Call for Thames Freeport to review governance arrangements

23 March 2022

Thurrock Council remains determined to seize the unique opportunity the Thames Freeport unlocks to level-up the borough's communities but calls upon it to pause work on its governance arrangements in light of recent events and the government's review of all contracts with P&O Ferries and DP World.

As a result of the uncertainty created by the recent actions of P&O Ferries and their parent company DP World, Thurrock Council's Cabinet has today (Wednesday 23 March) agreed to receive a further report outlining the future relationship between the freeport and its partners. Cabinet also agreed to call upon Thames Freeport to pause finalising its formal governance arrangements, which remain under discussion.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: "Recent events directly impacting 800 employees from P&O Ferries are entirely unjustifiable. I will be writing to Thames Freeport to seek unequivocal assurances that ensure all employment in this borough and across Thames Freeport is undertaken with full regard to UK employment law and that any private sector organisation who is a partner in the Thames Freeport categorically complies.

"The potential for the council to retain an additional £300million from business rates is truly game changing. It will enable investment in projects to accelerate levelling-up outcomes including enhanced public transport and infrastructure, new health, wellbeing and cultural facilities, access for local residents to thousands of new high quality jobs, and supporting our young people through investment in community-based youth programmes. This, however, will not be at the expense of the rights of British workers up and down the country now or in the future.

"In the meantime we will continue to do all we can to make the Thames Freeport happen to benefit local residents and businesses."