Sunday, December 3, 2023

“Take A Taste Of Your Own Medicine” Demands Former Leader

LABOUR and Tory councillors were locked in a war of words last night as the Tories refused to allow further scrutiny of a housing tendering deal.

The acrimonious atmosphere was further darkened as once again accusations were made that officers were leading meetings and attempting to subvert the democratic process.

After a three hour meeting, Chair of the Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Wendy Herd, used her casting vote to refuse a Labour application for a review of the tendering process for the Housing Repairs Contract.

Last month, Labour had requested a “Call-In” on the contract decision but this had been refused by Interim Chief Executive Bob Coomber on a technicality.

Chair of the Labour Group, Carl Morris had requested this because: “Transparency is key. This was a contract awarded to Morrisons, a company that was marked lowest on quality and cheapest on price.

“There are still many unanswered questions that a further review panel could throw light upon. It could be that the whole process is correct and we have a blueprint for the future.

All the Tory councillors stressed that there had been a great deal of rigorous scrutiny in the procurement procedure.

The touchpaper was lit when Cllr Herd stated that she would have to take guidance from Bob Coomber on a matter.

Stanford Councillor Terry Hipsey erupted. He said: “You sat there, an hour ago and demanded transparency from the Chief Executive of Basildon Hospital, Alan Whittle and his team but when it comes to taking your own medicine, it is a completely different matter.

“Contracts from a few years ago such as Vertex had a high degree of member involvement. Now we have none.

“I am here to represent my constituents but it seems that we are not allowed to say what we think lest we are up on a discipline charge.”


  1. this is why i have sent this letter to Conservative Central Office Date: 9th March 2010
    Mr David Cameron,
    Leader of the Conservative Party;

    Dear Mr David Cameron,
    I wish to request your help and assistance regarding a matter of some considerable concern to me as a life-long Member and supporter of the Conservative Party. I have for many years played an active role in local politics in the Thurrock area and have over the last twelve months become increasingly alarmed and dismayed at the stewardship of the current local Leader of Thurrock Council, Councillor Gary Hague.
    As I am sure you are aware Thurrock Council is now run by a minority Conservative administration who following the recent unfortunate decision to withdraw the whip from Councillor Anne Cheale (herself a former very successful Conservative leader of Thurrock Council between 2004-2006) is a dead man walking administration with only 22 Members as opposed to the Labour Group that has some 23 Members. The Conservative administration is effectively being propped up by two independent Councillors one of whom was previously a rank and file member of the Labour Group.
    In a recent motion of confidence brought by Councillor Cheale and seconded by the immediate previous leader of Thurrock Council Councillor Terry Hipsey (who regrettably defected to the Labour Group on the 25th March 2009) the motion was carried by 25 votes to 23 votes. Despite this motion of no confidence in Councillor Hague’s leadership of the Council and his performance as the portfolio holder for Planning and regeneration being carried by a majority of the Council Members it will be noted that the Leader refused to resign. I believe that this will only serve to inflict irreparable damage upon the local conservative group in the forthcoming local elections but also likewise irreparable damage the prospects of the two PPC’s Steve Metcalfe and Jackie Doyle-Price being elected for the first time as Parliamentary Members of Parliament for the constituencies of South Basildon and East Thurrock and Thurrock respectively.
    I have serious and grave concerns as to the damaging effect that Cllr Gary Hague’s continued leadership of the minority Conservative administration is having upon the electoral fortunes of the Conservatives in the forthcoming local and General elections in May of this year. Surely the powers that be at Tory Central Office must realise that fighting an election with a leader that has had a motion of no confidence returned against him will leave us in a vulnerable and indefensible position and leave us open during the election campaign to the ridicule from the opposing parties which include Labour, UKIP and BNP in the main as well as Liberal Democrat in certain wards and in the impending General election campaign.
    I implore you on behalf of the Conservative voters of Thurrock (amongst whom I stand) to intervene in this grave, precarious and intolerable situation and to seek to have Councillor Gary Hague persuaded to resign his position as Leader of Thurrock Council and Portfolio Holder for Planning in order to enable the local Conservative party to regain its integrity and confidence with the local electorate to better enable it to fight the forthcoming general and local election campaigns. Clearly if our party with you as our National Leader are successful in regaining power after 13 long years in opposition there remains a distinct prospect of a hung Parliament. In order to ameliorate the possibility of a hung Parliament every seat will count including the two that are being vigorously contested here in Thurrock. I believe that Gary Hague’s continuance as Leader of Thurrock Council will only serve to damage the fortunes of the PPC’s and the likelihood of the local Conservative Group at Thurrock Council holding power and possibly consolidating their position once again to one of overall control of Thurrock Council.
    In conclusion it is my considered view that strong and decisive action is required from you and the powers that be at Conservative Central Office to rectify this alarming and intolerable position that we currently find ourselves in.
    I await sight and evidence of your decisive action.

