Saturday, June 22, 2024

Dawn raids, rent arrears, previous convictions: Should new Tilbury councillor stand down?

CALLS have been made for a new Tilbury councillor to stand down, after a series of revelations highlighted a number of crisis in her life that some say hinder her ability to fulfill her duties as a councillor.

Mother-of-ten, councillor Baldwin was elected in May after years of behind the scenes work for the Labour Party but soon after it was revealed that her council laptop “went missing”.

According to reports, cllr Baldwin had to pay a sum of money to get it back.

The theft was the culmination of a number of events that have now seen calls for her to stand down until events at home are more on an even keel.

It has been revealed that cllr Baldwin owes the council thousands in back rent. She also has massive council tax arrears.

Cllr Baldwin also faces serious problems in getting some of her children to school regularly. YT understands that educational welfare officers made a series of dawn raids to her property. Events culminated in her being charged and convicted under Section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996, for failing to ensure that her child attends school regularly.

The loss of the laptop appears to have been the tipping point for many in the council as it sparked a security alert in civic offices with all councillors receiving instructions from council bosses on ensuring the safety and security of their laptops.

Keith Hatcher was the Independent candidate for Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park who came second to cllr Baldwin in Mays council elections. He said he is shocked by the revelations.

Mr Hatcher said: ‘There has to be a by-election. How can a councillor be in the chamber discussing what they do with taxpayers money when she infact owes thousands herself.

“I have every sympathy for Claire. Indeed, I blame her Labour bosses who must have known this would all come up.”

YT has asked a number of Labour sources including cllr Baldwin who sat on her selection panel but nobody could recall.

Cllr Baldwin has issued a personal statement.

Cllr Baldwin said:  “As many people will be aware I am a single mother with ten children. I have been a single parent for five years since my husband – the father of my children – left the family home.

“This time has been a terrible struggle for me and my family and I have fought to keep the family together and bring up my children to the very best of my ability. I have had support from friends and colleagues – without who we may not have survived in tact.

“I have, however, made some mistakes along the way. Mistakes I readily admit to and am working hard to put right.

“At times two of my children have not attended school regularly and I have paid the price for this having been convicted in court. Currently another of my children is causing me – and the authorities – concern over his attendance record. I am working with the authorities to ensure he is at school every day.

“I have also built up arrears in both my Council Tax and Council Housing Rent accounts. I am paying these arrears off in a way that satisfies the Council debt collection policies and have asked for no favours nor to be treated any differently to any other resident who finds themselves in arrears with Council Tax or Rent.

“I was proud to be elected to serve the residents of Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park and believe the experiences I have gone through have made me a stronger person and better equipped to understand and deal with the problems they bring to me on a daily basis.

‘I remain proud to represent the people of Tilbury and am absolutely committed to doing it to the very best of my ability.

Labour leader John Kent has defended the beleaguered councillor.

He said: Claire has ten children and gave careful consideration to how she would combine being a busy mother with council duties. As such Claire  ensures she gives around four hours a day to dealing with casework and council issues, ensuring she is finished in time for collecting the children from their various schools.

As a back bench councillor Claire’s duties are mainly around representing her constituents in Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park. Claire has shown real dedication to this role, holding regular advice surgeries and being seen about the ward on a daily basis. Claire deals with around twenty, separate items of case work every week.

Asked if she would be standing down, cllr Kent said: No. Claire was elected with a resounding majority and should be allowed to get on with the job she was elected to do – representing the residents of Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park.


  1. At least with all her problems Claire will be able to relate more closley with residents of whom many face the same difficulties she has meet. People should realise councillors are only human and can make mistakes as much as the next person. She as admitted to them and is trying her best to sort things out. In the short time since her election Claire as worked hard for many residents in Tilbury and Thurrock Park and long may she continue to do so.

  2. Did I read the second paragraph correctly, 10 kids?????

    If indeed she does owe back rent and council tax and also has probelms with truancy with her children then unfortunately she should have been unfit to run for office, was this all kept quiet by the Labour party during the elections.

