The long, sorry saga of Thurrock Council’s contemptuous treatment of local residents who want to be consulted about the proposed extension to the Civic Offices in New Road, Grays, goes on. The council is showing considerable reluctance in meeting with residents from the nearby Seabrooke Rise estate to discuss the impact of the extension: Chair of Seabrooke Residents Association slams Thurrock Council over lack of consultation. This is on top of the scant regard shown for the owners of the businesses that currently occupy the footprint of the proposed extension: Rendered out of existence.

We’re not talking about one off situations or lapses here… We’re talking about a culture of arrogance that seems to be endemic at Thurrock Council – and pretty much every other local authority we’ve looked at to be honest. It seems that if you’re a social housing tenant or a small business owner of migrant origin, your views and feelings have less weight and should not be allowed to get in the way of hubristic, so called ‘regeneration’ projects. The cabal of ruling group councillors and senior council officers making major decisions about the future of Grays town centre don’t live anywhere near the place. Despite this, they want to impose their vision of what they think Grays town centre should look like on those living nearby, running businesses or working in it, without any resistance.

These puffed up charlatans need to be reminded in no uncertain terms they’re supposed to be servants of the people of Thurrock and not arrogant, unaccountable quasi dictators. A cursory glance at the history books shows that for many dictators, things don’t end well. If the cabal of ruling group councillors and senior officers care to take a step back and look at how an increasing number of people in Thurrock regard them, they might just realise that it’s time to drop the hubris, adopt some humility and actually listen to the residents.