Today Thurrock Independents Party Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman, sent an open letter to Thurrock Labour Leader, Cllr Oliver Gerrish and the Labour Group. Thurrock Independents demand action from Thurrock Labour on their pledge to the residents of Thurrock to save Orsett Hospital.
Thurrock Independents Party Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said: “It is time Thurrock Labour demonstrated they have the will to take the action that they promised to Thurrock residents to save Orsett Hospital. They must prove that they weren’t just playing politics with people’s health.”
The letter reads:
Dear Cllr Gerrish,
In the 2018 local elections Thurrock Labour, under your leadership, took one primary message to the electorate. You promised the residents of Thurrock that a vote for Labour was a vote to save Orsett Hospital. It is therefore somewhat of a disappointment, to all concerned, that you have chosen to sit on your hands, and take no action to try to fight the closure. The residents of Thurrock, who put their faith in your promise, must be asking questions as to the reasoning behind your party’s choice to shirk from the responsibility of action? Was this promise just a political calculation, a strategy to play politics with people’s health, to win votes.
I challenge you to demonstrate that you were honest with the people in Thurrock. Will you demonstrate that you are willing to take the action required to make good on the promises and commitments your party made to save Orsett Hospital. Talk is cheap, it’s time we saw some action from Thurrock Labour.
The clock is ticking on Thurrock Hospital. Labour have little time left to act. Honour dictates that you submit a vote of no confidence in the Tory administration. Demonstrate to both the chamber and the residents of Thurrock that you have a plan to save Orsett Hospital. Without a pro-Orsett Hospital administration, which will remove the Thurrock Council’s support for the closure, there is no future for Orsett Hospital. You can write as many articles, attend as many rallies, or print as many leaflets as you want. You know that none of this alone will save Orsett Hospital. To do this you must be willing to take responsibility for the action required to save it.
Thurrock Independents are a party formed solely to fight for the needs of residents. We will ask for absolutely nothing in return to benefit the Thurrock Independents. We will not enter a coalition; nor will we insist on deputy leader or a single portfolio position. Instead we have three simple requirements and will honestly and objectively consider your attempt to form a minority administration, if your proposals meet them.
You must present financially feasible and politically implementable commitments to:
– Begin the Council fight back against the closure of Orsett Hospital
– Attempt to reduce the number of proposed homes within the Local Plan from 32,000
– Commit to either a freeze or reduction in General Fund Council Tax for the 2019/2020 budget
The Thurrock Independents can promise you total and unwavering support to these three commitments. There can be no doubt that each is in the interests of residents. The Tories are pushing ahead to close our Hospital, concrete over our borough and push hard working taxpayers into poverty. I challenge Labour to present a better alternative for our community. However, let me be clear, you must demonstrate that Labour can deliver on these policies. We will not rescue Thurrock from this awful Tory administration only to saddle residents with an inept and incapable Labour administration.
Step up to the plate; take responsibility for your election commitments; and present workable plans for doing so. If you cannot do so, you risk appearing no more than a political opportunist. A party who will say anything in opposition to get votes, when your focus should be the interests of the people of Thurrock. A party which doesn’t have the confidence to govern and seeks only the comfort of opposition.
Cllr Luke Spillman
Party Leader of the Thurrock Independents