Sunday, April 2, 2023

Labour under fire over membership of voluntary organisations

COUNCIL leader John Kent defended the number of Labour councillors who are presently chairs and members of voluntary organisations.

The question came from Tory leader, cllr Garry Hague at Wednesday nights full council meeting.

He asked: “Does the Leader believe it is appropriate for elected members to chair voluntary organisations?”

Leader of the council, John Kent defended his members robustly.

He said: “The presence of many councillors as chairs or on the board of voluntary organisations can only improve their experience as councillors.

Yash Gupta is a member of Open Door and the Thurrock Asian Association. Bukky Okunade has been chair of the Thurrock African Group. These are key roles and deeply enriching experiences.”

YourThurrock understands that the Tory question was pointing to recent controversies over Belhus councillor Charles Curtis role as chair of Veoila Mardyke Trust and Belhus councillor Sue Grays role as chair of South Ockendon residents association.

But behind the scenes Labour bosses were believed to be puzzled as cllr Gray missed the vital council meeting on Wednesday night but to their surprise was in robust enough health to attend, chair and be re-elected to the top seat in the South Ockendon residents association.


  1. SORA is not a true voice of the community more like a bunch of village ediots. Why dont they converse with the hole of south ockendon residents before summersing that this bunch has the collective brain power to voice our views.

  2. There would be no problem provided Councillors occupying such positions on voluntary organisations, especially organisations claiming to be non-political such as South Ockendon Residents Association [SORA}, conduct themselves responsibly and do not put Councillors intersts above the interests of the members of the Association they are elected to represent and protect.
    I refer, of course, to events over the past few months involving a Belhus Councillor and her conduct as Chair” of SORA. She appears to regard SORA as her own private club and has gathered around her a “clique” to support her and prevent other members from questioning her authority or challenging her in any way. Chief of her supporters is a “gentleman” known as Mr Chris Savill {nitewolf] who is well known for his foul and abusive language, just read his past “blogs” in fact Mr Savill considers his use of foul language a virtue and seeks to justify it by calling it “plain and blunt speaking”. I have been on the receiving end of Mr Savill’s “plain and blunt” speaking by way of his comments about me on previous “blogs” and an e-mail containing filthy and abusive comments about me and members of the Council. When asked to disassociate herself from Mr Savill’s comments, to make it clear to him that, as Chair of SORA, she would not allow or tolerate such behaviour and require him to apologise her response was she did not see any reason why Mr Savill should apologise to anyone, on the contrary Mr Savill had her full support, he was a valued member of her team,she could not do without him by her side, he was just the sort of person she would support to be a member of the SORA committee, she was not prepared to disassociate herself from his filthy abusive remarks and she was not going to censure him. I can only conclude that Cllr Gray fully condones Mr Savill’s behaviour and considers it to be perfectly acceptable for a member of SORA to insult and abuse another member. I wonder what her reaction would have been if SHE had been on the receiving end of Mr Savill’s comments?
    So Cllr John Kent, therein lies the danger, when Councillors acting as “Chair” or whatever of outside organisations are seen to condone and support such bad behaviour they not only bring the voluntary organisation in to disrepute but also, by association, their role as a Councillor and the political Party they are a member of and would, I hope, be severely disciplined. I say better Councillors avoid putting themselves forward for such
    positions in organisations such as Residents Associations and leave the running of the Associations to its ordinary members who are unencumbered by political loyalties or conflicts of interests.

  3. I see that cllr Sue Gray, once again couldnt attend a full meeting of the council, but was well enough to attend a SORA meeting, in very good health, suprise suprise, her health held out long enough to be elected as Chair of SORA, no suprise there then, I agree with YourAjoke when he says that SORA is a JOKE in the South Ockendon area, how can they say that they are the voice of the people of South Ockendon, when they havent got the collective wit of a dead Earwig.
    I suppose Cllr Gray, can now do and say what she wants as chair of SORA, thats because there isnt anything to do, because nobody outside her little group knows, what it does,where it meets, why it wont do anything for anybody, other than for the faithfull wonna bees, she and her kind attract, specially a certain Mr C.Savill (Nitewolf) or Nightmare! who is a faithfull little, foul mouthed bigot and a brainless moran, because if he had one little bit of a brain, he would be the chair of SORA?, but being the faithfull brainless Lapdog of one Cllr Gray, he stays under the chair persons chair, until she wants somebody to be insulted and assulted for her.
    I remind all non brainless people of SOUTH OCKENDON to remember Cllr Gray and all the other Councillors when it comes up for re-election as councillors again, because I would rather not vote, than to vote for our present band of nurdo well Councillors, we have at present.
    No wonder the Tory party in the Thurrock area are making in roads into areas where the Labour party once ruled, because they seemed to care, not so long ago, so come on Council leader John Kent, sort out this Barrel of Rotted Apples, before your party loses all the votes in the South Ockendon ward..

