Election 2011: Ward by Ward: Grays Thurrock

Labour’s Cathy Kent won by 464 votes four years ago and may well extend that majority on May 5th. Cathy will be greatly helped by the recent controversies over the possible sale of Thurrock Adult Community College and Grays Beach Park.

Cathy is one of those, “quietly working behind the scenes” candidates. Sometimes that may be mistaken for not doing a lot but in Cathy’s case it is all about the real grassroots casework.

For many people, the work of a councillor is about the minutae of daily life. Casework that may be trivial to you, until it affects you. The streetlight, the opening hours, the neighbours, crime, parking. The list is endless. And when you live and work in a ward with a multiplicity of needs then that casework builds up.

What helps Cathy is that Grays Thurrock, like Ockendon has three councillors that seem to work well together. On the morning of the interview, Cathy was joined by fellow councillors, Yash Gupta MBE and Mike Stone in their bi-monthly surgeries at Doug Siddons Court in Elm Road.

In many ways, Cathy is one of those councillors, who “knows her place” Who enjoys life on the backbenches, would probably feel uncomfortable with a portfolio but is there for the people of the borough.

For the rest of the candidates, it would be a good ward to cut your teeth in and indeed make a few inroads as the Conservative candidates in Grays Riverside, Charlie Key did last year. Not much sign of the others so far but if they do appear on the radar, then we will let you know.

Grays Thurrock
Traci Barnes (Conservative)
Tom Davis (British National Party)
Will Jackson (Liberal Democrat)
Catherine Angela Kent (Labour)
Raj Mistry (United Kingdom Independence Party)

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