Thurrock Independents have no option but to vote against all future decisions on the Local Plan until Cllr Coxshall attempts to deliver on the premise of his 2017 statement that Thurrock can build less homes than the 32,000 that the Conservative Administration is trying to force though. During the 25th October 2017 Full Council, Thurrock Independents Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Duffin asked the Conservative Cabinet Member for Regeneration if the Council had done any work regarding reducing the number of homes in the Local Plan, the Tories confirmed at this meeting that they are planning to put more homes in Thurrock than the Government has requested.
On the 25th October 2017, Cllr Jack Duffin asked: “What work has the Portfolio Holder and the Council done to lower the target of 32,000 houses set by the Government? Several Councils across the country have challenged this figure and have successfully got it lowered, with one Council getting over 40% off its target. Thurrock would be far better off having to build less than 20,000 homes instead, this would result in less pressure on our already overstretched local services.” Cllr Mark Coxshall responded: “Cllr Duffin, 32,000 being forced by the Government is not actually being forced by the Government.” He also added: “In fact if you have a look at what came out of the Government recently it is a slightly lower number, last month, than what we are projecting ourselves. So the Government is telling us to building a lower number than what we are actually doing.”
During Cllr Coxshall’s response to a question from a member of the public during the 27th June 2018 Full Council, he confirmed he will not attempt to reduce the 32,000 homes they are currently trying to put within Thurrock Coucil’s Local Plan.
Thurrock Independent Party Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said: “The Conservative Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Cllr Coxshall, has some explaining to do. In October 2017, Cllr Coxshall stated it was Thurrock Council, not the Government, who have insisted on building 32,000 homes. Cllr Coxshall announced that the Government had actually requested a lower figure. Perhaps residents should conclude that it is his Conservative Administration who are actually responsible for the currrent plans to concrete over swathes of the borough?
“Let the Thurrock Conservatives be in no doubt. Thurrock Independents will vote against any Conservative Local Plan, at every opportunity, unless the Tories take meaningful steps to attempt to reduce the number of homes within the plan from 32,000. We expect that every possible effort is made.”