Fence-gate: Gerard Rice steps down as wife Barbara makes robust defence
Date posted: 21-09-2012
CHADWELL ST MARY councillor, Gerard Rice has announced he is standing down from his position on the Thurrock Council planning committee after the controversy regarding the fence at their home in Heath Road, Chadwell St Mary.
In a statement to the press, the veteran councillor said he had been saddened by the interpretation put on some comments he is reported to have made on this issue.
He said: “I am shocked at some of the reporting of my wife’s fence and for the record want to state as clearly as I can that I do not believe we should be treated any differently to any other residents of Thurrock.
But nevertheless, the controversial councillor has decided to fall on his sword.
He said: “In light of the publicity this has generated I will be standing down as a substitute member of the council’s planning committee.
His wife, Barbara, who is also a councillor in Chadwell has also mounted a robust defence.
Cllr Barbara Rice said: “I am amazed at the publicity this fence has attracted. When I purchased the bungalow last December it needed a huge amount of work, including a new fence as the existing hedge was dying off. It was, of course important that I made my garden secure especially as my grandchildren are frequent visitors.”
Cllr Rice added: “I really didn’t think the fence would be a problem as the plot next to ours has a similar fence of the same height – with the blessing of the council.
“My fence was only ever intended as a temporary measure until we can a get a new hedge planted and established.
“I am in discussions with the council planning department and hope that we can come to an amicable resolution and I will, of course, abide by whatever the planning officers decide and look forward to putting this unpleasant saga behind me.”