Down the drain

We may well have moved away from Thurrock to the other side of the country but, given that we have friends back there, we still follow what’s going on in the borough. We have been following the descent of Thurrock Council into financial chaos as their ‘borrow to invest’ scheme has failed abysmally, leaving them owing up to £1.5 billion to other local authorities they borrowed from. One of those local authorities just happens to be the West of England Combined Authority! So even though we’ve moved, we still get impacted by Thurrock Council’s financial mismanagement.

Well, Thurrock Council have swirled even further down the drain as you can read here in Thurrock Nub News: Council submits Section 114 order as its disastrous financial position is confirmed 19.12.22. Issuing a Section 114 order indicates that the council will not be able to deliver a balanced budget from within existing resources this year and into the next year. It also means that the council has to stop all but essential spending on vital services to residents. Austerity on steroids beckons.

It gets worse: Probe into Thurrock Council’s financial affairs and governance is extended. So many unanswered questions and investigators need more time to delve into council’s dodgy deals 19.12.22. Essex County Council were appointed as commissioners by the government to investigate the financial chaos Thurrock Council had created for themselves. A report was supposed to be delivered to the council and the government by early January. Such is the mess the commissioners have uncovered, they have asked for an extra month to complete their investigations.

To date, the only serious coverage of this mess has come from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Thurrock Nub News. Given the mind boggling scale of the losses Thurrock Council have incurred, the impact on residents that sorting this out will have and last but by no means least, the many questions about how this was allowed to happen, it’s staggering that the national media have yet to pick up this story. Not least because it raises a lot of questions about the way local government functions. Questions whose answers demand some pretty radical changes to local governance.

What else can we say about this sorry saga? Below is a selection of the posts we’ve put up about this since early on this year:

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse… 17.9.22

Spiralling down the drain 14.9.22

Meanwhile, in other news… 9.9.22

So it comes to pass… 3.9.22

Transparency? 17.7.22

Seriously, you couldn’t make this up if you tried! 12.2.22

How much lower can Thurrock Council sink FFS?! 9.2.22

There is a fair bit more we could say but as this is an ongoing crisis, we’ll sit tight on making any further comments until there’s a bit more clarity as to how this was allowed to happen and will anyone be taking the rap for this. We’ll conclude for the moment with this observation – the local elections in Thurrock next May will be very ‘interesting’ to say the least!

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