Thursday, December 1, 2022

Labour Seize Power at Thurrock Council

LABOUR returned to power for the first time in six years in controversial circumstances tonight as cllr John Kent replaced Tory leader Garry Hague in the Annual Meeting of the council tonight (wednesday).

The evening began in bizarre fashion and spiralled from there.

Former Tory leader Anne Cheale, now a member of the Concerned Conservative group won the nomination for Mayor defeating Deputy Mayor Eddie Hardiman.

Cllr Hardiman successfully retained his position as Deputy Mayor.

When the vote came for Leader, 23 councillors voted for Garry Hague but 25 voted for John Kent including BNP councillor Emma Colgate who mouthed the words “Sorry Garry” as her hand went up.

Cllr Val Morris-Cook was voted in as Deputy Leader.

Cllr Kent in his acceptance speech paid tribute to the improvements made in Thurrock under Garry Hague’s stewardship.

He said: “We have a paper thin mandate but I am determined to repay the trust of my members.

“I want to make sure we have an inclusive committee system with members of the opposition and independents present.

“I hope that we are able to cultivate and maintain a dignified chamber.”

Outgoing leader Garry Hague was in less charitable mood.

He said: “These are bizarre circumstances . We fought a successful election, gaining a seat. The will of the people of Thurrock and democracy has been cheated.

“We will hold you to account every step of the way.”

However, instead of a new leaf, the meeting soon descended into chaos with a haltering and erratic performance by Mayor Cheale as the chamber debated a number of issues surrounding the make-up of committees.

The spectre of the Planning Committee dominated once again and it appeared clear that cllr Hague felt that the opinions and expertise of officers was being ignored.

Full report and interview to follow.


  1. This is a very sad day for democracy and to have Terry Hipsey as chair of planning with messers Rice and Smith still in attendance is simply a sham and telling the people of Thurrock that rules WILL be broken, whats next will they offer shamed ex chair St-Clair Haslam a seat? I think questions need to be asked at the big house.

  2. I guess the Tories have got their just desserts for messing up the budgets and the council………. ruling since 2004 they have lamely blamed Labour for the mess they created by poor leadership and holding to account. But lets remember there is some talent in the old Tory cabinet – Cllr Arnold competently handled her portfolio and demonstrated clear leadership talent. Not sure who in Labour will meet her standards of probity and tenacity she will be a loss to the people of Thurrock who rely on adult social care!

    Labour were not brilliant when they were in power – trouble is you can only work with what you have got and in my view there is a lack of talent and competence across the 49, with both parties struggling to make up a Cabinet from their own ranks alone. Maybe a leaf from Cameron and Clegg book of coalition might have worked if the boys were able to put their representing the community interests of Thurrock before themselves and their parties.

    In a nutshell individuals have played games to position themselves in roles of power – Cllr Cheale joining Labour for the return payment of Mayor – Cllr Hipsey taking his toys away last year and selling out to Labour – is he a socialist I think not!

    Only time will tell and in the meantime we risk the future of our borough while the children play politics!

  3. How can they have a chair of planning who lives 100 miles away in Southery Downham Market Norfolk? Why didn’t Labour choose a councillor who at least still lives in the borough instead of someone who moved away a year ago?

  4. Well…..Anne Cheale as Mayor. The veritable event in a brewery comes to mind. Sorry appears you are the bridesmaid for another year – hope you get it next time without the skulduggerry that seemed to happen this time.
    This is politics… how about the people?

  5. So this is democracy in action is it, sounds more like a Labour coup d’état, the voting public had it as no overall control and then the Loony Left go on a smash and grab raid to take power.

    It is an absolute afront to the democratic process, this just shows that Thurrock Council really do not give two hoots what the constituents voted for.

    Labour will prove once again that they cannot run a piss up in a brewery as they did last time they were in power in Thurrock, things in the borough are now set to go even further down hill…….

  6. I think all the defectors should stand again under their new colours, what do you think? maybe someone out there can start a facebook petition as I am not too clued up on that.
    Do people agree that if a candidate stands under a particular parties colours, and we the public put our trust in them and their views,they should NOT be able to simply change their mind and views because life gets tough in the chamber?

  7. Agree totally Chickenfeed1, all councillors who chose to defect should not be allowed to sit on the council until such time that they have been given the vote of confidence of their constituents who voted for that person whilst under their original party banner.

    If these councillors had any scruples or backbone they would do the honourable thing and resign until they have been re selected by the voting public; however, as most of the council is made up of self opinionated people who don’t give a flying fig about the local people or democratic procedures I won’t hold my breath.

  8. Perhaps its time to take the bull by the horns and do something about it ourselves. I am sure there are SOME good councillors and officers but all I want to see is the voting public get their wish.

  9. I agree that a stand should be made against the councillors that defect from one party to the other and the councillors that do not live in the borough, undemocratic leaderships like this should be stamped out.

  10. I have asked Westminster to intervene here before we, ‘The People’ are plunged into any more madness from Civic offices – it all beggars belief. I have also demanded that Conservative leaders expel Mad’am pomp-Adore Cheale and her collaborator and deny her any right to use the word CONSERVATIVE in her newly aligned lunacy – and cheek. That would be a start. then we need a new law to prevent councillors elected in one party to suddenly jump-ship and opt-out into another ‘party’. We’d all be better off with a group of Monster-raving-looney party members. At least we might have something to smile about then….. it has gone too far and for many long decades Thurrock Council has lacked any real Insight – Vision and Leadership. I have copied all of your comments to send up to H.Q. – we need an S.O.S. intervention …. we DO need Democracy in Thurrock – we have now truly earned that too…. anyone else for the cuckoo’s nest?


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