When we read this brief piece on Your Thurrock: Thurrock Labour leader asks: “Does Thurrock Council have a communication problem? after having a brief chuckle, we thought that given the way things are, it’s a very rare council that doesn’t have a communication problem and is open and honest with their residents. Let’s run through just a few of the many communication issues we’ve covered…

There’s this: Thurrock Council know the price of everything and the value of nothing… – flogging off a pocket park in an already tightly packed area of Grays for the construction of a new secondary school without consulting the local residents in any meaningful way.

Then there’s this: Oh dear… – the day after a damming article in the Yellow Advertiser about the state of the ¾ estate in Vange, Basildon Council officers fail to brief their refuse collection teams to make a bit more of an effort on the Friday collection to leave the estate looking tidy.

And, there’s this as well: Another epic fail – our friends from SKIPP fulminating against the repeated failures of Southend Borough Council to meaningfully communicate with their residents before starting grandiose road schemes and promoting unwanted developments along the cliff tops to name just some of their failings.

We could go on and on but hopefully, you’re starting to get the picture. Council activity and meaningful dialogue with residents are barely overlapping concepts. In an ideal world, local councils would be the servants of the people. No one needs to be told that we live in a world that’s far from ideal. In this far from ideal world, councils seem to think that they know best and have the right to do whatever they see fit without any meaningful consultation.

As we have said many times before, the system of local (and national) governance that is foisted upon us is dysfunctional and not fit for purpose. The question is – how much longer are we going to tolerate this before something snaps?