We had to do a double take when we saw this! Particularly as April 1st is now a distant memory. Here’s the story as reported on Your Thurrock for you: Thurrock Council in the running for Local Authority of the Year for second year in a row.

Where do you even start with taking this apart? The arrogance of foisting costly town centre infrastructure projects in Grays upon residents with the merest nod to consultation, plus a callous disregard for the future of businesses run by people of migrant origin that will get swept away. The vanity project of expanding the civic offices in New Road, Grays – again dismissing the views of local residents and again, destroying businesses run by people of migrant origin. The long running farce of the ‘re-development’ of the railway station at Stanford-le-Hope. The delays and massive cost overruns on the A13 widening project in the east of the borough. The borrowing of £2 billion from other local authorities for use in speculative investments. The list goes on and on…

These are just some of the ways we’ve called out Thurrock Council over the last couple of years:

Another costly and pointless infrastructure project – 09.07.20

Thurrock Council – you cannot rewrite history or bullshit your residents! – 01.07.20

The supreme arrogance of Thurrock Council – 19.06.20

Thurrock Council and delayed infrastructure projects – there’s a pattern emerging and it ain’t good! – 14.01.20

Thurrock Council project cost overruns – an emerging pattern – 25.10.19

Thurrock Council – ever thought about listening to your residents? –17.10.19

These are just scratching the surface…

Yet, despite all of the above, we’re told that Thurrock Council have been shortlisted as one of just six finalists for Local Authority of the Year in The Municipal Journal Local Government Achievement Awards 2020. Not only that, this is the second year in a row Thurrock Council has been shortlisted for this award. If what we’ve listed above is regarded as ‘achievement’, f**k knows how bad a failure would be!

An increasing number of ordinary, non-political people we talk to in Thurrock see the council as a failing authority. How The Municipal Journal can see what Thurrock Council has done as an achievement to be celebrated defies comprehension. All we can say is that they have been taken in by some pretty high powered bullshit from Thurrock Council!

Seriously, this just shows the disconnect there is between the likes of The Municipal Journal and legions of arrogant, puffed up local authorities on the one hand, and pissed off ordinary residents on the other. A disconnect that’s growing as more people see through the sham that’s so called local democracy. The question is, how much more of this bullshit can people take before something gives?