The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation cost £23 million to run last year as headed by Niall Lindsay, the Chief Exec that earns £150,000 per annum and is boss over a total salary bill of £3million a year for its 40 staff.

TTGDC is given £37 million in capital each year to ‘fund’ development projects and regeneration. This is your money because it comes directly from the exchequer which collects your taxes. Last year, the TTGDC wrote off £11m because its stock of land was grossly overvalued.

And in the seven years since this quango was set up in palatial premises in Aveley by the Government, it has acheived remarkably little. It has presided over writing numerous master plans and consultations that then come to nothing and various planning applications that swiftly become irrelevant and unadopted.

Since its inception in 2003 this body of predominantly unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats has been only indirectly responsible for a measly 472 homes being built in Thurrock. Out of a capital allocation of £170 million and huge additional running costs of around £100 million to date, this is hardly gobsmackingly good value for money.

It works out at £570,000 per home built. You can buy property in Knightsbridge for less.

Whoever ends up running this country should look to these pointless cash sponges as their first measure in saving the public some serious money.

No need to scratch around to find the spare £170 billion needed to repay the current deficit. Abolish these over important, over funded ‘executive agencies’ across the land and the money will soon be found. These so called delivery vehicles actually deliver very little and so it would be all gain and with no loss whatsoever.

Let the free market decide where and what it wishes to build. If the area is attractive enough and the market conditions right, the developers themselves will buy and then build. The local council’s very capable planning department, run by responsible elected councillors, should be left to oversee each planning application as democracy intended.

Allowing 40 or so unelected quangocrats to interfere in such things inevitably leads to exactly the outcome that we see here. Very little done, very expensively.

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