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Area office closure plan is slammed
8:00am Thursday 16th August 2012 in News
A PLAN to close the council’s area office in Corringham to the public has been branded “deeply alarming” by outraged Conservatives.
Thurrock Council sent a letter to ward councillors last week, informing them it was proposing to close the office, in Springhouse Road, from October 1, in order to provide “more cost efficient services for residents”.
To add to the opposition’s concern, the letter referred to the Stanford and Corringham Local Office as the first stage in a “programme”, with web-based portals and future community hubs available to residents access services instead.
The letter said the building will continue to be used as a location for the housing team in the area, “who will be available for appointments and interviews as normal”.
Phil Anderson, Conservative leader and a Stanford East and Corringham Town councillor, said: “It is deeply alarming that Labour are planning to close our local housing office with no workable proposals for how tenants will access services in the future.
"There are still many residents in my ward who have no capacity to use the internet.
“And at the last full council meeting, Cllr John Kent told the chamber the only community hub he is currently planning is in South Ockendon.
“I’m shocked they are even suggesting closing the housing office when they obviously have no plans as to what they will replace it with.”
The council’s letter said consultations are being carried out with everyone involved.
It said: “We are writing to tenants and leaseholders to consult with them on their views about the proposed closure, and to inform them about the other ways they can contact us.
“For example, we are introducing a freephone number for tenants and leaseholders to report repairs from September 3.
“Staff are also being informed and consulted with in accordance with normal change management procedures.”