take time, and it won’t be easy, but we are determined: 

·      To be different, and better

·      To put Thurrock and it’s communities first ALWAYS

·      To take Responsibility for the decisions we make

·      To say what we mean; and mean what we say.

 “Our watch words are:


“No more catastrophic behind closed doors dodgy deals. We will be prudent, crackdown on waste, and be laser focused on delivering for residents.


“We will establish meaningful scrutiny and genuine consultation processes – as a first step, we will not take the chair or vice chair of any of the council’s scrutiny committees.


“We will enshrine fairness into every council process to ensure equal treatment for all residents.


“We will never forget that we are elected to serve. We will treat everyone with respect, be responsive and provide practical help and advice on issues and concerns raised with us.” 


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