What follows is a selection of news items that persuaded us to give Thurrock Council the ‘plonkers of the year’ award…

Firstly, there’s their housing policy which sees moving households on the housing waiting list hundreds of miles away as a ‘solution’ to finding homes for them: Social cleansing from Thurrock.

Then, in the midst of ongoing austerity that’s doing real damage to the services we rely on, Thurrock Council decide they need some flash new offices for themselves: Never mind us plebs, just build yourselves some shiny new offices!

Moving on, there’s Thurrock Council hosting semi-secret summits where ruling group Tory councillors and senior council officers cosy up to ‘developer’ parasites: Keeping us out of the loop while Thurrock is put up for sale.

Brexit? The growing possibility of a no deal Brexit? Thurrock is a major port and you would have thought that as such, the council would have detailed contingency plans in place but…they haven’t! There’s this: Thurrock Council does NOT appear to have a Brexit Impact Plan and a few months later, this: Still not ready…

For a total lack of tact and contrition in dealing with the legitimate concerns of local residents, there’s this when the council tried (and failed) to sell off a public park to make way for a new school: Thurrock Council know the price of everything and the value of nothing… This is how it ended up: A grudging concession from Thurrock Council.

Here’s yet another example of control freak behaviour from Thurrock Council that beggars belief. Back in the summer they tore down posters promoting the Stanford & Corringham Carnival and slapped a £150 on the charity organising the event: Have the control freaks at Thurrock Council lost the plot?

Last but by no means least, there’s the treatment meted out by the council to the Thurrock Independent newspaper and website simply because they were doing their job in holding the council to account: Blacklisted by Thurrock Council.

We’re sure that you will agree Thurrock Council richly deserve the ‘plonkers of the year’ award! While bestowing this award is on the one hand a bit of festive fun, on the other hand, there’s a serious purpose to it in showing that the system of local and national governance we endure is unaccountable, dysfunctional and not fit for purpose. Let’s make 2019 the year we all start to do something to rectify this by getting radical change onto the agenda!