Sunday, July 14, 2024

Councillors refuse to discuss plight of war hero

AS THE CLOCK ticked past 9pm last night (Wednesday) a large part of the council agenda had yet to be discussed. “It is going to be a long night” said the reporter sitting next to YT. They had worked at Essex County Council and Southend where meetings had gone on until midnight. Not at Thurrock. As 9.30pm, came along, they stood up and left.

What compounded the situation is that the next motion was an update on what help had been given to stricken private Alex Stringer, who lost three limbs whilst fighting for his country in Afghanistan. It appears they couldn’t even give him a minute of their time.

There was also questions on GCSE’s,sports hubs,the Gull lightship and a motion on press conduct.

In an evening, dominated by a presentation from the chief constable James Barker-McCardle, where it was admitted that 1,100 members of the Essex Police family could lose their jobs, (“a large number of employees are frightened about losing their jobs” said the chief), many would have thought that the meeting could have run on until, 10 or 11pm but apparently not.


  1. I find this absolutely shameful, is it not the case the reason these people have their jobs in the first place is due to our dedicated soilders putting their lives on the line. What happened to Val Morris-Cook? She has always prattled on that she is the saviour of our soilders, and will do everything in her power to make sure that they are looked after when they come home. Where was her mouth last night?
    If this bunch in council have not got the respect to stay later to discuss the plight of this war hero and other Thurrock members of the armed forces then shame on them. Lets wait and see if the Mayor and this other bunch will turn up on Rememberance Sunday. (Hypocrisy yes I think so)

  2. Are we really surprised that Councillors/Politicians behave this way? Only minutes before, in the Council Chamber, I had raised the issue of the progress of a “Veterans Charter”, which had been proposed at a meeting of the Full Council in March 2011 which would commit the Council to responsibilities for the rehabilitation and welfare of ex-service personnel, especially those who had disabilities e.g. loss of limbs or other injuries. The Full Council meeting, as stated, was predominately given over to a lengthy presentation, by the Chief Constable of Essex, of the effects of Government imposed “cuts” to policing in Essex, admittedly an important issue, but which could have been time limited. If an agenda is presented then Councillors should be prepared to give their time to allow the items on that agenda be dealt with, even if that inconveniances them by detaining them beyond the allotted time as per “Standing Orders”. It was particularly insensitive of the Councillors to just “shut up shop” leaving the item concerning the ex-soldier, Mr Stringer, unresolved. I saw the television programme in which Mr Stringer appeared and was filled with admiration for the courage displayed by him and his comrades in the continous face of extreme danger. As “Shunavan” has already pointed out Councillors should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and reflect upon the fact that these, mostly very young, soldiers have given more than time to the duty of their profession, they have experienced unimaginable horrors, suffered horrific injuries and some have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed. Councillors do you not believe that these brave men and women are deserving of even just a small amount of your time?

  3. I was discussing this with someone who was in the public gallery, it turns out Cllr Coxshall asked for ‘standing orders’ to be suspended so the meeting could carry on – this was dismissed by the Chief Executive and the Labour Group as unconstitutional. I feel maybe this article is disingenuous as it conveniently leaves that fact out

  4. Nothing that this shambles of a council suprises me anymore, maybe a short stint in Afganistan for all the local councillors is in order maybe then they woudl understand the plight of our injured ex-servicemen.

    Shame on youTBC,,,,,,,,

  5. I am wondering if L has got his/her information right that the chief executive has the authority to close the full council meeting? I have been led to believe and through experience that it is solely down to the Mayor to determine if the Agenda is important enough to carry on with the meeting, Im sure Mr Perrin will kindly put me right on this subject if this is not the case. I think the question needs to be asked, is our former Mayor not up to his position, I say this because he has made the public aware that he served in the armed forces, all very noble Mr Curtis but lets not forget it was in peace time, but you of all people should have the foresight and a little bit of knowledge as to what our dedicated soilders have to face on the front line and especially having to face adjustment to civvy life when they are discharged and yet you sadly and disgracefully let Mr Stringer and our other Thurrock service men down. A very close friend to the family has served twenty two years in the armed forces and has served three tours in Nothern Ireland, Two tours in Bosnia and three tours in Afganistan both as a fighting soilder and as a medic and has seen the terrible truama’s that our troops have to endure. He is not a pen pusher or a politician at our local council and may I add he does not wear a gold medalion around his neck, he wore body armour and served his country. So where is the help for these hero’s especially this ex soilder? I can only surmise that in March 2011 when Val Morris raised the issues of the vetrans charter it was in all honesty point scoring something which sadly this Labour run council is extremely good at. Your shameful behaviour reflects who you really are, and to use these service men as a tool is sickening.

