Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Former Tory Mayor Campaigns As An Independent

IT IS what we call one of those Blue Peter moments. We had just finished filming at the South Ockendon Residents Association and were heading for Aveley versus Hastings United. As we drove past the shops on Romford Road, there was former Tory Mayor of Thurrock, Colin Churchman on the campaign trail.

Colin strikes an imposing figure: sunglasses on his shaven head, ear-rings and tattoos but don’t let that fool you. Colin is an articulate and perceptive man who knows every issue and every agenda that has affected the ward over the last twenty years.

When he talks about landfill, he is referring to the big question of what exactly is under the ground and in the water in Aveley? When he talks about London moving into Aveley, it isn’t about new communities and racial tension, it is about the paving over of Aveley and the possible dire consequences.

You can see that he has a lot of support and that his campaign, on an independent ticket, resonates with many people. The Independent candidate could be the future of the borough or indeed the saviour of Thurrock politics.

It, however, has to be stated, that what state are the Thurrock Tories in, that former members such as Colin and former Portfolio Holder for Transport, Leo Milan-Vega felt so alienated from the local group that they have ploughed different furrows.

Whatever happens in the local and national elections, it is hoped that there must be a fundamental restructuring of the Thurrock Tories otherwise one by one, ward by ward they will find independents and disaffected former Tories standing against them. The east side of the party looks fine, it is all about the west side Tories.


  1. I thought YourThurrock was having some sort of late April Fools joke by describing Mr Churchman as articulate as this interview shows someone who is anything but articulate.

    The simple truth is Mr Churchman wanted Councillor Wend Herd deselected and he stand as the official Conservative candidate instead.

    When they refused to do this he threw his toys out of his pram and then decided to stand as an independent.

    Perhaps we should examine Mr Churchman’s last 2 years as a councillor to see what sort of representative for Aveley he would make?

    In 2006/07 he failed to attend two third of council meetings and in 2007/08 he only bothered to attend just over half. He failed to attend so many meetings he was almost disqualified as being a councillor.

    He was on the Dilkeswood Task Group but didnt bother to attend a single meeting.

    He was also on the important Planning Committee but failed to attend 9 meetings in a row and was booted off.

    Because Colin was so unreliable he was the only councillor not to sit on any committees during 2007/08 because of his shameful track record of not bothering to attend council meetings.

    Despite hardly ever bothering to show his face at council meetings he was still happy to claim 100% of his council allowances.

    I wonder what this says about the state of the local Conservative party when they decide to stick with Councillor Wendy Herd rather than deselect her and replace her with unreliable Colin Churchman?

  2. Dingle i believe you may have provided essential clues as to your identity. I believe you may be one of the Tories that sit on the selection committee for the Thurrock Conservative Association. Why else would you know about the alleged request on the part of Colin Churchman to have Wendy Herd deselected?????

    How did you know that, unless you were a member of the committee that made decisions as to who was selected to fight Council seats for the local Conservative Party in Thurrock? I think you would be better placed getting your head down and securing the votes to have yourself re-elected in your own seat instead of worrying about Colin Churchman hopefully being re-elected in his old seat and for once providing an effective independent voice for the people of Aveley, Kenningtons and Uplands unlike the candidate that you have in Wendy Herd who has been conspicous by her absence for much of the time since May 2006 and only now is making noises in the weeks running up to the election in the hope of being re-elected. Please God let it be someone other than that individual who was until recent weeks believed to be a relative of Lord Lucan!!!!!

  3. Anyone who has been within ear range over the past year would have know he was thowing his hat in the ring to be a Conservative councillor replacing Wendy Herd. When that didnt work out everybody could hear he was going to stand as an independent.

    Helpful hint – never share the same hairdresses as a former mayor who talk as if the volume button has dropped off.

  4. Who is Colin Churchman? Where was he when the protest were taken place?
    I thought Wendy, Amanda & John were fab @ protecting the green belt and have been very active.
    Quite worrying though if he has been a councillor before and his attendance was that bad, I would have to ask myself why he wants to do it again?

