Here’s yet another example of control freak behaviour from Thurrock Council that beggars belief. They’ve torn down posters promoting the Stanford & Corringham Carnival and slapped a £150 on the charity organising the event. See here for the full story in the Thurrock Independent: Council slammed for tearing down charity carnival posters and fining organisers £150.

The carnival is an annual, family orientated event that has been going for many years, It is organised by local volunteers, many of who have been involved for years. They know what they’re doing and there’s no way they would intentionally or negligently place posters promoting the carnival in a way that would cause a nuisance, a distraction or littering. They have always informed the council of the carnival route and the fact that they’ll be putting up posters to promote it. Afterwards, they scrupulously remove every single poster they’ve put up.

These are dedicated volunteers. The kind of people who do a lot to build community spirit and togetherness with morale boosting events such as the carnival. The kind of people who, as permanent austerity continues to bite ever deeper, will be stepping up to the plate to try and fill the ever growing gaps as services continue to be cut and communities have to rely more and more on their own efforts. The kind of people a council with any sense would be working in partnership with to help us all through the even tougher times to come. So what happens instead? Some control freak decides the carnival organisers have transgressed some obscure rule and slaps a fine on them so as a result, the charities the carnival support potentially lose out.

Thurrock Council’s control freak behaviour has sparked a storm of protest on social media. Residents are offering to put up posters in their homes. At least one has offered to pay the £150 fine so the charities supported by the carnival don’t lose out. There’s a community in Stanford-le-Hope and Corringham that’s not going to tolerate the small minded pettiness being shown by the council.

It seems that every week, we’re having to publish posts highlighting the arrogance, disrespect for residents and increasingly, the petty authoritarian attitude coming from the local authorities across southern Essex who claim to rule us. Time after time, we’re having to remind these tin pot control freaks that they’re supposed to be our servants, not our masters. It’s our money that pays the salaries of the officers and the allowances of the councillors and they need to be reminded in no uncertain terms that they are supposed to be working for us!