We read this piece today (19.5) with great interest and a fair bit of amusement: Thurrock Council under pressure to be held to account over Stanford-le-Hope railway station. A little point of clarification, when we say ‘amusement’, it’s in the context of if we didn’t laugh, something would get broken as we vented our frustration and anger!
Firstly from reading the comments from Cllr. Mark Coxshall (Con) who has overseen this and other ‘re-generation’ projects in the borough, what struck us was the combination of utter bullshit and the seeming lack of any contrition about the screw ups that led to the delay in the first place. Bullshit because he’s excitedly spouting off about the purchase of the land required to complete the project, albeit to a new and fuller design. Let’s remember that the existing buildings at Stanford-le-Hope railway station were demolished before properly surveyed, quantified and costed plans were drawn up and the land necessary for the proposed station re-development purchased. To date, no one’s head appears to have rolled for this and the residents and users of Stanford-le-Hope railway station still haven’t received the apology and explanation they deserve.
Secondly, opposition Labour councillors, in particular, Cllr. Martin Kerin, chair of the Planning, Transport, Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee are now calling the council to account. Kerin has ordered a complete review of the project. We hope this will be a full and open review and look forward to reading the conclusions. As for holding Thurrock Council to account for this debacle, along with many frustrated and pissed off locals in Stanford-le-Hope, we’d like to point out that we’ve also been doing our bit to try and do this as you can see from the following:
Understandably, the project has been further delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis and the difficulties in safely running a construction project in a station that’s still in use, albeit with significantly reduced passenger numbers. Having said this, it’s not acceptable to use the crisis and that fact that people’s attention is focused elsewhere as an excuse to evade scrutiny over what has been one screw up after another.