    Albert, I think you maybe wrong. If you just look on this site alone Wendy has been far from absent.

  5. Oh deary deary me, where do i start, I agree with Albert regarding the identity of Dingle, it all seems a bit suss to me!

    Colin was with the residents of the Aveley greenbelt protests, i walked with him! He wasnt a Councillor at the time. The Aveley councillors were excellant when they 1st came into power but i feel that all this went down hill when Neil Pearce left. I gave my full support to to all the Aveley Councillors until i was dropped regarding a serious issue of anti social behaviour that still continues now and where are Wendy, John now regarding this???????? I have been left to arrange, attend and deal with the problem myself! Im Fuming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am also a strong believer that we only see the so called Aveley Councillors when the elections are due, how many road cleaners, street cleaners have i seen over the last 2 weeks, loads, hmmmmmmm what month is it next month, oh election month, doesnt take a genius to work it out!!!!!!!! Shit pit the rest of the year, then nice and clean between April and May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I recently attended a meeting regarding another protest against the building of houses on Aveley Greenbelt and was shocked to hear the so called Aveley Councillors suggesting that the residents arrange the protests ourselves, what in the hell do we vote them in for!

    I could go on but would be interested in the responces to my post………………..

  6. since coming across this site i have been fascinated with local events and “does what it says on the tin” brings thurrock to you. Intresting, but OMG this guy and articulate should NEVER be used in the same paragraph!

    i fink its just ridkalus, nufink as appened, like wot ya geting at, like when i wos there…blah blah blaaaah boring.

    seems he was never there but took the money by the sounds of it. please will someone tell him to put up & shut up

  7. Its funny you say that because i attended the protest myself and Colin Churchman was present for the entire duration, and i also recall seeing him marching along with his 2 children and the other protesters on ITN news. Also some information that you may not be aware of about your councillor Wendy heard which may prove her and her tory colleages somewhat hypocritical is that although Wendy may have shown her face at the protest, behind the scenes in the council chambers When councillors were asked to vote for or against the core strategy..Wendy voted FOR. The core stategy if you do not already know includes 18,500 dwellings to be built in Thurrock, now tell me that those dwellings are not going to be built on Greenbelt land. Do we really want a councillor that is that two faced?

  8. Tilly, just because Colin doesnt talk like a jumped up posh pratt doesnt mean he wont do his job, how naive and immature of you!

  9. In responce to Tilly, I personally find that comment offensive and so should every other person that lives in this area. The last time i checked we lived in Essex and the vast majority of us do not speak RP English. Colin is a local man and yes with a local accent; who better than to represent the rest of us “commoners” (if thats what you are insinuating Tilly)

  10. Oh and Charles Davies i would be interested to hear what you have to say about Wendy voting in favour of the dwellings that she was out to protest against….

  11. Colin was a great community campaigner, he started off as a great councillor and was a great mayor. But is all appeared to go pear shaped once he ceased to be Mayor and he didnt bother to attend any meetings for months and months on end so his last two years as a councillor was nothing to be proud of.

    The Aveley UKIP candidate just appears to make things up as he goes along and gets all his facts wrong.

    The Aveley BNP candidate is standing for parliament in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire so he obviously doesnt care about Aveley as he is campaigning in Peterborough.

    We have had interviews with Colin Churchman and Tim Aker. The BNP candidate is in Peterborough so that leaves the Conservative and Labour candidates to be interviewed.

    I’m certainly not going to tell anyone who they should vote for. It is up to the voters of Aveley to make an informed choice and decide who they want to represent them for the next four years. If this is based on personality, policies or track record in the community and council chamber it is upto the people to decide.

  12. Dingle, i think i know who you are, i just want to say that the reason ive never attempted to become a Labour or Conversative Councillor is because i would work for what i believed was right and what the residents would want, I believe that is why Colin got fed up with the towing the party line when he was making promises that his party wouldnt allow him to follow up.

