No answers! Council go tight-lipped after workers descended to clear out private property from communal sheds at high rise premises in what is described as an act of theft by local residents

By Neil Speight

7th May 2020 | Local News

RESIDENTS on a Thurrock estate have slammed Thurrock Council for a lack of contact and information after a team of council workers descended and cleared out personal property from their sheds.

The contrversy has been played out this week in South Grays, where residents of the Seabrooke Estate were shocked to see a council team turn up and remove items from communal sheds that serve the largely council house estate.

The storage sheds are located at the bottom of a number of the high rise blocks in the area.

In May year the council wrote to residents saying it was their intention to clear the sheds, but residents say they have heard nothing since and assumed the idea had been scrapped.

But out of the blue, with no advance warning it is said, workers arrived on Tuesday this week and emptied the sheds, taking away belongings – much of which is personal and some of it valuable.

Chairman of the Seabrooke Rise Residents Association, Richard Suttling, contacted the council immediately to find out what was happening but says he was unable to get a response.

He then contacted Thurrock Nub News and said: "Today the council have took it upon them selves without consulting us to empty the sheds.

Action wile people are in lockdown

"As chair of Seabrooke Rise I believe the council have stolen people's items and have done it while people are in lockdown.

"Again it shows this council does not communicate with local residents and they ignore residents' wishes.

"I ask how would they like it if I entered their sheds and stole everything. I also see social distancing has been ignored."

Thurrock Nub News immediately contacted the council, just after midday. At 4.33pm, Socott Morrow, the council's acting strategic lead on communications, responded by saying: "Thanks – just wanted to let you know we have received this and are liaising with the housing team about it."

Since then we have heard nothing.

And neither have Mr Suttling, or ward councillor Martin Kerin, who took up the residents' concerns.

He says:" 'We've had local residents contacting us to say how concerned they are about this. We've sought answers but, to date (Thursday, 7 May), received no reply.

"The lack of communication serves no good purpose. The council should be communicating with local people and reassuring them during the lockdown."


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