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.

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