  6. I think the residence of Thurrock should see this veterans charter and the progress that they are or are not making, I for one would like to know how they are informed as to who has left the forces and what this council has done for them. Maybe Mike Casey do you think you can help us out on that one

  7. At past meetings of Full Council, when more time is needed, a Councillor proposes a suspension of Standing Orders if the proposal is “seconded” by another Councillor then the proposal is voted upon by all Councillors present and if a majority vote in favour of suspension of Standing Orders then the meeting continues with buisness for the extra time that has been agreed. It is the Councillors who decide whether to go to “extra time” not the Chief Executive. I do not understand how it is considered “unconsti- tutional” to allow matters to be decided by a majority vote.

  8. I am aware of the above ex service man and have witnessed him floundering trying to adjust to civvy life when for years he and many thousands in the armed forces have had to live thier lives on the edge and when discharged they are expected to settle down to a normal life. What saddens me here is I know for fact that this young man has no fixed abode and does not have a caring enough family to take him back into the fold, but I am amazed at his courage to try and get work even though his terrorising memories are with him 24/7. I have read Mr Perrins comments and feel that his passion and knowledge would serve him and our veterans better if he were part of the veterans charter to represent the service men and women.

  9. Once again the flag ship of the Essex Labour Party, Thurrock Council members have shown there true colours, to the general public, you know the people who, good forgive them Vote for you, the mayor is a joke, he can only appear in front of photographers, he isnt any good as a local councillor, we have seen his indecisions, at one time he didnt know where the Belhus Ward was, so he helped the South Ockendon Ward instead of us, so I am not surprised by his and the Labour parties dismal show at the full council meeting, I understand they allowed time for the Chief Constable of Essex, who I suppose weht on and on about cuts etc to his force, then another important subjects such has, GCE’s sports and the Gull Lightship, an extension was asked for, and flatly refused to allow time to discuss a Local Hero of Afghanistan, who as lost three limbs whilst fighting for this country, that includes the Labour Councillors of Thurrock, I bet the Mayor good old Charlie Curtis thought he was at a SORA meeting, and closed the meeting because he doesnt want to talk about it, well if is they way that we treat our local heros when they return home with life threatening injuries and amputations then we dont, deserve to claim that we support the Heros in Need campaign, we are a bloody disgrace to our fighting men and women, who lay there lifes down, so that we are free from those murdering teliban and there creed, god help us if another war started, non of our councillors would go, because they would fail to recognise it, I agree with Shunavan our mayor will be at some memorial pretending to care with his peace time medals, not for the fallen in two world wars, he will be there to get his face in the Thurrock Gazette or Echo, as will most of the council members, I feel they owe Mr.Alex.Springer a public apology for the bloody disgraceful way they have treated him, and give him a home fit for a wouded hero, who was fighting for us all in Afghanistan.

  10. Just to clarify. Any discussion regarding suspending standing orders, i.e: continuing the meeting, occurred at 2131 hrs. By then the meeting had finished. Cllr Coxshall started to look at the clock around 2128hrs but only made a point after the meeting had closed.

  11. It still leaves the public with a bitter taste in their mouths, when god forbid they see the people they vote in to positions of great responsabilites, just decide to go home rather, than discuss a issue that should have been discussed first, ie what can they do for a returning HERO, somebody who as really put there life on the line for this sad old country with live in, This man should be at the top of every councillors list, to be helped in every way, I bet come the 11th November afew of our councillors will be attending war memorials a round the area, so that they can be seen by newspaper reporters, this hero only asks this council for one thing, and that is for help to live a normal life in comfort ans safety, he as even been trying to get employment to help his family live, so I say let the bloody councillors do the right, thing for once, forget party rules etc, just help him and his family, because without people like him, alquada would have caused more deaths and disruption to everybodies lives, including the bloody minded councillors who turned there backs on a true, WAR HERO, they should there heads in shame, one councillor as said that he served in the army and received medals, but that was a peace time engagement proberly served in Aldershot or Catterick, this man would put you all to shame, so wake up he is a war hero living in Thurrock, get off your backsides and help him, they said that we live in a country fit for heros, not in Thurrock it isnt!.

  12. Who gives a rats a**e about standing orders, points of order and who has the power to extend meetings. The council dodged their responsibility to this man and his family and now they are dodging the flack like the good old councillors they are. Who gives a s**t about the public just give them their money, don’t ask awkward questions and fill up their pockets with our cash.

    This sounds like a meeting of the peoples liberation front. Did any of the brothers, or sisters, propose that Frank could have babies, even though he hasn’t got a womb, and can call himself Loretta from now on. Did any of the brothers second the motion. Bloody Romans what have they ever done for us.


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