  4. I was in attendance at the SORA residents meeting on Thursday and I for one feel what went on is not a true representation for the community. John Kent publicises ( lets talk ) in our local paper for the residents to discuss their views and openly encourages his labour councillors to do just this, but as far as SORA’s communication with the residents i.e. informing the residents by advertising when the post of chair or any other position in SORA is available. This is conveniently kept quite and Sue Gray rallies her friends to vote her back in. I feel the amount that voted for her return to chair is not a true way of voting when residents are unaware. If the voting system is used properly by all residents, she would I am sure not be elected and any of her committee. I would like to put forward that until SORA ( sue gray ) openly brings this into the public domain SORA cannot be recognised as a true Association for all of the residents of South Ockendon.

    Simon Lodge

  5. If, as reported the Labour Group and the Leader are “fuming” regarding Cllr Gray’s absence from the full council meeting held on Wednesday 24th November, 2010 on the grounds of “ill health”, probably causing the Labour Group to narrowly loose a vote to elect a Labour Councillor to the post of Deputy Mayor, I have some further information regarding Cllr Grays state of health and her ability to attend meetings.
    On Tuesday 23rd November, 2010 she was able to attend a meeting at the Culver Centre, Belhus at 10:00a.m.on residents association [SORA] buisness and appeared to be in “good health” but by 7:00p.m the same day she, as a Councillor, was not well enough to attend a Labour Group meeting at the Council Offices. On Wednesday 24th November, 2010, it seems she is still not able, due to”ill health”, to attend a Full Council meeting where her presence was needed in an important vote. Then on 25th November, 2010, miracoiusly, she is able to Chair a SORA meeting and appeared to be in “robust” health and secured her re-election, though not unanimously, as Chair of SORA for another year.
    It would seem that Cllr Gray attaches far more importance to her role as Chair of SORA than she does to her role and responsibilities as a Councillor to say nothing of her loyalty, rightly expected from her, to her Labour colleagues.
    As I have previously pointed out therein lies the “danger” when Councillors seek to occupy positions on the committees of organisations, such as residents associations [SORA], and cannot decide where their first “loyalties” lie. I suspect that Cllr Gray believes she can, with impunity, behave the way she does safe in the knowledge that she will not be held to account as a consequence of a “hung council” and the struggle to retain control.
    I hope the Leader of the Council will agree that the standard of behaviour demanded from a Councillor is equal to that of being in control and will clearly demonstrate that to be the case by taking the appropriate action when a Councillor behaves inappropriately and as a consequence their actions, either as a Councillor or a position on an “outside” organisation, bring the Council into disrepute.

  6. didi96 you appear to be a typical Sue Gray supporter i.e you have to shout at people to make your point. You tell me to “get a grip” that is exactly what I am trying to do with regard to Councillors who condone and encourage the sort of behaviour recently demonstrated by members of her SORA Committee and the disgraceful conduct of her “dear friend” Mr Chris Savill. Unlke you I identify myself with my proper name.

  7. I have been informed that a certain lap dog of Sue Gray supposed ward councillor for South Ockendon, when she is well enough to attend, as changed his name to didi96 ?, surely it should be Shitehawk instead of nitewolf, or perhaps lapdog. The fact is that SORA doesnt and never did represent anybody in South Ockendon, unless Sue Gray likes you or you can do something for her and her croonies in the Labour Party, as for telling Mr.Peter Perrin to get a grip, that is what happened to him at a meeting of SORA when he was assulted and insulted by certain committee members, so I think people who live in South Ockendon should ask for a real say in how a so called peoples association, can be run for them without knowing where they meet, what time they meet, and where they meet, because there is no imformation anywhere relating to SORA, still I suppose thats how they like it isnt it.


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