Thurrock Independents Party Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said “To encourage the smooth running of the council, officers give their time, to facilitate joint meetings between the leaders of each of the three political groups. Three of meetings of this type are scheduled covering the general governance of the Council, Council’s spending review and the Local Plan.
“However, despite being a minority administration, backed by just one-in-three Thurrock voters, the leadership of the Conservative Administration are failing to attend these meetings. Our Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Duffin, and I, were the only attendees at last Council Spending Review meeting. Only I and the Labour leader, Cllr John Kent attended the last Group Leaders Governance meeting. A substitute was sent to fill in for the Conservative Council Leader. I was the only representative from the leadership of all three groups to attend last night’s vital Local Plan meeting.
“Last week I wrote to the Chief Executive to complain about the lack of commitment from the Conservative Administration to these meetings. Failing to attend these meetings is an insult to officers, who spend considerable time preparing. I will withdraw our Group from these joint meetings unless the Conservative Administration can demonstrate that they wish to engage in a meaningful manner and will instead request regular meetings direct with officers.
“Thurrock Council officers are carrying the burden for the Tory Leadership team, who draw significant personal allowances, but appear to be ‘missing in action’. A Tory Administration which appears rudderless, tired and bereft of any grand vision for our borough. The extent of Conservative imagination appears to be restricted to parroting their two-year-old ‘Clean It, Cut It, Fill It’ line, despite this policy being in tatters. Thurrock deserves so much better than the Conservatives.”