Dave (the editor)

The seemingly stalled re-development of Stanford-le-Hope railway station may seem to some observers to be of no great importance in the grand scheme of things where everything is in a state of flux and change. However, the way the current phase of absolutely sod all appearing to be happening is being handled by the authorities is symptomatic of the breakdown in communication and trust between them and mere plebs like us. Also, we live in Stanford, use what’s left of the station frequently and as a consequence, have an interest in what’s (not) happening.

Firstly, this is the grand vision of what the station is supposed to eventually look like: New station for Stanford-le-Hope. It’s a joint project between the line operator, c2c and Thurrock Council. Unlike a fair number of new developments, this one actually has the support of a lot of people in the town, particularly those of us who use the c2c rail services.

When the existing station was pretty much demolished a few months ago, we had visions of the work proceeding at a reasonable pace. Well, since then, nothing has happened and we’re left with a tatty shell of a station. Our thoughts go out to the few staff retained to sell tickets at peak times and provide security. Given the lack of infrastructure provided, the conditions they have to put up with are abysmal.

This is an extract from a letter to the Thurrock Gazette from a frustrated user of the station:

So what is going to be the fate of Stanford-le-Hope railway station?

It was comprehensively demolished weeks ago apart from the footbridge (thankfully) and a couple of quirky remnants.

Since then – well, nothing!

The commuters, shoppers and trippers look lost and forlorn even in good weather conditions.

Taxis cannot wait there now and you cannot be safely dropped off – although I have seen some dangerous attempts.

You can read the letter in full here: What’s going on? Finish the station job – reader letter.

There probably is a plausible explanation for the delay in the works. It just hasn’t been communicated by either c2c or Thurrock Council to us mere plebs who live in Stanford-le-Hope and use the railway station. Seriously, how much would it cost to run up a few posters explaining what’s going on and place them in purpose built frames on the hoarding surrounding the front of the station?

This is just one of too many examples of piss poor communication from local authorities and their partners to the people they’re supposed to be serving when it comes to building and infrastructure developments. Commentators wonder why there’s a breakdown in trust between us, the people and those local authorities who in theory are supposed to be our servants. Well, here’s why:- a) the arrogant t***ers in our town halls seem to be totally unable to grasp the simple fact they’re supposed to be there to serve us and instead, think they have the right to lord it over us and b) they’re seemingly incompetent and can’t grasp the basics of open and honest communication.

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had to say this but yet again, here it is – the system of local (and national) governance we have to endure is simply not fit for purpose. The question is – how much longer are we going to put up with this before acting to bring about a system of local governance that operates from the grassroots upwards and is totally accountable and transparent?