Andy Smith (Lab)
Gareth John Davies (Cons)
Warren Parish (BNP)
There was only 82 votes between the Labour winner (Oliver Gerrish) and the second placed Tory, Gareth Davies in 2008. Even in two years, the area has changed and Gareth Davies believes that voters from the new builds are a rich quarry for the Tories both nationally and locally. He may be right. The Tories in Thurrock are poorer for not having Gareth in the chamber. A hard working loyal Tory, he was an outstanding Portfolio Holder for Culture and Diversity and would have been an essential player with the challenges to the voluntary sector.
Gareth is also admirable for his decision not to choose an easier ward. Gareth is resolute: He lives in the ward, he represents the community organisations in the ward, he has a passion for the ward.
Labour’s incumbent councillor and former leader Andy Smith has had something of a rebirth over the past two years. He looked like he was drifting away from politics but his work with a host of causes not least of which was the threatened closure of the play group at St Stephen’s church has garnered praise. Whether that can be converted into votes will be seen. Again, the combination of a high turn-out for the two elections should see Andy home. Just don’t hold your hopes you will be on the Planning Committee.
Prediction: Lab Hold