One of the functions of this blog is calling truth to power in a bid to get across the message that the system of local (and national) governance we have is unaccountable and not fit for purpose. At the moment, Thurrock Council are the gift that keeps on giving. What follows are just two more examples of incompetence, arrogance and hubris. These aren’t even the worse – keen eyed observers of Thurrock Council will know there’s a shocker in development…

A short while ago, we published this post in response to a letter in the Thurrock Gazette from a frustrated resident of Stanford-le-Hope wondering what was happening with the apparently stalled re-development of the railway station: Communication breakdown… Well, it transpires that work actually has stopped at (what’s left of) the station: Work halted at Stanford’s planned new rail station.

Thurrock Council are the ones supposedly managing the project (stop sniggering at the back!) and…they’ve seriously underestimated the cost of re-building the bridge over the creek running by the side of the station. So, there’s a hiatus leaving c2c staff working at the station having to endure pretty dire conditions and passengers having to put up with using a ruin of a station. You seriously couldn’t make this shite up!

Then there’s the proposed re-development of the Thurrock Council offices in New Road Grays. A proposal which would obliterate a number of businesses in the block adjacent to the offices, including the popular Angel Cafe. We’ve written this: Rendered out of existence and this: So…who’s really running Thurrock Council? about the situation. Before any work has been undertaken, a massive amount of cash has already been spent on design ‘concepts’ and architectural survey work: More than half a million spent on controversial Grays Civic Centre plans before work even begins. Better late than never, a motion calling for the plans to be abandoned will be discussed by councillors on Wednesday 19.6.

In both instances, piss poor communication has been a major factor. Users of Stanford-le-Hope railway station and nearby residents have been kept pretty much in the dark about what is (and isn’t) happening and the reasons for the delay.. The businesses near the Thurrock Council offices in Grays have been treated with what can only be described as contempt as they’re fed an absolute minimum of information about a development that could wreck their future. A cabal of senior council officers and ruling group Tories seem to think they can keep us mere plebs in the dark while they arrogantly lord it over us. The point is, to get away with lording it over people and keep the lid on, you have to be ultra competent in what you do. This cabal at Thurrock Council couldn’t run a bath FFS!

So, fair play to the councillors who called the motion for the plans for the new council offices to be abandoned. Also fair play to those councillors putting the ruling group and senior officers under scrutiny for other, more serious failings. While as anarchists, we have no time for the sham of electoral politics, we want to acknowledge those councillors who genuinely have the interests of their residents at heart. While we may not always agree with them, Thurrock would be in an even worse position than it already is without them.