Ockendon: A tale of two heroes


Jill Broad (United Kingdom Independence Party): 223
Barry Johnson (Conservative): 1009
Aaron Kiely (Labour): 1096
Karne Thomas McGinn (British National Party): 231
Jill Broad (United Kingdom Independence Party): 223
David Shirley (Liberal Democrat): 73

Majority: 87

Turnout: 38%

Aaron Kiely ran a great campaign and thoroughly deserved to win. He is such an enthusiast and his youthful joie de vivre shone through to the voters. This young man is going places. It is also great to hear the Tories call him “loony left” (Thanks Mr Gadsby) We haven’t heard that in ages!

It would be good to see him on a committee such as Public Protection.

We all know the lines from the Kipling poem regarding “If you can meet with victory and defeat and treat those two imposters just the same” Very few of us can do it. Barry Johnson can. Only twelve months ago, he was one of the rising stars of the group and had transformed his portfolio. Now he has lost his ward but he showed great grace and we are pleased we caught it on camera because many many people could learn a great deal.

Barry was a great ambassador for the ward and for the borough and we hope he will be back.

His colleague, Lyn Carr said: “I am so sorry to see Barry lose. He was a great councillor. I have learned so much but I am sure he will be back.”

Having said that, we think they could have retained this seat. We have no doubt that the three Ockendon councillors work hard for the ward but again, like many wards their campaigning isn’t good enough.

They will counter that Labour put an enormous amount of resources into this ward and only won by 87 votes and may not be able to repeat that. Fair point.

What a great day for democracy as two candidates poll over a 1,000 votes.

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