If you want an example of the ineptness that can characterise local government, take a good look at this piece which encapsulates it perfectly: Leading councillor accuses Thurrock Conservatives of “wilfully sabotaging” defence against Lower Thames Crossing.

Thurrock Council are in the process of developing their Local Plan which lays out the framework for the future construction of up to 32,000 new homes across the borough and the infrastructure that will be needed to support the extra population. A plan which as you can imagine, would have ramifications for the Lower Thames Crossing proposal from Highways England. The latest ‘consultation’ on the crossing proposals is due to conclude on December 20th.

An Extraordinary Thurrock Council Meeting will be taking place on Tuesday 11th December at the Civic Offices in Grays, starting at 7pm. The Local Plan was on the agenda for this meeting, presumably to help the council in formulating it’s response to the Lower Thames Crossing. As you can see from the news item linked to above, the chief executive of Thurrock Council, Lyn Carpenter, sees the placing of the Local Plan on the agenda for this meeting as ‘absolutely critical’.

Well, guess what’s happened – the Tory Group on the council have pulled discussion of the Local Plan from the agenda, effectively sabotaging the efforts of the council’s officers to formulate a response to the Lower Thames Crossing proposals. As yet, there’s no indication as to why this item has been pulled. However, you may get a clue from the title we picked for this post! This is based on the previous, abysmal form from the council.

Both the Local Plan and the Lower Thames Crossing will change the face of Thurrock beyond recognition and will have a profound impact on the lives of residents across the borough. So what do the people trusted to make decisions on these issues do in the face of this? They monumentally screw it up! This is yet another example of how local (and national) government is not fit for purpose in any way shape or form.

As an aside, a few posts back, we commented on local authorities being asked to develop food resilience plans in response to the ever increasing likelihood of a no deal Brexit: It’s getting closer to crunch time… Then and now, we ask the question – would you trust Thurrock Council with implementing this? On current form, we wouldn’t trust them to run a bath!