Friday, July 19, 2024

National media descend on Thurrock to see how miserable it is (or not)

A LARGE NUMBER of national media outlets descended upon Thurrock after a happiness survey labelled it as the unhappiest place in Britain.

Council leader, John Kent had been inundated with requests for interviews all day and had to curtail a number of meetings to give his appraisal of borough.

The Sunday Times journalist Rod Liddle went to visit chief executive, Graham Farrant and was taken aback when he walked to Grays Beach Park to see so many shiny happy people enjoying the sun.

He later went on to see Lucy Harris at Agency East in North Stifford to see how Lucy viewed the borough.

BBC London were also in Grays High Street as well as South Ockendon.

The Daily Mail gave Your Thurrock a ring to see what our take was on the survey. We rambled on as usual.Our quote that “Would you rather be a pig satisifed or Plato dis-satisfied was not used (funny that-Ed)

A little deconstructing of the survey which is part of David Cameron;s assessment of how happy the UK is, may point to a particular tranche of males in their fifties in Thurrock, living in pockets of the ward who may feel dissatisfied. Over 700 Thurrock residents were surveyed.


  1. The problems with Thurrock are

    Grays Town Centre
    The disaster that is London Road
    A complete lack of decent restuarants
    A complete lack of decent pubs
    A completely lazy and incompetent council
    Poor schools, particularly secondary
    Overdevelopment in certain areas – the Stanford development springs to mind
    A dire need for more amenities e.g. doctors, dentists, supermarkets
    A complete lack of civic pride
    Absolutely no nightlife
    The constant traffic on the Dartford tolls
    Constant attacks on the green belt for housing
    immigration levels which do not sit comfortably with some of Thurrocks long standing residents
    A great deal of crime

    These problems are by no means the be all and end all and many can be tackled with a systematic approach. In fact I am in the process of contactng Essex Police about the bizarre crimes that have occured as iof late. There are thousands of hard working, friendly people in Thurrock but the blame for many of the boroughs problems have to be blamed on the council of today and those stretching back 30 odd years. Grays is screaming with potential but the council need to be fully behind any attempts to regenerate the town centre. Even the historic St Peters Church, which should be a gem in the town centre seems hidden away.

    More needs to be made of the river as well.

    My money would be to go back under county council control, unitary authorities, like London boroughs just don’t seem to cope well having so much responsibility.

  2. Blimey Bernard 87 has stolen all my thoughts. Thurrock Council and the local MP’s should be ashamed of themselves. Appreciate It is a tough job and somebody has to do it but from the outside looking In Nothing ever seems to be done to Improve and if you drive through the borough you can find all sorts of things that have been done which is a complete waste of money. I was going to continue and outline my thoughts in more detail but I haven’t got the time as I probably only have at the outside another fifty years to live !!! ha ha !

  3. It isn’t just the view of grumpy old men, as Doove and YT suggest. My own kids can’t wait to get out. There is no investment in the towns. It is all on out of town sites like Lakeside. Developments that will eventually choke the life out of the west of the borough. Anyone that has to commute through the area of the A13, M25 and the dartford crossing will tell you that there will come a time when that area will simply grind to a halt. Places like Brentwood have kept their identity and have not been over developed and swamped by the ever increasing population of London. It’s a placve that has a lot more to offer than Thurrock. Yet Thurrock Council seems to think that turning Thurrock into another overcrowded London Ghetto is progress. Still the people of Thurrock voted them in. Perhaps the people of Thurrock want a dump.

  4. I must admit I haven’t looked at this study in any real detail but from the coverage I have seen my 2 observations are:1) It’s less about Thurrock being a place that makes people unhappy, and more about there being more unhappy people in Thurrock. Plant workers had the lowest scores of any profession, and we know we have a fair few of those.
    2) we are not significantly more unhappy than everywhere else. If only 709 Thurrock people were surveyed there’s a margin of error of around 0.3 I think. I haven’t looked yet to see how the thing was weighted to Thurrock as a unit.

    I would suggest looking at broad conclusions, rather than the headline

  5. I certainly don’t think that Thurrock is a miserable place and I quite enjoy living here. I just think it could be so much better. Marketing the borough to simply be a place where London councils can shift residents will not bring prosperity to the area. Crime is clearly an issue for many people and that is something that needs to be addressed. The regeneration of Grays and installing a greater sense of civic pride will help to renew a sense of pride in our borough.
    Unfortunately for us Labour don’t do prosperity in large doses.

