26 Jun Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price Highlights Thames Growth Commission Report
The Government finally reported the conclusions of the Thames Growth Commission to examine how to make the most of growth opportunities in the Thames Estuary, from Canary Wharf down to Southend and Margate. The commission which was originally established by George Osborne under the leadership of Michael Heseltine state that a million new homes can be created in the Estuary and highlights that poor governance means that many of the opportunities for growth have not been realised as there is no single champion or voice. It calls on the local authorities to look at how they might redress this, but says that if proposals are not brought within six months the Government will bring forward its own proposals.
Responding to the report Jackie Doyle-Price said, “It has been very clear to me for a long time that the interests of Thurrock and South Essex need more effective representation. We are too fractured to be able to hold our own against a powerful Mayor of London. As other areas are embracing Mayors we need to look at whether our current arrangements are really working. I would like to see a Mayor of South Essex.
That said, this report suggests we have greater synergies with Dartford and Gravesham than with our South Essex neighbours. So perhaps that should be where we look to build stronger partnerships.
We also need to look carefully at our capacity to deliver the opportunities afforded by growth. It is for more than ten years that we have been talking about expanding Purfleet but we are still no nearer having spades in the ground. We need to make sure we have the organisational capacity to deliver major projects. Unless we see more delivery, we will end up with another Development Corporation. And no one wants that.