Election 2011: Ward by Ward: Stifford Clays

Stifford Clays
Clive Broad (United Kingdom Independence Party)
Diana Hale (Labour)
Claire Jones (Liberal Democrat)
Jo Morris (Conservative)

IT IS always fairly close in Stifford Clays. There has been a Conservative presence there before with former Mayor Maureen Pearce as well as Leo Milan-Vega. Last year, Angie Gaywood scraped home by 76 votes. However that was in a year when nationally, people wanted change and so they weren’t particularly voting for the Conservative candidate but rather voting against Gordon Brown.

Will national issues help the incumbent candidate, Labour cllr Diana Hale? Probably. Winter fuel allowances may be one. Fears regarding less police on the street may be another.

As a local ward councillor, Diana Hale has worked hard for four years and been highly visible. From parking at the primary school, wardens at Headon Hall, asb in Crammavill Street to clean-up days in the park. No-one can fault Diana for her commitment and her grasp of the local issues.

As a portfolio holder, Diana has courted controversy. We say “gaffe-prone” whilst others say honest. Diana does look a little out of tune with the arguments in play in education in 2011 and John Kent may have to consider, if they do regain power, if he can afford a succession of headlines that he could have avoided.

The Conservative candidate is a first timer who we haven’t seen around at all which is a surprise as there are plenty of Conservative votes to be had here but it needs a candidate who would have been working this ward for a year and not a few weeks (if that).

UKIP’s Clive Broad is also standing again. He took 642 votes last year and may well impress again. With their largest number of candidates ever in Thurrock, UKIP really think they can make a breakthrough this year.

The key would be to see if they can get near to 20% of the overall vote. They of course would also benefit from proportional representation in Thurrock.

YT Prediction: Lab Hold: 180

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