    This has very similar leanings as the two BNP councillors that owed rent and council tax in 2006:

    As this is now in the public domain then the only thing that should happen is for her to lose her seat and a by-election called, I know that that sounds hard hearted but how can someone who is part of the financial problems in the borough, through owing TBC money, take expenses and attendance allowances from the council, this is hypocrytical….

  3. Calls for Cllr Baldwin to stand down? Keith Hatcher who she beat hand down at the electin box is the only person willing to give you a named quote. Of course he would love her to stand down and have a by election for her seat.

    Glad you have found him MC, nobody else has seen anything of him since the election. He ran his whole campaign on the proposed lorry park and then because he didnt get elected he has abandoned the residents he promised to stand by. Keith where were you at the planning debate? Cllr Baldwin was there in the chamber with her residents.

    Claire is well known in the town and already has a name as a hard working councillor that is willing to take up the fight for her residents. Tilbury residents accept that Claire is one of them and understands the problems they face.

    Is it so wrong to try and better yourself and improve life for your children.

    Lambo: How insulting. you make it sound like a crime to have 10 children with her husband. For clarity he left her and has not been the rock you would have expected him to be for her or his children.

    Her statement shows she recognises her shorfalls and is trying to do the best she can. She has made arrangements to pay off her debt and that should be the end of it.

    Keep up the good work Cllr Baldwin. Onwards and upwards.

  4. If the people want Claire then she should stay,she should not feel under pressure to stand down.I cant imagine what it must be like trying to bring up 10 children on your own,1 is hard enough and she goes to work everyday.Give her a chance not a hard time!

  5. How can someone with such a huge debt, that can’t even get her kids to school represent the people of Tilbury, I can’t believe that people are commenting support when it wasn’t that long ago a labour candidate was forced to step down in another area just for making a comment on face Book, if that is unacceptable than by showing disregard to the tax payers of the borough by owing TBC thousands, and is now being paid by the tax payers to stick her fingers right up at us….if she has any dignity she should step down with the other councillors who obviously thought she was worth wrecking the reputation of the labour party!

  6. There are those that gamble and waste money and there are those that life kicks in the teeth, through illness, redundancy, being left to bring up a family with no partner maintenance. It’s tough being a single parent and there are plenty of those in Tilbury. Maybe we’ll see a few of the righteous at the next Council meeting so that we can see them face to face. They won’t be half the person that Clare is.

  7. Sting, my comment about the kids was not meant as an insult, I thought that the story had a typo…..fair play to her bringing them up on her own, I still maintain that anyone who owes the Council money in rent and council tax should not be allowed to run for office, this is hypocrisy by the Labour party yet again….

  8. Whilst, on a certain level, it is commendable for Mrs Baldwin to want to serve the community as a councillor, her family should come first. Clearly, looking after ten kids is no mean feat and I would imagine it is a full time job in itself. The fact that two of them are causing concern over school attendances suggests that she needs to devote more time to them and less time trying to sort out other people’s problems. I understand her problems with the council tax and rent bills too, we all have trouble with bills from time to time but she should not be allowed to represent her community whilst the debts are outstanding. She should stand down now, sort out her personal situation and, when she is ready, stand again.

  9. I can’t see why cllr baldwin should be asked to stand down, she has not broke any rules in the terms of her contract to the local authority, or most importantly her RESIDENTS.

    On the issue of her children she has brought them up on her own with extreme pressures I believe that so many families in Tilbury have this issue of school attendance where the children don’t go to school but is this a parent problem to the laws and authority it is, but in the real world it isn’t its the whole system of society!

    Finally the council should not make exemptions for any cllr or council officer nor should they make an example of them. With the council debt policy everybody should be treated the same no matter where they come from or where they are! But the debt policy should be continually revised to make sure the council is getting back any monies that is owed to the in a fair and inpartial way! so every 6 months the council should look at what they are paying off any arrears and looking at income and expenditure of that individual!