  2. Cllr Herd stated that she would have to take guidance from Bob Coomber on this matter. Wendy Herd should take guidance from her residents who elected her in to speak up on their behalf. Instead of doing coomber bidding

  3. The sooner that we can get rid of the current crop of council officers that are controlling the borough the better, it is hard to believe that any work gets done by them with all the in fighting that goes on, labour v tory every week, why don’t they all get in a ring and fight it out.

    No matter what the elected “tory” leader does it will be stepped upon by the “labour” members as they want their ounce of flesh in power, well here is a news falsh, you had your turn with the toy and broke it, someone else has now take your toy and is trying to fix it, if that can be done we will have to see but squabbling over every little thing like spoilt school children only shows what immature people we have running this ailing borough

  4. What a fiasco. The Labour government have proved they can’t be trusted, but does this suggest that the Tories would be any better? Lib Dem, UKIP and Green supporters can safely vote Labour in Thurrock to prevent a Tory Commons majority without Brown preserving his own majority, whereas further up the Tory target list in Sth Basildon/E Thurrock voting Labour is too risky. A win there probably maintains a Labour Commons majority, so in Sth Basildon/E Thurrock the Tories must be supported to stop them.

  5. Lambo hang on a minute! You are saying that the Tories who have been in power at Thurrock Council since 2004 (coming up six years) and they are still fixing the Toy! What are they doing all this time waiting for a Doctors appointment that takes just as long in Thurrock. If they have not fixed the toy yet then it must lodge somewhere up the proverbial back passage. Perhaps that is why that cant fix it and definitely Garry Hague and two bob.nine bob coomber cant fixed because they could not fix a one horse race.

  6. Albert, you may be correct in your analogy and yest the Tories are probably still trying to fix a severe broken toy from the last Labour leadership, don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of either of te current crop of political parties that make up the majority of the council but the way this council is ran with all the political point scoring and in fighting does not help the local people.

    All the political parties that are currently in the council need to bang their heads together and start doing the work that they are paid to do rather than bitching and squabbling like a bunch of spoilt brats, until this happens nothing will ever get done in the borough.

    Put their political allegiances behind themselves for a while and get on with the job of turning Thurrock around, infact get rid of the Unitary Body altogether and go back to being a council borough of Essex.

  7. Councillor Hipsey is having a laugh isnt he.

    It is because of his appalling leadership that a number of top officers left or got ‘paid off’ to leave.

    You got rid of the last Chief Executive Ms Angela Ridgewell and paid her £300,000+ of taxpayers money to go. You then employed your pal Mr Mike Rowan as Interim Chief Executive and then dumped him as well and then employed Mr Bob Coomber as the latest Interim Chief Executive.

    Your leadership was so bad the Government sent civil servants to Thurrock Council to help run things and he now has the bare faced cheek to lecture others on how to run things.

  8. Cllr Gerard Rice said: “The council only has £2.5 million in reserve. We have to be careful not to expose ourselves to a costly legal challenge as we did with Mr Holdings.”——————-[I think the Government will be coming again] and GARRY HAGUE IS RUNNING IT NOW , AND HE IS RUNNING IT INTO THE GROUND

  9. Albert do make up you mind on who is running the council – one minute you say Bob Coomber (see 7th post) and then Garry Hague (see 9th post)

  10. Dingle you are quite right, you see the thing of it is, bob coomber has got his arm so far up garry’s backside when he moves his hand garry’s mouth starts moving i hope this fully explains the point Dingle.

  11. Albert you started with a very well written letter.

    You have now descended to the gutter and an odd interest in bottoms and the sticking of hands and arms in said orifice. What you enjoy doing in your own private life is your own business, different strokes for different folks.

    If you are member, as you claim in your letter, of the Conservative Party then God help us all.

  12. [Dingle] i am sorry if i have offended you Dingle but i find sometimes you get a better response from different people. If you shock people a little bit i will try to keep to the facts if that better pleases you.


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