Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ward by Ward: West Thurrock and South Stifford

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

Gareth Davies

Letrois Bernard

Matthew Parker
Liberal Democrats

Oliver Gerrish

Peter Philip Smith
UK Independence Party


  1. Did Cllr Gerrish do anything about the parked HGV, like speak to the driver, or contact the police with the vehicle’s licence number, or even with the help of “YT” supply the police with video evidence? Unless my eyes deceive me, immediately behind Cllr Gerrish, is that car parked on the grass area and also the one to his right? But then maybe one of them is his car or “YT’s”!

  2. Goodness you really are looking for fault aren’t you?!! I thought the interview came across as assured and with evidence that he was dealing with things, wading through the bureaucracy and challenges against getting those issues resolved.

    Did Cllr Gerrish do anything about the yellow attachment to the road sign?!! Did Cllr Gerrish do anything to solve world poverty, or end wars?!! I think we all know politicians can often be far from squeaky clean. But criticising just for the point of criticising, finding fault wherever you go or whatever you see not only comes across as petty or having a deliberate axe to grind, but it shows you up!

    I don’t know the councillor and haven’t come across him, but for all intense and purposes his was a perfectly competent discussion about local issues.

  3. horndon. I commented on the issue of HGVs & parking as Cllr Gerrish considered it a serious matter and made quite a lengthy statement on the issue. I felt that he had an opportunity to demonstrate the seriousness of his concern for the safety of the public, having witnessed a blatant act of lawbreaking, by taking some positive action there and then . I was not expecting Cllr Gerrish to solve world poverty or end wars. I am sorry you view my comments as “finding fault wherever I go or whatever I see and in your opinion I come across as “petty” or having”a deliberate axe to grind” and “it shows me up”. Others may view my comments as holding Councillors to account and it “shows me up” as someone who has high expectations from them.


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