    I say if the residents of tilbury and thurrock park don’t wish her to represent them again then at the ballot box in 2015 they can decide on the merit of what she has done for them and promised them!

  10. Sting
    I stand by my comments that to represent tax paying residents and make decisions on how tax payers funds are spent you should at least be one !
    Thousands of pounds in arrears takes years to get to and is a sustained effort.

    Should we all follow the same course and not pay our taxes etc the council would become bankrupt very soon.
    There are many people out there who have problems paying bills but still do, I admire them, when they are out of work or suffering other problems they have to pay more to make up the shortfall to cover the money others do not pay is this fair?.
    With regard to your comments about me not being at the planning meeting I was not able to attend this one but was at the previous ones but Claire was not. I have been working away for those I have a mandate for Thurrock Park. The people of Tilbury made their choice at the election that Claire should represent them which I respect. I still represent Thurrock Park as charman of the residents group who I have a mandate for.
    For your information the planners for the docks sent a letter to the planning committee a few days before the meeting asking for some changes to the terms that the application be split into three parts 1 Truck Park 2 Warehouses and 3 Landscaping. It now seems the warehouses ( which the new jobs promissed for ) may or may not be built until sold yet the truck park comes first. If they are not sold they may or may not appear and the new jobs may or may not appear. But as the whole development has employment in its titles it can breach the green belt. But they will get their truck park though !!!!!! or am I cynical ? I have kept a watch on what is happening and the application is probably to be agreed by the Gateway/Council but then it has to go before the Secretary of state which is where I will place the objection boosted by the 1200 signature from the residents of Tilbury that we worked to get with no help from the Labour party.
    I will continue to represent the residents of Thurrock Park which although the blustering from the labour party Claire is representing I am doing without Claire’s help. And this is what the residents want me to do I have been in contact with Tilbury residents who wish me to help them as well.
    Grays 88
    It is not a society problem that children do not go to school it is parental responsibility I had a family and my wife and I made sure we could and did ensure our children went to school whether we had to make sacrifices or not we put our family first.
    I will ad no more but as I was seemingly portrayed as one hit wonder and a quitter I thought I should answer the comments..

  11. Simple – withold all her councillors allowances until all her council debts are paid off.

    At leasts she lives in Tilbury, unlike previous Labour councillors who lived in Nigeria and South Ockendon!

  12. I dont think Claire should resign because she has passion for the people, a willingness to learn and be a positive role model for her kids and the community. Look at the MP expenses – people who cheated the tax payers openly and arrogantly. Give her a break we need a diverse range of people on our local council and it is nice to see someone with some scars of life and knowledge of how a lot of people in Tilbury and Thurrock survive.

    Parents of all sorts of backgrounds and professions have found themselves in despair at times when their kids refuse to comply with the system. I note she has 10 kids and most of them are a complete credit to her and society – ask a lot of people who have known Claire since she first joined Labour party I for one thought she was fantastic the way she judggled everything. The breakdown of a marriage takes its toll on all of us so good luck Claire, learn from your mistakes and don’t let anyone burst your bubble.

  13. Isn’t it funny how all these crop up at once not one story after another 1 would wonder why nothing has been said before hand or before the electorate made a potential mistake? Nobody can re-call who sat on the selection board well I’m sure that there are plenty that can, more to the point don’t they keep all there documentation or did that get nicked as well?

    I always however understand that she has been working hard for the socialist labour party for many years and her time has come but where is the in-depth assessment of each and every candidate from all political parties?
    My view is she should stand down and concentrate on the debt she has and deal with her family of 11!, Or have all or 50% of any monies paid to her go directly off the arrears she owes to council rents and council tax that all ordinary people have to pay!
    Here are my views on what others have said!
    Red Rebel – Obviously a labour cllr not wanting to show the world who they are. On the matter of being human and making mistakes is this the same as all the MP with their fraudulent claims? Because they are only human aren’t they?