    The council should be looking to Brentwood for ideas not Barking and Dagenham.

  6. That is a good point Ben. I do wonder who they asked and whether they asked people from all over the borough.

  7. funny this is that most asked in Stanford and Corringham and Fobbing where happy.
    So East Thurrock is a more happy place than the rest of Thurrock.

  8. I think Bernard has certainly hit the nail on the head with the lack of civic pride, we have people moving to the borough who are not from the area or even from the country and they have different perceptions on community, you will find that whilst they welcome their own people with open arms they do not like outsiders coming into their communities, this is exactly how a lot of the home nationals feel, this then leaves gaps in whole communities.

    Also todays world is a dog eat dog one and people only look out for themselves so they dont care about others or the external areas that surround them, long gone is the old “wartime” spirit where everyone knew their neighbours and those in the street and they would take pride in their surroundings, we are a disjointed community in not just Thurrock but other areas and until such time that there is true cohesion in communities then we will always end up with ghetto situations and lack of respect for the area.

  9. Yet another opportunity to bash ethnic minorities for all that is wrong with Thurrock. I would guess, and it is only a guess, that the vast majority of people currently living in Thurrock do have, ‘civic pride’. It only takes about 5% of people to ruin it for the vast majority of residents, with their litter dropping, dog fouling, loud swearing in public etc. I have to say that whenever I see this type of behavior,, 9 times out of ten, it comes from white youngsters under the age of 20.

    The dog eat dog mentality must go down to the Thatcher years of the 1980’s where she encouraged people to buy their own council houses and buy shares in companies on a get rich quick ticket and sod everyone else who may need a council house in future years.

    Why is it that I do not feel the same way as Lambo and Bernard? I have no idea, but I do feel ecstatic that I am obviously a lot happier than either of them!

  10. Why do some people seek to blame the problems of today on Margaret Thatcher? It is ridiculous. Whatever you think of her, it wasn’t her that opened the immigration floodgates and it wasn’t her that encouraged the people of this country to live on debt. No, that was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They did nothing to change Thatcher’s policies so why are they not condemned in the same breath as Margaret Thatcher? Anyhow, whether people like it or not, immigration on such a massive scale has changed the fabric of society and not obviously for the better. In Thurrock, the change has been dramatic, the whole nature of the place has changed in a very short period of time and the locals (me included) have found it hard to come to terms with. Going to Grays now is like taking a trip to a foreign country. Thurrock feels crowded and I think that there is a sense of resentment amongst the people that have lived here for generations that the area is not how it used to be. Change can be good but the change in Thurrock has been so fast that it has caused division and anger. Lambo is right that some groups of immigrants don’t mix and only want to live amongst their own and they regard indigenous Brits as outsiders. Multiculturalism, as preached by Blair, was not a bad idea if it was allowed to happen naturally (I would contend that it was working quite well with incoming Indians, Pakistani’s and West Indians) but he and his Government went badly wrong in allowing immigration to carry on uncontrolled. Thurrock was a good place to live once, it’s not so great now.

  11. i have just got back from Nenagh in tipperary,its about the same size as grays but seems to have a much better way of doing things.there seems to be a lot of civic pride,no litter,very little crime,a thriving town centre with twenty two pubs and a full range of shops,15,000 eastern europeans have settled in the town and its surrounding areas with very few problems,it proves it can be done.

  12. Plans for mass Jobs for semi sk,illed workers and Town centre regeneration(New Street markets – Farmers / Community. Specialist shops)
    require finance which Borough does not have. (Plus Policing after dark and at Dusk)
    New Shops will not come to Grays because
    a. Lakeside and b. Morrisons in Town centre – just like Margate!
    Reducing parking spaces is also not a clever idea.
    No change over last 4 decades! Just paper plans.
    However immediately demolish old Gym and clear up facade of the State.
    Wish I could be more positive but Gateway was last chance. Waited 48 years nothing happened!

  13. I think Stanford and Corringham and Fobbing should leave stop being part of Thurrock, well it seems they are left out of everything anyway.


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