It’s been revealed that Tory run Thurrock Council held a ‘secret’ meeting with a number of developers at High House, Purfleet on Tuesday September 18th. It appears that the only councillors present were Tories and that the local media were refused entry. See here for the full story: Labour leader slams Thurrock Council over “secret” developers meeting.

We may be branded as cynical by some but to be honest, we’re not in the least bit surprised that this has happened. Thurrock Council have form for not consulting residents in any meaningful way when it comes to flogging off public land for development: Thurrock Council know the price of everything and the value of nothing… They also have form for keeping the local media out of the loop when it suits them: Blacklisted by Thurrock Council.

We can understand why the leader of the Labour group on Thurrock Council, Cllr. John Kent is angered at the arrogance of the council in riding roughshod over the principles of accountancy and transparency. We share his concerns that Thurrock is effectively up for sale to the developers and that the views of residents concerned about the impact of development will be brushed aside.

However… We don’t want to sound churlish about Cllr. Kent’s outrage at Tory run Thurrock Council cosying up to developers but Labour run councils in London are just as bad when it comes to this kind of behaviour. There’s this from Harringey Council: Haringey Labour Council – Meet The New Bosses, Same As The Old Bosses? Then there’s this from Labour run Newham Council: Booted out of Newham. These are just two examples out of many, many more across London where Labour are just as complicit in the agenda of ‘regeneration’ and the social cleansing that comes with it. Social cleansing that has a direct impact on the housing situation here in Thurrock.

If Cllr. John Kent is really sincere in his desire to stand up to unaccountable councils and greedy developers, we would like to make a suggestion to him. Could he have a word with the leaders of the Labour authorities in London who are seemingly in hock to the developers and complicit in social cleansing and tell them to sodding well rein it in? That would go a long way to proving he is genuine in his outrage. We await his response with interest…however, we won’t be holding our breath!