    Lambo – I couldn’t agree more you can’t decide on where to spend money and yet have the mountain of debt you owe the people of Thurrock for your shares or rent/council tax lose out!

    Sting – where is the shortfalls from where do you start? The beginning the middle or the end? It just goes to prove even when in office they don’t change!

    Vince63 – Tilbury may like her but did they know the truth about the problems and debt she has and owing to TBC? As for getting help it looks like the council have been to kind in the first place why didn’t they make her bankrupt then she wouldn’t have been able to be a cllr?

    Wish4betterthurrocl – I couldn’t agree more it will bite the labour party back in the face as they must have known what she has done in the past with the authorities and her debt!

    Santa – what do you mean by righteous? Is that “morally right or justifiable” to take money from the system while owing thousands! Also on the point there are those that gamble, take drugs and break the law of the land but are they cllrs?

    Grays64 – that’s a fair comment focus on your loved ones and the inner problems before attempting the problems of the area

    Grays88 – If you can’t see why then you must be in with them, she has not promoted to the people that this is her circumstances and this is what she wants to do has she?

    Keith – your comments don’t count for much as you want to take over the ropes yet you lost by a mile of if it was just to represent thurrock park you would have won but not tilbury!

    Dave – I agree if she wants to prove to her electorate that she is trying to deal with the debts then withhold all payments or at least 50% payments until the debts are clear then at least when she re-stands (if she does) she won’t owe all this money!

    Distressedmaiden – Another Labour party member/cllr talking all the rubbish! I agree all those that are corrupt should pay and be made to leave office and criminal charges brought before them as well as those that owe thousands, what are they repaying over 20 years? of £5 a month make them bankrupt then this wouldn’t be able to happen would it!

  14. It’s a shame that the council can pursue a poor woman that has raised 10 children so far with problems with lateness; I’m sure most parents with only four children sympathies what a struggle it can be in the morning all in and out the bathroom preparing pack lunches, PE kits, homework, schoolbags and a single parent with 10 children. She trying to better herself and make a difference for the local residents
    What parent hasn’t struggled one time in their life with children in school?
    When we hear single parents should do more “isn’t this lady trying “
    When her partner left perhaps she struggled to make ends meet. A lot of people in Thurrock suffer the same blight in their lives
    And this councilor most have know this might cause her and her family embarrassment so I suppose she will have to deal with the press but I consider she felt the cause was far greater than her own personnel embarrassment. I wish this lady all the best I suppose in this economic crisis a lot of people lost their homes and possession .Therefore no doubt a lot of people feel that this local woman is worth voting for because she is a person of the people for the people best of luck

    Mr Hatcher said: ‘There has to be a by-election. How can a councillor be in the chamber discussing what they do with taxpayers money when she in fact owes thousands herself.
    How can most of the conservatives be in the Chamber when some have supported a substantial illegal company and they have offices on one of their site they turned a blind eye with the illegal planning illegal buildings and they worry about one woman and we pay for dawn raids Thurrock council get of your back sides and collect all the back rates from the company in west Thurrock and back date it I believe just one part of the site owes £2.8 million pounds in rates on an illegal lorry park in Oliver road that’s the literature being given out in London road yesterday the council know of this and the chief exec has failed us the people of Thurrock yet if you are a local person I say to you don’t pay council Tax don’t submit planning applications because this company has just set a president for every person in Thurrock so everyone who has been refused a planning application appeal it have your planning consultant read up on how many planning application on the Oliver road site was submitted since 2006 then look at how many buildings have been built it was only a local group of residents that made Thurrock enforce on part of this site.
    And as for this woman standing down from her council seat over her financial position I think Cllr Redsell should stand down from her position has she made a far worse and shoddier judgment call than this woman and she has the brazen stance to stay on and talk about planning application to the planning committee regarding an old light Resign Redsell
    I feel that this is a political devious underhanded maneuver after reading this story