    The reason i havent yet attempted to become a independant councillor is because of the cost, so thats probably another reason why Colin has only now become independant.

    It would of been nice of you to apoligise regarding your comment about Colin not being at the Aveley Greenbelt protests considering you were wrong, oh and also considering you wasnt there (or was you??????)!

    To change the subject a little, it would of been nice to have continued support from the Aveley Conservative councillors and from the portfolio holder for Crime and Disorder, hey??????

  13. Julie Anne I would gladly apologise to Colin Churchman if I claimed he didnt attend the green belt protest march. But if you read what I have written I never claimed he wasn’t. Colin was there with his daughters, the tory Aveley councillors turned up and a bunch of UKIp people turned up as well and so did a few BNP people I think. But no Labour people.

    My comments are based on the completely rubbish interview and the last two years he was a councillor. Prior to this he was a great community champion, a great councillor and a great mayor. But as I said above his last two years he was nowhere to be seen.

    Watch and listen to this interview and compare it to Colins interview above.


    Who would you vote for if they went head to head?

    I will say again I won’t tell anyone who they should vote for. They should all stand on their record and policies. We have had two Aveley candidates interviewed we need to see the other three.

  14. I apoligise Dingle, that Comment was meant for Charles.

    I know Colin very well and for a huge number of years and i believe that he was getting very disheartened with not being able to give what he was promising due to towing the party line, I strongly believe that he should be given the chance and just feel that all these negative comments without the whole story is not giving him that.

    Good luck Colin, you have my full support.

    Regarding the Aveley Councillors i can only base my comments on my dealings with them and from hearing from other people, yes they have all done some good for Aveley over the last few years Im not doubting that at all but to be dropped when you needed them most i find totally unprofessional and im disgusted my family have had to suffer even more because of the lack of support from them.

    Colin has been helping me over the last few years and hes not even a councillor at the mo, so that to me speaks volumes!

    One last thing regarding Colin’s interview is that if you read the begining it does state that yourthurrock.com was on their way to do something else and noticed Colin shaking hands, so decided to go and speak to him, it wasnt a planned interview.

  15. I am Colins daughter and have been reading all the comments on this site and just feel it necessary to say something on a personal note. As you rightly said Dingle my dad was a brilliant councillor, always tried his upmost to meet the needs of his constituants and you know full well he was one of the most popular mayors Thurrock had ever had. It frustrates the hell out of me that you of all people should know “Dingle” that the period of time my dad may have failed to attend meetings was soley because as a family we were going through a very tough time i wont go into detail, because no one needs to know. But basically the situation led to him working 6 in the morning untill 6-7 at night in construction and looking after two children (still in school at the time) on his own. The reason he didnt throw the towel in earlier is because he loved the job and is so passionate about this area, loved working with people and he was damn well good at it. He would always spend time at evenings and weekends focusing on his constituancy work and that dingle is what he was paid to do. The only reason my dad left is because he didnt agree with what the torys were trying to acheive and this site is a perfect example of how petty politics can get and why and independent free from this crap is essential for Aveley. And as for your lot not wanting to deselect Wendy in favour of my dad was not because you thought him inadiquate as a councillor but because you know he is such a hard working campaigner and wanted him to win you a seat in Belhus. Well he doesnt live in Belhus, he is an Aveley man through and through you know that. God i hope he wins this because he deserves to show you two faced back stabbing politicians how the job is done properly.

  16. Well said Shelley! I couldnt of put it better myself!

    I hope now everyone had read the latest leaflet regarding two faced councillors and to be honest it explains hell of a lot to me regarding how the councillors had changed in their stance at the meeting after the protests in November, wanting the residents to arrange the next protest and finding out other information to stop the development of building on greenbelt land.

    2 and 2 does add up to 4!

    I just so sorry that two people that i thought were friends and i personally thought alot of could behave in this way and not fight with their heart and do whats right for the Aveley residents which was what they said in the first place.

