Thursday, September 28, 2023

Year in review: May

THE General Election went into the final lap. All the students we interviewed put their hopes in the new frontier of the Lib-Dems. Do you think they feel a little bit let down?

YourThurrock had covered every ward, every candidate and filmed every MP that had come into the borough. On May 3rd, we interviewed the Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he visited a courier company in Basildon along with Duncan Bannatyne and Angela Smith. The media throng were there. He basically blanked Sky and the BBC but instead after speaking to staff, gave his time to the local media.

Then came election night. The YourThurrock team turned up at the Civic Hall, Blackshots at 9pm on Thursday night. We eventually left at 3pm the next day. Thurrock’s election count was and we use the technical term: “a total cock-up”.

In the end (that is 9am the next day) Jackie Doyle-Price won by 92 votes and became Thurrock’s first Conservative MP since 1992. In South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe trounced Angela Smith by over 6,000 votes. Losing Labour candidate, Carl Morris took the defeat with great dignity.

The Tories retained control of the council. That vote was declared just before midday.

Meanwhile, Best Buy opened in Lakeside. Gateway Academy’s Got Talent show illustrated how far the performing arts have come in the Tilbury school.

The Bulphan in Bloom 2010 campaign was in full flow. Stacey Solomon was booked for T-Fest. Pixelwork’s Matt Harris completed the Alcatraz Triathlon in aid of a local charity.

Then back to the politics. Little Thurrock Conservative councilor, Stuart St-Clair-Haslam defected to join Ann Cheale and become the Gang of Two in the Concerned Conservatives.

The main consequence was that at the next council meeting, Labour under John Kent took power with an only in Thurrock, ex-Tory leader as Mayor in Concerned Conservative Ann Cheale and a regular Conservative in Eddie Hardiman as Deputy.

Tilbury FC faced internal strife, Grays Ath were fighting against being relegated four divisions.

We continued to interview fascinating individuals such as Purfleet-based american Ruben Carril. Whose motto since losing a leg in a motorbike crash as certainly been seize the day!

We also continued to showcase musicians both young such as Tom Radford and established such as John Dean.

The police were out in force in a number of roadshows in the borough as well as a murder enquiry in Darnley Road, Grays.


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