  15. As somebody who was personally threatened by the councillor in question, I know what a pointless pawn of Ms. Worrall’s she is. I nearly cracked up when the Labour Party produced a letter in March/April time which went into all three local papers, supposedly written by her – the obvious mistake being that there were no swear words or spelling mistakes – which winged about how the tory budget saving the average household only a few quid per year in council tax was pointless. My reaction was that it must have seemed pointless to someone who has NEVER PAID COUNCIL TAX! The sooner she is fully exposed for her criminal past, her aggressive behaviour and questionable character the sooner Tilbury can look for a worthwhile councillor who can actually make a difference.

  16. Isn’t it a laugh when the socialists all come out to defend one of their own in circumstances when, were it a Tory, they would be calling for blood? Take the main story in the News right now. David Cameron is getting hammered for employing Mr Coulson a man who, allegedly, has allowed some very naughty things to go on when editor of the News of the World. I think it’s all a bit overblown but it is what it is. Here, we have the Labour party allowing a candidate that has fallen behind on both rent and council tax and has (if truthbeknown is right) been agressive and abusive and it’s all OK. Hypocrisy? I would say so.

  17. gray64, you forgot to mention that the NOTW was doing everything whilst the previous Labour party were in power, even tapping Gordon “where’s the money gone” Brown’s phone and did nothing about it then, now they are trying to close the stable door after the horse has already bolted, with Milliband issuing an apology saying maybe we should have investigated sooner,, no s**t sherlock!!!

    Labour (or at least New Labour) have always tried to spin their way out of everything and try to push the blame on everyone else apart from their own people, it woudl not supprise me if they knew all about this Councillors problems well before she stood for election and then decided to keep it all quiet.

    Whilst I am not criticising this person, as I don’t know her, she obviously has problems with looking after her children and maintaining that they attend school so a career in politics is probably not the best option at this moment in time, as for the non payment of rent and council tax this needs to be sorted out before she should be able to run for office again, I wonder if TBC will be pursuing these debts as vigorously as they should be????

  18. Lambo, quite right, this phone hacking was going on during Labour’s watch and it was quietly ‘shelved’. Could that have been because, at the time, Labour were very cosy with the Murdoch’s? I mean, the SUN was supporting Labour in those days. I am thoroughly bored with the whole ‘hacking’ thing. I was OK with it being focused on the crime of Hacking Milly Dowler’s phone and ‘hacks’ into phones of families related to dead servicemen etc but this political witch hunt leaves me cold. Not least because of the sheer hypocrisy of all involved. I just wish that local politicians could try to act like adults and not emulate those in Westminster. No hope of that though.

  19. Grays 64 and lambo after reading alberts comments  I can’t believe you haven’t said something about the rates not being paid to Thurrock council from the west Thurrock Lorry Park I cannot believe we the residents of Thurrock subsidize a company this big and the legal and enforcement department do nothing and how I perceive this and other residents will perceive this has corruption at the highest levels.  what’s worse it was in the press about meetings with the conservatives group including ex leader of the conservatives supporting this company and in the press it says about the previous ruling group have run their offices from this sites other piece of land (IT STINKS) how are they allowed not to pay millions of pounds in rates, put up so many illegal buildings, when the council are informed by aerial photographs. But all the residents’ who might have illegal buildings we have to take down or our roofs are too high the dormer is 2inchs to big.  My friend had to pay out thousands of pounds with solicitors and consultants over a bloody extension how dare these people run the council for us because they are not looking after us the residents they are looking out for the old boys club!!! I can’t understand the portfolio holder of regeneration and the ward councilor ANDY SMITH does not get his bloody finger out and ask for a public enquiry I watched a clip of him on your Thurrock saying how lovely west Thurrock will be with houses big back gardens and school but don’t mention the hundreds of lorries and pollution well done!!! For looking after the residents in west Thurrock I advise you to read up on what Cllr Smith has done before you vote. I am calling on all residents of Thurrock call 01375 652652 and call Cllr Kent Cllr Smith Cllr Anderson to see whats happening here

