Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ward by Ward: Ockendon

The title of bell-weather seat for Thurrock is an interesting one. Some people see The Homesteads or Stanford West as the real indicator as to whether Labour can gain overall control in Thurrock on May 3rd or not. Or in other words, whether the Tories can galvanise enough local support to retain some seats and win others.

Ockendon is a fascinating case in point. It is obviously a big target for Labour. Polly Billington has been leading the Labour faithful around the ward. Labour leader Ed Miliband has been in, Caroline Flint has been there also as well as Gloria Del Piero on Thursday afternoon.

The new candidate is Martin Kerin. A Labour acolyte since a young age, he is a very able candidate, who will bring much needed quality to the group. He is very much in the mould of Oliver Gerrish and Victoria Holloway than the disaster that has been Aaron Kiely.

But to be honest, Aaron is not at the forefront of voters mind. As we wrote in the Belhus piece, crime is very much on the mind of Ockendon voters. As is the economy.

It is good to see Barry Johnson on the campaign trail. Barry was a fine councillor, an upstanding personality and was committed to do what he could for the borough. As a portfolio holder he was just starting to get to grips with the council’s financial strategies.

Barry believes that campaigning is about the individual candidate and a small team going door to door. That was what he did last year and lost. It is a shame that he doesn’t get more support.

YT prediction: Lab gain: 100

Barry Johnson

David Paul Shirley
Liberal Democrats

Maggie O’Keeffe-Ray
UK Independence Party

Martin Christopher Kerin


  1. This is just like listening to Kiely all over again, sure we are being affected by the national issues, but what does Mr Kerrin think he can do about that? We need a local councillor who is visible and will listen to what we consider are real local issues. I am sure people are not aware that labour run this council, but they should be, and if we don’t change it they will make sure we are all faced with national issues, as they will do to Thurock what they did to this country. Anybody who thought that the fiinancial mess which the coalition government faced could be fixed in 2 years are in cloud cuckoo land. This council needs to be changed and I for one want a local councillor who is available, and for me , that means he/she lives amongst us.

  2. I got up this morning feeling ok. I now feel sick with garbage that Labour is dishing out. I was a Labour supporter for many many years and yes they was concerned for the working class then. Now all it seems is that at the time of election they come out promising the world and once they are in they disappear into another world. I am just another housewife who is not politically minded but just concerned about the state that our community has got into since Thurrock Council has been Labour run. The Flowers Estate used to be considered as a nice area…now apparently we are the worse area.
    All the things that Martin Kerin has mentioned re the estate are what Tory Councillors have been fighting for. i.e. Councillor Amanda Arnold who has worked so hard to make this a better area to live in. Councillor Lynn Carr who is there always to help. I admire the way the Tory Councillors have not sunk to the level of the lies and deceit that Labour has been dishing out. By the way NONEONE from Labour have knocked on my door…the only leaflet being the only one re residents parking vouchers. A subject that was poo-pood before because they wanted residents to pay. It has taken a long time to decide that if we vote for Labour they would condescend to let us have these vouchers!!!!
    Martin Kerin says that he is a busy man. So would this lead the path of Aaron Kiely..who by his own admission stated he was too busy working….busy tweeting….had a migraine…was studying. All I have found is that the Tory Councillors are clearing up the mess that Labour leaves behind. I only hope that the residents of Ockendon are not fooled by their underhand tactics and vote for Barry Johnson…a very mild man who genuinely cares for the place HE lives in. And I underline this is the estate HE lives in.

  3. I’m not usually politicaly active, but as a council tenant I was interested to see what the prospective councillors knew about the severe problems many of us are experiencing with damp and mould in our homes, here in South Ockendon.
    After watching the interview with Martin Kerin, I am concerned that he is not in touch with the current issues of local residents as he didn’t mention the terrible housing problems we have suffered for many years.
    As someone who walks around the flowers estate reguarly I am aware of fly tipping, but have also noticed that it is picked up swiftly after a call to my current councillor.
    In this frankly frightening economic climate we are all living through, I am sesible enough to know that Government has to cut it’s cloth accordingly. So by bringing up Central Government issues that you have no power to change at local level just fires people up and doesn’t solve local problems.
    I know the general public are intelgent enough not to belive all the promises that are made at election time. What they do want to hear is do-able, sensible solutions, for eveyone with a genuine problem.
    I believe the qualifications needed by any prospective or current councillor are time, common sense, persistance and a true desire to help the local people of South Ockendon. There are a few around, let’s hope we vote in a few more.

  4. Nice sincere young man that Labour Martin Kerin. Is YT going to let us hear from Conservative wonder kid, Barry Johnson?

  5. Yes would be nice to hear from Barry Johnson, the tory candidate for Ockendon,who happens to be a very nice man, who has made some very good interviews on YT over the years! But whoops, I forgot, he like all the tory candidates are not allowed to be interview! Big mistake by Thurrock Tories.

  6. Would be interesting to find out why the local Conservative Party are refusing to talk to YT, I have made enquiries and will await a response.

    Unfortunatley due to their lack of interviews and media coverage the site is becoming a bit like a Labour Love Fest (not your fault MC) we need a true balance of the local candidates and the Tories have missed the boat on this one.

  7. It is the Conservatives self-fulfilling prophecy.

    First claim Your Thurrock is biased against the Conservatives.

    Second ban all your candidates from speaking to YourThurrock or giving interviews.

    Fulfillment of prophecy as Your Thurrock contains just Labour, UKIP and LibDem interviews and nothing from the Conservatives!

    Perhaps it’s because YourThurrock probes a little deeper into local politics, asks awkward questions, verifies facts and doesn’t just copy and paste political press releases without querying what the politicians are claiming.

  8. Well said Flower, Cherry and Lambo. I see from the interview that he is standing directly opposite the flats, if I am right are they not full of mould? To be quiet honest he comes across as quiet useless plus he does not even live in Ockendon, so what does he know, nothing by what he said in his interview. Stay at home Mr Keran you will not have my vote.


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