Thursday, December 7, 2023

Blog: A word in your ear from Mr Perrin

A Word in Your Ear from Peter Perrin

“Do you, like me, expect your councillors to fully commit themselves to their council duties and responsibilities and prioritise such duties above other interests they may have?

I ask the question as at least one councillor disagrees and believes her role as “Chair” of the South Ockendon Residents Association [SORA] is more important than her duties as a paid councillor.

At a meeting of SORA on Thursday 3rd November, 2011, at which cllr Sue Gray was present in her role as chair-person, I expressed my surprise at her presence and asked if she would respond to my question, which was:-

“My surprise is occasioned by the fact there is a meeting tonight [3rd November, 2011] at the council offices in Grays of the Health and Well-being Overview & Scrutiny Committee of which you [Cllr Gray] are Vice-Chair. Do you accept your first duty is to attend council meetings, for which you are paid, rather than meetings of SORA?”

Cllr Gray’s response was:-
“I was elected as a councillor in 2008 and I made it absolutely clear then that, if I continued as Chair of SORA, I would always put my duty to SORA first above my duty as a Councillor. That is what I have done and will continue to do.”

She justified her absence from the council committee meeting by nominating another councillor to fill her place. I am informed that her nominee made no contribution to the business of the meeting and seems to have been there simply to make up the number present.

In my opinion, cllr Gray should take note of the fact that, at the most, 20 people voted for her as chair of SORA whereas 786 people voted for her as a councillor in the expectation she would , as promised, represent the people of Belhus, support them and promote and protect their interests.

She should also remember she is being paid from the public purse, i.e.* Council tax money,* so it is reasonable for the voters of Belhus , especially the 786 who actually voted for her, to demand she put her duties and responsibilities as a Councillor above her duties and responsibilities to “outside bodies”.

I trust Cllr Gray will make it quite clear to the voters of Belhus her priorities. i.e. SORA first Council second, when she seeks re-election to the Council in May 2012.

*source – “Allowances and Expenses”. Her income from the public purse for the financial year 2009/2010 was £8,487.43p. Times that amount by four and she will have received an estimated £33,949.72p of public money during her four years as a councillor.

Editors Comment

We understand that Sue’s replacement was cllr Angie Gaywood and she certainly contributed at length to the debate.

We are reluctant to add to a persons blog but we have been asked to point out that cllr Gray last week attended two surgeries, a neighbourhood action panel group, a residents association meeting as well as other issues. The committee meeting was usually on a Tuesday but had been moved to a Thursday.




  1. I appear to have been mis-informed as to Cllr Sue Gray’s nominated replacement. I was informed her replacement was Cllr Michael Stone. If her replacement was indeed Cllr Angie Gaywood then I offer her my sincere apologies for suggesting that she made no contribution to the business of the meeting.

  2. Re the Editors comment on my blog. I do not doubt that Cllr Sue Gray is a very busy person and has a lot on her plate which takes up a great deal of her time. But I still maintain that as a Cllr, elected by the people and paid for her time from the “public purse”, her primary duty is to the people of her Ward i.e the voters in Belhus. If she finds it difficult to find the time to cope with all the other roles she has committed herself to and they impinge on her duties as a Cllr, she should make up her mind as to which role is of more importance to her, concentrate on that role and consider relinquishing all others. The fact that the meeting had been moved from Tuesday to Thursday is irellevant and does not justify her absence from her primary Council duties.

  3. Responding to didi96. I am sorry that you view my comments as “twisting the knife in Cllr Sue Gray’s back”. Others may consider my comments fair and that it is reasonable to hold Councillors to account and require them to put their duty to the electorate first, especially the 786 Belhus Ward residents who personally voted for Cllr Sue Gray to do just that. As you use a pseudonym it is impossible to ascertain your relationship with Cllr Gray, i.e. a family member or a close friend, but taking account of your past comments you are obviously biased in favour of Cllr Gray and view any comment that questions her role as a Councillor as a personal vendetta against her. As to your comment that I should get my facts right, when some doubt about Cllr Gray’s nominated replacement was published by the Editor of Your Thurrock, I immediately, as a matter of courtesy, made an apology to Cllr Angie Gaywood. However there still seems to be some confusion as I am told by someone present at the meeting that Cllr Michael Stone was indeed introduced, by the Chair of the Committee Cllr Wendy Herd, as Cllr Gray’s nominated replacement so it would seem that I was right in the first place. What role Cllr Angie Gaywood had on the Committee remains unclear. Perhaps, didi96, you could ask Cllr Gray who HER nominated replacement was then we can all get our facts right?

  4. mr perrin im not family or a close friend , but come on the very mention of cllr grays name on your thurrock you can guarantee you will have some thing to say. And as yet its never been nice .

  5. Dear didi96 it can be said that you are very biased towards Peter Perrin, the mear mention of your Cllr Gray is pounced on by her good and loyal friends at SORA, I can only assume by your biased remarks you are one of these, I was one of the people who voted for Cllr Sue Gray to the Cllr for the belhus ward, I can tell you my friend that, she hasnt been seen in her ward and she hasnt tried to lift one finger to help us, when we have had troubles, she as however got lots of time for the Ockendon ward and being the chairperson for SORA, I can only hope that when she is up for re- elction, her mates vote for her, because I know a great deal of voters in the Belhus ward wont be voting for her again, then she can dedicate herself to SORA full time but she will miss all that money she collects, so I suppose she will carry on for afew more years, but not in the Belhus Ward I hope.


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