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The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Thurrock Council have been working on the arrangements set out in the Minister's statement this morning (Wednesday, 8 September) and prior to the statement being made.

We are jointly committed to securing the seamless transition of the corporation's responsibilities to the council by 1 April, 2012.

In doing this, it is of paramount importance we ensure the satisfactory delivery of the corporation's key existing projects and programmes, particularly those bringing substantial private sector investment and regeneration into Thurrock.

Graham Farrant, chief executive, Thurrock Council, said: “This news is very welcome, highlighting as it does, national government’s confidence in Thurrock Council to work with the development corporation over the next year or so and then to move forward with the community-based regeneration schemes that will provide so many benefits for people living and working here.

“Today’s news ensures that local decisions are taken at a local level, by local people.

“We have been working ever-more closely with the DC in recent months and we have had initial discussions about how the planning and regeneration teams can be integrated seamlessly.

“Obviously we will also be working closely with Communities and Local Government on the resources that come with this decision — resources for infrastructure and resources to support delivery of this exciting agenda.”

Niall Lindsay, chief executive of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, said: “The Development Corporation was conceived and always intended to be a short-term delivery vehicle to drive the regeneration effort in  Thurrock forward and assist with capacity building at the Council.

“Everyone at the Corporation is immensely proud of the portfolio of truly transformational regeneration projects that we have put together with the Council as a key partner over the last six years and we are absolutely committed to ensuring that the projects are firmly anchored over the next 18 months for the benefit of Thurrock and the communities within it as we manage the change and transition of responsibilities to the Council.”

Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “I know the DC’s teams and I know the council’s teams and I am sure we will come together to forge ahead with the many exciting schemes that will help make Thurrock a truly amazing place in years to come.

“We have been working behind the scenes — with the Government — to develop this proposal and it will be debated at full council next Wednesday.

“I am confident that everyone involved — from the council, the corporation and the government — will do all that is necessary to ensure this is a success.”