Monday, January 30, 2023

New Tory leader lays out his vision for the future of Thurrock

BY NEXT week, Stanford East and Corringham Town councillor Phil Anderson could be the leader of Thurrock Council. Some people are surprised that a councillor with just over a years experience could be the head of a multi-million pound organisation.

However, a CV that includes: Managing Consultant at Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Senior Consultant at GlaxoSmithKline; Assets & Divestment project manager at GlaxoSmithKline; Engineering Technical Manager at Courtaulds Packaging Betts UK Ltd ; Production Manager at Courtaulds Packaging Betts UK Ltd illustrates that if printers and taxi drivers can do it, then maybe Phil can do it.

Cllr Anderson’s present occupation is listed as “Project Director at House of Commons”. Conspiracy theorists believe that Phil has been sent on a mission by Westminster to sort out the “embarrassing mess” called the Thurrock Conservatives.

YourThurrock sat down with cllr Anderson to let him explain how he envisaged the Tory group under his leadership. In a long interview, we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the group; the key issues for the borough and what he had learned in the first year.

There is no doubt that in a strange way, Labour will look to bring up Phil’s christian faith as some form of achilles heel.

Both parties are in discussions with the East Tilbury councillors, Concerned Conservative Ian Harrison and outgoing Mayor Anne Cheale as their votes next week at the annual council meeting are vital.

Last year, cllr Anderson tweeted: “If the new Mayor of Thurrock’s £20k allowance was paid as 30 pieces of silver, each piece would weigh 1.7kg” Cllr anderson tells us in the interview how he has had several meetings with the mayor and tried to understand her thinking and motivation behind her decisions. Whether the Mayor has taken kindly to being compared to Judas Iscariot or effect her political decision-making: Only time will tell.


  1. Cllr Anderson comes across as someone who knows what he is talking about and seems to have some new ideas for Thurrock.

    maybe it is time for a fresh change at TBC and Cllr Anderson could be the one to make these changes.

  2. There is no doubt that Phil Anderson is a clever polititicin and there is also no doubting that Thurrock Tories were despertate for new leader to try to get them to function as a group again and not in the fractions they currently operate in.

    It may well take a year or two to get them there but maybe Phil is the messiah they have been waiting for,

    Watching this interview you have to ask what will Anne Cheale be thinking of the patronising way Phil speaks about her in his interview. It is very evident that he has no time for her but realises if he is to take his party to the promised land he needs her onside ro at least her vote in the chamber to elect a Tory mayor. What he fails to remember is Anne is an astute woman and her reasons why walked from the Thurrock Tory party in the first place and with this attitude maybe they still have a way to go till they are fit to run the council again.

  3. I believe Cllr Anderson will be excellent for the conservatives. Turner you are quiet right “if only Cllr. Anderson had been one of the 2004 Tory intake” it would have saved the group so much embarrassment and furthermore i don’t think all the media attention around Cllr Redsell,Hauge and the Articles about secret meetings, wine gate . i trust Cllr Anderson would have disciplined certain Cllrs who have brought the group into disrepute I sense he will be a brilliant leader for his group. I wish him all the best
    The only thing i felt he let himself down with Last year, cllr Anderson tweeted:” Cllr Chaele being compared to Judas Iscariot was he comparing him self to Jesus? I think a lady that’s achieved so much in her ward and all her loyal years she has given to the residents and the conservatives group. She did not deserve these remarks I could understand a less intellectual person however with the Christian faith you would not have expected such comments. Cllr Chaele has never spoken of her disagreement among the conservatives group to the press. Why did so many conservative Cllrs walk away from their own group? That’s what should be questioned and lessons have got to be learnt from the past. Cllrs ought to Supports one and other in the group not stab each other in the back? Probably why so many just felt enough is enough and left. Life long members surly must have found this a harrowing decision to make surly? Has a true Christian you should not be so condemnatory, why after a year has Cllr Anderson just tried to speak to Cllr Chaele? Why didn’t Cllr Anderson ask her for an explanation a year ago? Before hearsay I believe has a leader you have to stand up and be counted for what you think is right not what others advise you. Some times individuals don’t all think the same but a braver person walks alone so be strong and if you have been situated there to clean up your group. keep in mind you have some good councilors that were elected last year who have achieved quite a lot for the residents and that’s what your aim should be in both parties the residents of Thurrock well I wish Cllr Kent and Cllr Anderson all the best for next week

  4. As i said in my previous post Phil Anderson is indeed a clever politician and as he himself in his interview said he has not found the chamber challenging in his first year.

    It is very easy to shine as a back bencher and in opposition but from last Wednesday Phil catapulted himself into a new arena.

    In the above post Albert mentions the twitter Phi Andersonl sent to Anne Cheale about being a judas and taking her pieces of silver and you see him become very uncomfortable and shuffle in his seat when Michael Casey asks him that if one year on some may see Phil as the judas…………..

    Phil will need to get used to being in the spotlight either as leader of the oppostion or maybe leader of the chamber. Part of that is skeletons begin to come out of the cupboard and his twitter account may indeed come back to haunt him. I am led to believe the Phil was not at all complimentary ot the Thurrock elecorate describing us as as having ‘poor values and being materialistic’.

  5. Sting, what is to say that quite a few of the Councillors from all parties don’t have skeletons in their closets that will be aired in time???

  6. I’m sure that no-one (including Cllr Cheale) will be surprised that I was feeling pretty hurt and angry this time last year. I went into the Mayor’s parlour with gritted teeth, but our conversation was civil and polite then and has remained so throughout the last 12 months.
    Cllr Cheale knows that I strongly disagree with what she did, but there are also many aspects of local politics which we do agree on. I have been determined throughout to seek reconciliation, because the alternative could be a destructive spiral of revenge which just goes on causing more and more damage. That would be bad for everyone involved, bad for politics, and bad for Thurrock.

  7. Good to hear from Phil. Looking forward to 25th May. Tit fot tat and feuds do no one any favours.

  8. Yet another interesting development in Thurrock Politics! A strong CV and a seemingly rational, logical approach to Politics on the basis of the interview above. Whether this is enough to counteract what hasn’t been a very good performance from the Conservatives running the Council, personal disagreements and solid leadership from both John Kent and Val Morris-Cook remains to be seen – but this councillor surely is the best chance the Tories have yet. At the moment I feel Labour are providing the better service (despite not being a Labour “person”) but as any Tory would agree, a bit of competition doesn’t do any harm! Labour did benefit from the national situation this year (winning Stanford East, taking Ockendon – although I wonder if the massive effort by Labour would be sustainable year after year, close in Stanford West) and if replicated in future years this would knock the Tories. Good luck!


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