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Leaders get ready for big council vote
8:00am Monday 30th April 2012 in News
WITH the Thurrock Council elections looming on Thursday, May 3, the Gazette caught up with the main political parties to find out how they rate their campaigns so far.
The Labour Party, which is in control of the council at present, said it has spoken to thousands of residents about how it can make Thurrock cleaner, greener, safer, and fairer.
Council leader John Kent said: “Since 2010, we have frozen council tax, have saved the council millions of pounds by cutting down on consultants, cutting back on the costs of senior managers and cutting out waste and duplication.
“We have restored the council’s emergency reserves to £8million after the Tories squandered it.
“We have also protected vital services from the biggest government cuts Thurrock’s budgets have ever seen.
“But there is still more to do.
“We are committed to protecting the council services that residents rely on in the face of huge budget cuts.”
The Conservative Party has been busy dropping its detailed manifesto through people’s doors, and is pleased with how its campaign is going so far.
Tory leader Cllr Phil Anderson said: “The choice at this election is actually pretty simple.
“The Conservatives are the only party to have produced a detailed local manifesto which tells you exactly what we will do for you here in Thurrock.
“Every other party is asking you to vote on national or European issues, all very important, but not things that local councillors have any power to change.
“Your local Conservatives have a great team with the courage and creativity to sort out housing, finance, education and community services while keeping your council tax low.
“We have earned a reputation for hard work and common sense at a local level, now we are asking you for the chance to bring those qualities to the running of Thurrock Council.” The Liberal Democrats are proud to be fielding candidates in every ward for the first time in 20 years, and say their campaigners have been very active over the last few weeks.
Claire Jones, the party’s candidate for Little Thurrock, said: “We want to be engaging with residents – we don’t want a scenario where people send a councillor to Civil Offices and then that is it, you don’t hear from them again.
“We want people to have a say much earlier on in the process.
“A councillor’s number one responsibility is to represent the people who elected them.
“If they have a problem, a councillor should be seeing to that which is the number one priority.”
UKIP said it needs is one or two councillors to bring about real change in the borough.
Among their policies are slashing council tax by ensuring no employees of Thurrock Council earn more than an MP.
The party is also opposing the £41million cuts to Essex Police, and has been focusing on the People’s Pledge vote in Thurrock, where 89 per cent of residents called for a referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU.