Tories slam Mayor over lorry park “gagging order”

THE nervous young man called Patrick Cahill entered the body of the council chamber. Mr Cahill, a grandson of one of the “Parents against Lorry Parks” had tabled a question for the chair of the planning committee, cllr Terry Hipsey.

As he sat facing the 49 councillors, he turned to the Mayor and said: “I hope my question comes out OK. I have never done this before and am rather nervous.”

He was told to take his time.

He asked: “How is cllr Hipsey enjoying his time as chair of the planning committee?’

Cllr Hipsey rose and said: “Fine thanks”

Mr Cahill asked his supplementary question. He said: “Could cllr Hipsey tell the chamber why, when he was leader of the council, he failed to take any enforcement action in relation to the Titan lorry park in Oliver Road, West Thurrock.”

The Mayor, Ann Cheale immediately informed Mr Cahill that this question was not permitted.

Blackshots councillor Ben Maney (Cons) shouted: “Disgrace” while fellow councillors, Joy Redsell and leader of the Conservative group, cllr Garry Hague also shook their heads in “disgust.”

Mr Cahill left the chamber. Cllr Tunde Ojetola followed him out. Cllr Ojetola told YourThurrock: “I was embarrassed for the young man. He came to the chamber in good faith. It is hard enough with 49 councillors staring at you but to be then to be dismissed like that was not a good example of how democracy works.

Ockendon councillor, Lyn Carr (Cons) joined the howls of protest. She said: “What example was this for a young person and their first time in politics.

“This was nothing short of disgraceful. No wonder we struggle getting people out to vote if we treat them like this.”

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