Over the coming weeks we will be announcing our policies, below you can view the ones we have released so far:
Thurrock Independents have called for substantial extra and smarter investments by the Council to allow us to fulfil our ambition to cut General Fund Council Tax on an annual basis in the future. Thurrock Independents ambition is to raise revenue through investment rather than the pockets of taxpayers struggling to make ends meet. While we would love to see Council Tax cuts made this year it is, unfortunately, not possible due to the timid approach of successive Council Administrations towards investments. Thurrock Independents are committed to building a solid, well rounded and effective investments strategy that will allow us to take pressure off of local residents by reducing Council tax on an annual basis.
We will not support the closure of Orsett Hospital until a new community hospital, with A&E services, is built. In February 2018 we were successful in securing the following motion in Full Council: ‘Thurrock Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as well as NHS England setting out a detailed case supporting the need for a new hospital in Thurrock to help address the future needs of the borough.’ We will hold the council to this commitment.
Thurrock Independents is proud to make a commitment to ensuring that all existing planning and localism act legislation is utilised to put Thurrock residents first in line for all new housing built within the borough. This practice is commonplace within other boroughs around the country and Thurrock residents deserve that the same priority is shown to them. All rented property within developments should, and any council owned Thurrock Regeneration Ltd developments must, be affordable and accessible to all Thurrock residents. Thurrock Independents are not and will never be in the business of meeting the housing needs of other boroughs. Whether it be Thurrock Regeneration Ltd, the local plan or private developments, our approach will be steadfast and uncompromising.
The newly formed Thurrock Independents will bring upbeat, optimistic and positive politics to Thurrock. We will concentrate upon expressing our concerns about the problems this community faces and offer the solutions we believe will be successful. We will respect, debate and attempt to reach a consensus with both Labour and the Tories for the sake of the residents of Thurrock. The people of Thurrock must always come before bitter political rivalry. Let all sides commit to a promise of working together after the elections in a responsible way. Conduct that prioritises the needs of Thurrock not narrow party interests. Let us make sure that we always put people first, politics second.
If we are elected to run Thurrock Council in May 2018 our first act will be to convene an emergency health and environmental summit to identify how we can take immediate action to tackle this most pressing of concerns. The summit will investigate, analyse and invite expert opinion to find solutions that will allow us to act efficiently and effectively. The summit will look at a range of topics from air pollution, poor housing, education, animal welfare, to living standards. We will increase the decision making role of the environment department across the council. We will relentlessly seek to find practical, affordable and actionable policies, without increasing the cost of living for residents, that will improve health and protect our environment.
Protecting Frontline Services
Thurrock Independents believe that the Council needs to look very closely at its policy of outsourcing the provision of council services to private companies. The borough’s long-standing issues with repairs and social care are well documented. Recently the collapse of Carillion highlighted the dangers of over-reliance on outsourcing. Thurrock Council recently announced it was engaged in around 370 such contracts which have a value of almost £600 million. With several huge contracts up for renewal over the next few years Thurrock Independents believe that the time has come to analyse every single outsourced contract to see whether bringing services back under the control of the council will provide better value-for-money and a higher quality of provision for residents.
Thurrock Independents continue to have concerns about the quality of customer experience residents are reporting. Concerns are often raised regarding the same small number of departments within Thurrock Council. We believe that these problems are historic, and in some cases have become the accepted culture within certain teams in the Council. Thurrock Independents’ instructions will be explicit and uncompromising to those with management responsibility. The consequences of continued failures to meet acceptable standards of customer care will be laid bare. There are great departments in Thurrock Council who achieve an exemplary standard of customer care. If they provide this standard of service, then there are no excuses for departments who are failing to match them.