At Full Council on Wednesday (27th February) Thurrock Tories announced that they plan to increase General Fund Council Tax by 8% over the next five years. On top of this 8% there will also be additional rises from the Police Fire & Crime Commissioner for Essex. Thurrock Independents are the only party promising General Fund Council Tax cuts.
Thurrock Independents Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Duffin said: “The devil is always in the detail when it comes to what the Tories are trying to hide. They raised Council Tax in Thurrock by over 10% in their first two years in charge and now plan to freeze it for one year due to Thurrock Independents pressure, before adding another 8%.
Thurrock Independents Cllr Peter Smith has launched a Government Petition to ‘Introduce tougher penalties for commercial fly-tipping’.
This petition calls upon Parliament to debate the illegal industrial sized fly-tipping that blights our nation. Specifically, the petition calls for Parliament to debate:
(i) Whether the relevant enforcement agencies are adequately resourced to enforce existing legislation?
(ii) Whether current legislation is being implemented robustly by Her Majesty’s Court Service?
(iii) Whether Parliament needs to consider passing new legislation to provide an effective deterrent?
Cllr Peter Smith said: “Millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money is spent clearing up behind these unscrupulous criminals, the current legislation does not appear to be an effective deterrent. The cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2017/18 was £12.2 million, for large fly-tipping incidents.
“This Tory Government and Tory Council have been a soft touch for fly-tippers. Everyone is aware of the cuts to policing and lack of police officers. The lack of investment in the police has created a lawless society where people feel they can break the law without consequences.
“Unfortunately it is law abiding tax paying citizens that pay the price for disastrous Tory polices. We need a change in the law so that there is significant resources, consequences and deterrents to stop more fly-tipping.”
Link to petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/240036?fbclid=IwAR3SWqwZmJTUQ_aDs9pp7Nx77_7kKqMoeYXgbSmE5sCsjHJVM9vDz-YrxpM
Figures from Inform Direct show that in 2018 1,963 new companies formed in Thurrock, the second most for any borough in Essex. Thurrock Independents have continued calls for Thurrock Council to do much more to support local businesses in the borough.
Thurrock Independents Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Duffin said: “There numbers are very promising for Thurrock and show that Thurrock is a great place to start a businesses.
“We hope Thurrock Council will do more to support more local businesses in the borough. Councils across the country have done extensive work to breakdown big contracts into smaller ones so that more local businesses can bid for them and to generate more money for the local economy.
“Thurrock Independents are the only party in Thurrock that believes we should be putting Thurrock businesses first. The Conservatives love big business and property developers. Unfortunately their focus on big business means the money is being taken out of the community, rather than getting reinvested.
“Although we lose the extra money raised from business rates due to Government funding formulas it is great to see more businesses opening in Thurrock and the benefit that has for local residents in terms of jobs and money for the local economy.
“We would like to wish all businesses in Thurrock and especially the 1,963 new businesses registered in 2018 a very successful 2019.”
Essex Figures from Inform Direct: https://www.informdirect.co.uk/company-formations-2018/essex/?fbclid=IwAR11hIq4xXUvmlQ0mysOERZe1ZC1Hc_cHOwm8Ff6OLNmjnQWv3EWQ5NjHQ0
Thurrock Independents announce Alan Field as their candidate for the Aveley and Uplands By-Election on the 21st March 2019.
Alan Field said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be standing as the Thurrock Independent Candidate for the Aveley and Uplands By-Election. Service to my community has always been very important to me. I served my country for 14 years in the RAF. For the last two decades I have served my community in Aveley and Thurrock as a school governor, Chair of the Aveley Village Community Forum and Minister of the Aveley Christian Centre. I have helped organise the Christmas Market, Remembrance Sunday commemorations, May day events, St Georges day events, and Christmas lights for many years. I established the Aveley Community Centre and have been a key figure in the building of the new centre due to open this autumn.
Thurrock Independents Chairman Allen Mayes calls for Conservative Cllr Watkins, Cabinet Member for Environment to stand down and for Thurrock Council to hold an immediate review of the magnetic dust in Tilbury, after the Tory Council admits misleading the public about “no direct risk to health”.
Thurrock Independent Chairman, Allen Mayes said: “The Thurrock Conservative Cabinet Member for the Environment assured residents at the Full Council meeting in November that the dust had been tested, and was not harmful to residents. This has been proven to be misleading. Residents deserve answers to this issue. Cllr Watkins is guilty of either intentionally misleading the public or incompetence.
A forty foot tri-axle trailer, laden with scrap metal, car wheels and various rubbish has been dumped in London Road in Aveley. Councillor Peter Smith have brought this to the attention of Thurrock Council’s Enforcement Department.
Thurrock Independents, Aveley & Uplands Cllr Peter Smith said: “I was alerted to yet another commercial fly-tip in Aveley and was mortified to witness the sheer disregard these culprits have for our borough.
The proposed changes to the housing allocations policy, being presented at tonight’s cabinet (16th Jan), are a shameless Tory attack on the rights of Thurrock residents to secure council housing. A Thurrock Independents run Thurrock Council would tear up much of this paper on day one.
Thurrock Independent Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said: “This paper represents further evidence of the contempt the Conservatives have for council housing. It should come as no surprise considering the local Tories receive tens of thousands of pounds in donations from property related firms.
Thurrock Independents have written to FirstBus about the dramatic increase in their fares for certain residents in Thurrock.
Cllr Jack Duffin wrote to FirstBus: “I am writing to you as the ward Councillor for Stanford East and Corringham Town regarding your decision to raise the price of student bus passes within my ward.
In November, all groups were advised by Council Officers and their Legal team that an agreed consultation to the Local Plan was essential to Thurrock Council’s opposition to the current Lower Thames Crossing proposals. In failing to bring the Local Plan to the emergency meeting on the 11th December 2018, Thurrock’s Conservatives have torpedoed Thurrock Council’s defence against the Lower Thames Crossing. They have made a laughing stock of Thurrock Council.
Thurrock Independent Party Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said: “Due to our deep concerns regarding donations the Tories are accepting from the building and property industry, and the disturbing conflict of interest this presents, we would naturally oppose their Local Plan. However, because the Local Plan is so important to the borough’s defence against the Lower Thames Crossing, we accepted that the bigger picture demanded that the Plan went through. During discussions with the Tories and senior council officers our six published amendments were all but accepted by all sides. Enough ground was given for us to explicitly assure to the Conservatives that we would abstain. This in itself would have allowed the Local Plan to pass.
“The failure of the Conservative-run Council to present a Local Plan to the emergency meeting on the 11th December 2018 as planned, is an unparalleled act of self-harm in the modern history of politics in Thurrock. In doing so, the Conservatives have shown themselves unfit to run a Parrish Council, let alone a Unitary Authority. They have critically sabotaged the borough’s defence against the current proposals for the Lower Thames Crossing. They are a missing-in-action administration. Their ineptness is only matched by their self-interest.”
Our Candidate For Chadwell St Mary, Steve Minett said: “It’s an honour to be chosen to represent Thurrock Independents in Chadwell St Mary, more so because it’s for a party that puts people before politics, a real tangible opportunity to make a difference for both the people and for an area I love.
“I look forward to getting to know many more of you, some will already know me from my work locally, others of you will know me on a more personal level. I was born and grew up in Chadwell St Mary, I lived in Chelmer House for many years, my parents and wider family are residents still.
“Chadwell is an area I hold close to my heart, one that is sadly often overlooked and neglected, running for Thurrock independents gives me a strong hand to pressure those local matters close to the your hearts, to push for a cleaner, safer community and one that is protected from overdevelopment.”