New plans to put the future of Thurrock regeneration back into local hands were announced by Thames Gateway Minister Bob Neill today.
Thurrock Borough Council will absorb the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation from 1 April 2012. As part of this localist move, decision making power for local regeneration and planning will shift back to into the hands of the local council and communities, who know best what their area needs.
This is a move away from the previous Government’s decision to merge the corporation with the Homes and Communities Agency and is part of wider plans to turn Government on its head and end centrally imposed decision making on local areas, including the Thames Gateway.
The change will benefit local residents, businesses and the council, by strengthening local control over regeneration, maintaining the momentum of private sector investment and enabling efficiency savings to be realised.
Bob Neill said:
Putting Thurrock Borough Council back in command of local regeneration puts decision-making power back into democratically elected hands - marking a new era in the area and giving local people more influence to shape the place in which they live.
This is part of our wider plans to decentralise strategic oversight of the Thames Gateway, freeing local authorities from the shackles of Whitehall diktat.
Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (TTGDC) will cease operation and become part of Thurrock Borough Council from 1 April 2012. The company will move into the Council’s premises by March 2011 to work more closely with the council ahead of the change and ensure that vital efficiency savings can be made as soon as possible. The treatment of the assets currently held by TTGDC will be considered as part of the detailed arrangements for the transfer.
Notes to editors
Last year, the previous administration undertook a quinquennial review of the Development Corporation’s performance from inception. Following that review, it was decided that the UDC should be transferred into the HCA. Ministers have reviewed this decision and have concluded that this should not be implemented - believing that it was a centralising measure that would have further distanced local people from decisions about the future of their area. In addition, the consultation undertaken as part of the review showed clearly that there was no local support in favour of this decision.