  20. i can not beleive that the individual circumstances of this person is attracting so much attentoin particulrarly given the milllions of unpaid business rates not being paid by icg at their west thurrock power station site. Irefer to my comment to the news story with the title “Conservatives put the record straight over…………..”.where i comment about this scandalous situation which as been allowed to develop which tory cllrs must have
    been aware of. maybe certain tory cllrs should be asked to resign insted of hounding this poor woman

  21. georgy and eagleeye, In case you hadn’t noticed, this is an article about cllr Baldwin and not about the West Thurrock lorry park issue. I do not understand why you think the two points should be related. Are you saying that it’s OK to turn a blind eye to a Cllr failing to pay rent and taxes because, somewhere else, a Company might be doing the same thing? That’s rubbish. In fact it’s laughable because it exactly illustrates why Cllr Baldwin is unsuitable for the role. Why should anybody listen to lectures about not paying Council taxes from somebody who also hasn’t paid? You should both feel just as much outrage toward Cllr Baldwin as you do about the other cases you raised. For the record, I agree with both of you that Companies should be brought to account if they are avoiding taxes.

  22. back to the first post “she can relate to the residents in tilbury” course she flaming well can – benefits – arrears – not engaging with schools, social services….majority of tilbury residents live their lives much the same way spawning a generational acceptance of living off the state and from the muppets who do pay their way!! boil on societies a**e if you ask most people

    you can see the mentality of her supporters.

    previous convictions – not learnt any lessons there then, so obviously been a while to come to the point where schools would take that route. so cupcake seems like she has had a lot of “chances”

    how can the party support this person – oh because they all aspire to nothing.
    hope the council stop her allowance, how can it be right to use tax payers money to pay her arrears ?

    10 kids didn’t she know what caused it then…?

    stand down, stop making excuses, get your priorites straight, send your kids to school ( even with the money we have to pay for their free school dinners) and stop taking the mick !

    once you’ve got your problems sorted the rest of us might actually believe you can represent us eh

  23. The original article clearly states that Cllr Baldwin has made arragements to pay back any arrears in full. She has not been given any priveledges and has not asked for any.

    There has been some spitefull stuff added onto the facts but that is typical of the regular posters on here.

    Cllr Baldwin has apologised and made arrangements to put things right – not one of us know the whys and where fors of this so we should not try to second guess anything.

    I take my hat off to her for fronting this out – unlike Cllr Redsell who was caught on film meeting a property developer and clearly had plans laid out before them.

    Allegedley a Tory councillor chased her grand daughter down the road with a golf club and the police are investigating.

    Now where is the stand up and be counted on that side of the chamber?

    I rest my case.

  24. Sting says “There has been some spitefull stuff added onto the facts but that is typical of the regular posters on here.”
    Then goes on to say “Allegedley a Tory councillor chased her grand daughter down the road with a golf club and the police are investigating. ” Absolutely hilarious, you really couldn’t make it up. Pure comedy gold.

  25. This is absolutely brilliant….

    I am so glad to read that people like Sting can defend the indefensible then, come out in other comments, baying for Tory blood…..

    Bear in mind, it is against the law for any member of the council who has any form of council tax arrears to be a part of the debate/motion etc that involves the setting of the council tax.

    This individual has to go if only to ensure that the ward that this person represents is fairly represented…


  26. As per above, its against the law and the councils code of conduct to meet property developers in hotels with Thurrock planning maps across tables like table cloth’s. Hope you keep living in another country because your well out of touch with the graft thats going on in Thurrock.

  27. Nice to see Albert going completely off topic and comparing two things that are not the same. Albert, we all know what you think of Cllr Redsell but it’s getting to be a bit of a broken record now.

  28. . Albert, we all know what you think of Cllr Redsell but it’s getting to be a bit of a broken record now.


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