NOW AND AGAIN, you have those “and as if by magic moments” when you are filming.
We had just caught up with Labour councillor and candidate for West Thurrock and South Stifford, Oliver Gerrish on London Road, Grays. One of the subjects was the highly controversial heavy goods vehicle (HGV) issue on London Road, when an HGV turns up, parks on the pavement and lo, we suddenly have a contraflow.
It is not the only issue that effects the area. An area such as Purfleet has a huge amounts of socio-economic problems. It still has one of the highest numbers of people with county court judgements against them in the country.
Juxtaposed to that is the new developments from Caspian Way in Purfleet to the new developments on the London Road, giving the air of regeneration.
Since gaining the seat, four years ago, Oliver Gerrish has become a rising star in the Labour ranks. In many ways, his diplomatic way of working can be encapsulated in the change of policy in Labour on education from the academies being seen as “Grammar schools by stealth” to “Partnership working”. Of course, we can’t record the reaction of headteachers when we told them they were now working in partnership with the LEA.
Of course, eight years ago, this seat went all blue in the famous night of the paper candidates. One of the Conservatives, Gareth Davies is standing as an Independent. We have already covered Gareth. You have the feeling he may take 200 votes but will have less of an impact than Terry Piccolo in Stanford and Alan Field in Aveley.
The Tory vote has hovered around the 500 mark over the last few years and although they have a keen young candidate in Letrois Bernard, you can see his vote struggling to get over 400. We hope Letrois stays on the scene because he is engaged and has some really interesting views.
Prediction: Labour hold: 600 maj
Peter Philip Smith
UK Independence Party