    Now it also makes sense as to why i was called Paranoid when i was dropped with the serious problem of anti social behaviour, try and blame me because they didnt have the guts to stand up to whats right because their careers meant much much more. IM DISGUSTED!


  17. And you have my full support too Colin,cos we need somebody like you who will stand up and do the best you can for the people of Aveley.
    And as far as I can see it none of these others are up to the job!!!! they ONLY think of one thing and that is WHAT THEY CAN GET OUT OF IT THEYSELFS!!!!!! IT’S ALL SELF SELF WITH MOST OF THEM.

  18. Looking at recent history, it would be pleasing to see some of the independents successful in this election to stop the continual two party domination of local politics in Thurrock. Thurrock totally lacks leadership both in the executive of the Council and the political. Maybe if either party has to listen to some of its independents it may bring a more balanced view.
    Colin Churchman at least has something to say as a genuine local man. Bets wishes for the election.

  19. Shelley thank you for a reply.

    I am a bit confused. If he left the tories because he didnt believe what the tories were trying to achieve why did he first attempt to get Wendy Herd deselected so he could stand…

    ….as a tory?

    News to me about him being offered to fight Belhus ward for the tories might explain why someone fromn Stanford-le-Hope is standing in the sea instead of Colin?.

    It would appear the local tories still held him in high regard as they offered him a seat to fight.

    Perhaps he should have waited a year and thrown his hat in the ring for the Aveley seat in 2011 rather than throw his toys out of the pram?

  20. Poor Dave Strickson. His parliamentary ambitions for Peterborough are in tatters as he cocked up his nomination forms.

  21. Hello again Dingle, thought you got lost your internet connection. (oh no im mistaken you have been very busy commenting on other stories.)

    Im sorry but i still dont understand why you are having to resort to being sarcastic regarding Colin.

    It has taken you 6 days to reply then why bother!


  22. Legitimate questions to ask someone who wishes to stand for elected office and potentially pocket £35 grand of council taxpayers money in councillors allowances over the next four years if elected. Especially considering the track record.

  23. You have the right to your own opinion.

    Lets not discuss the cctv camera in aveley rec that the court wont use because its not good enough as court evidence????????

    How much did that cost?????????????

  24. Your next NAP meeting is 7pm 25th April at The Sycamores Dacre Avenue.

    The mobile police station will be in the High Street from 8.30am to 11am on 27th April.

    And a beat surgery is being held at Aveley Library from 10am to 12pm on the 27th April as well.

    Your chance to speak directly to the Police about the problems you have.

  25. Ohhhh Dingle you are so much hard work!

    My knowledge regarding policing issue are far beyond NAP meetings, Mobile police stations and Beat surgeries.

    Multi Agency meetings are more my style, but even with these, its all talk and no positive, continue action, just like the labour and tory councillors!

  26. In reply to dingles comment earlier. Running as an independent wasn’t an option for him originally because as you can imagine its a daunting task running a campaign on your own and fighting against candidates who have a whole party behind them.

    …Maybe he thought that it would be an easier to join the people that he may have once considered “friends” as well as work collegues to become Aveleys councillor.

    …..Maybe the way you lot stabbed him in the back opened his eyes to the fact that at the end of the day “a politicians party is the be all and end all” regardless of whats in the best interest for our area. Because the fact is the tories knew how good he was at his job and with all due respect to Wendy, fights a hell of a lot harder.

    The real reason the tories wouldnt de-select her was because they were shaken up as their leader Terry Hipsy had recently crossed the floor to join labour (yet another person who had reason to leave the party) and thought it easier to get someone re-elected, than to campaign for someone new.

    In regards to him being offered a seat in Belhus, I’m glad i have widened your knowledge, although im sure you knew anyway. He was offered the seat and if he had accepted the offer then he would have been running fo it now.

    And lastly like i said..the day you proved to him that you party was more important than what is best for the area is the day that he knew he didnt want to be a member of any party at all..and felt the fight to become an independent was well and truely worth it.

    Anyway dingle..we know who you are..why dont you just “come out 🙂 ” and enlighten evryone else.


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