'Cover-up' claim over council asset list denied

LABOUR has denied there is a cover-up concerning the potential sale of some of its properties.

An asset management strategy report presented to the cabinet on February 22 said the authority could make up to £5.8million by selling off 17 assets.

The report did not detail what the assets were, and at the meeting, where the strategy was approved, the Tories accused Labour of a cover-up, when told there was no detailed list of assets for sale.

Group leader Phil Anderson said: “The strategy that Labour approved identifies an exact number of buildings, it gives a precise value range, and it gives dates over the next five years when the disposals will happen.

“Yet they still have the nerve to claim that no detailed list exists.

“We know full well that it exists, because I was briefly shown an early draft of it at meeting held as far back as June 16 last year.”

Leader of the council John Kent has hit back at the claims, and said the council was criticised by external auditors for not having a proper asset management strategy, which is why one has been drafted.

He revealed a list of council-owned properties has been split into three groups, properties that are surplus to requirements, and could be sold, properties which are not being used as efficiently as possible, and properties which are well used by the community.

Cllr Kent said the council is not considering selling properties from the second and third group.

He said: “The report looked at how we will manage our assets more efficiently and cost effectively.

“Whilst the report refers to 17 properties, they are not all for immediate disposal – these particular properties are merely indicative of the types of properties that the council own and helped shape the financial modelling presented in the report.

“Of the 17, there are five properties that we believe could be disposed of immediately, including two former school sites, an office, a depot and some vacant land.

“The remaining properties are part of the council’s longer term considerations and include office space, library buildings and a depot.

“For absolute clarity we are not even considering disposing of any of the properties in the groups two and three. If that situation were to change, in years to come, there would have to be fullest consultation possible with users and residents and even then we would only proceed if alternative provision was put in place before the disposal.”

The list: Group one- properties that could be sold: 169 Usk Road (Depot) - Aveley Graham James (former) Infant School- Corringham Jack Lobley (Former) Primary School- Tilbury Grays Magistrates Court- Grays 64-82 Argent Street - Grays Group two - properties not being used as efficiently as possible: Dilkes Park depot- South Ockendon Station House – offices Thurrock Carers Centre, Cromwell Road Grays Group three- properties well used by the community: Aveley library Corringham library Stanford le Hope library Stanford le Hope area office Chadwell St Mary area office Chadwell St Mary library Riverside – Youth Centre/Connexions- Chadwell St mary East Tilbury library Blackshots library

Comments (6)

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4:19pm Thu 8 Mar 12

Barry Johnson says...

With stories such as this now hitting the press, I shudder to think what the labour group will be using in their propoganda leaflets this year!! Grays Beach or Thameside Theatre maybe? unfortunately whatever it is we should ALL do a little investigating before accepting it.
Barry Johnson
With stories such as this now hitting the press, I shudder to think what the labour group will be using in their propoganda leaflets this year!! Grays Beach or Thameside Theatre maybe? unfortunately whatever it is we should ALL do a little investigating before accepting it. Barry Johnson Barry Johnson

8:14pm Thu 8 Mar 12

A Dermot says...

Barry Johnson wrote:
With stories such as this now hitting the press, I shudder to think what the labour group will be using in their propoganda leaflets this year!! Grays Beach or Thameside Theatre maybe? unfortunately whatever it is we should ALL do a little investigating before accepting it.
Barry Johnson
At least the Labour group aren't trying to make secret deals with the BNP and then lying to the press when they get caught out are they Barry?
[quote][p][bold]Barry Johnson[/bold] wrote: With stories such as this now hitting the press, I shudder to think what the labour group will be using in their propoganda leaflets this year!! Grays Beach or Thameside Theatre maybe? unfortunately whatever it is we should ALL do a little investigating before accepting it. Barry Johnson[/p][/quote]At least the Labour group aren't trying to make secret deals with the BNP and then lying to the press when they get caught out are they Barry? A Dermot

11:09pm Thu 8 Mar 12

Barry Johnson says...

A.Dermot ????????????????????
?
A.Dermot ???????????????????? ? Barry Johnson

9:28am Fri 9 Mar 12

Bernard 87 says...

So Labour have drawn up a list of disposable assets. I don't know why they just didnt say so in the first place rather than trying to sugar coat the matter. It is obvious that once May has come and gone selling these properties (to developers to build more houses) will start to happen. You do not draw up a list of disposable properties if you don't plan to get rid of them at some point.

A Dermot
You are talking nonsense and that comment has nothing to do with the story. Its like me saying that New Labours sole ambition was to aggressively alter the British population through unchecked immigration and sell our country down the river to Europe. Points that has nothing to do with the story but have a great deal more truth then your remark.
So Labour have drawn up a list of disposable assets. I don't know why they just didnt say so in the first place rather than trying to sugar coat the matter. It is obvious that once May has come and gone selling these properties (to developers to build more houses) will start to happen. You do not draw up a list of disposable properties if you don't plan to get rid of them at some point. A Dermot You are talking nonsense and that comment has nothing to do with the story. Its like me saying that New Labours sole ambition was to aggressively alter the British population through unchecked immigration and sell our country down the river to Europe. Points that has nothing to do with the story but have a great deal more truth then your remark. Bernard 87

4:42pm Sat 10 Mar 12

Gary H says...

Why do the conservatives always try and sell these lavish headlines of cover-ups, probes and other false information? The point made above is a valid point about the conservatives making a deal with the BNP. This was reported a few years back and it is sad that the local conservatives would consider doing a deal with the BNP for the sake of power. However the reality is that there is not much difference in the policies of the two parties. That is why this May elections the options are limited it is either Labour or Nothing. I think Barry Johnson and i dont know if this is the Cllr Barry Johnson of old was slightly a more moderate conservative and he made a difference. I seem to remember was key in t-fest, community projects etc. The only chance these conservatives have are a few more 'New conservatives'. As for Labour covering-up the sale of assets i have a feeling the conservatives will soon be asking for some type of probe!!
Why do the conservatives always try and sell these lavish headlines of cover-ups, probes and other false information? The point made above is a valid point about the conservatives making a deal with the BNP. This was reported a few years back and it is sad that the local conservatives would consider doing a deal with the BNP for the sake of power. However the reality is that there is not much difference in the policies of the two parties. That is why this May elections the options are limited it is either Labour or Nothing. I think Barry Johnson and i dont know if this is the Cllr Barry Johnson of old was slightly a more moderate conservative and he made a difference. I seem to remember was key in t-fest, community projects etc. The only chance these conservatives have are a few more 'New conservatives'. As for Labour covering-up the sale of assets i have a feeling the conservatives will soon be asking for some type of probe!! Gary H

3:35pm Mon 12 Mar 12

Bernard 87 says...

Gary, Cllr Kent has admitted that the council has a list of possible saleable assets. No-one is stirring up trouble. All he had to do was explain himself when the news emerged rather than lie and deny that Labour have thought about selling of numerous properties.
Gary, Cllr Kent has admitted that the council has a list of possible saleable assets. No-one is stirring up trouble. All he had to do was explain himself when the news emerged rather than lie and deny that Labour have thought about selling of numerous properties. Bernard 87

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