Monday, July 22, 2024

Ockendon residents demand “No show” councillor stands down

AN OCKENDON street representative has demanded that absentee Ockendon councillor, Aaron Kiely “do the decent thing” and stand down from his position.

The call comes after the young Labour councillor missed the monthly council meetings in January, February, March, June and July. There was no meeting in April due to the elections. He appeared briefly at the annual council meeting in May.

Retired and disabled, Tamarisk Road resident John Noon has worked tirelessly over the last year to improve services for Ockendon residents in the Flowers Estate. But he has become angry at the lack of visibility of cllr Kiely.

Mr Noon said: “I enjoy being a street rep and trying to put something back in for the community. But it is a disgrace that a disabled man such as me is doing the donkey work and cllr Kiely does not even have the decency to attend the meetings. Meetings for which he receives a very generous allowance for.

“I think we should have the system in america where if you get enough signatures together, you can get an elected official booted out!”

Cllr Kiely was elected in May 2010. The rules are such that he need only attend one council meeting meeting in six months and can continue to do so until May 2014.

The ruling Labour group are remaining tight-lipped, perhaps aware that with a working majority of just one, they would want to avoid a by-election in a ward which the Conservatives won in May 2012.

YT sent a series of questions to cllr Kiely but he has failed to respond.


  1. I wonder how many Ockendon residents were surveyed, and their happiness measured on whether they have faith in their local council representative.

  2. His Twitter account suggests he was enjoying a spot of karaoke this month, with student activists.

  3. It is such a shame that the local authority cannot stop his earnings as a local councillor, this bloke has been a joke from day one and is only out to feather his own nest at the expense of those who voted him in, if he has not got the decency to resign I wonder if the Local Labour party will step up to the plate and kick him out….

  4. It would appear that his NUS Black Student Rep, job is only for a year, so dont worry good people he will be back in 2013 to start campaigning to keep his seat in 2014, wont that be fun??

  5. One more rotten apple in the barrel, its a wonder the barrel hasnt burst by now, if they put themselves forward to be a local councilor they then should do the job properly, they are there to support, the people who voted for them, we havent seen a ward councilor in the Belus ward for over three years, and they mostly all live on the flowers estate.

  6. The saddest thing here is that if the tone of the article is replicated in fact then is a massive missed opportunity for Cllr Kiely himself and for his residents.

    It is clear that Cllr Kiely potentially has a lot to give the residents of Ockendon ward, I don’t particularly agree with his politics which do seem to have lost touch with fiscal and social reality but it’s clear he has a real energy and enthusiasm in life. But it doesn’t come across that this is primarily for Ockendon – an area with a lot of challenges and two or three distinct, somewhat separate communities that could be brought together by dynamic, active councillors. A walk across the Flowers Estate reveals an area suffering from poor design and layout and associated problems. This is an area which really needs a set of committed, hardworking councillors to work to effect change at a grassroots level and improve life for their residents.

    I hope that it is the case where Cllr Kiely is actually really active in his own ward, underneath the radar. This is what the area needs, and elected him for. I’d personally consider letting him off not attending full council meetings if he was/is working his socks off for Ockendon residents and either getting results or constantly in touch with residents to recommend alternatives, displaying real community leadership.

    The failure of Labour to gain Ockendon this year was interesting however, and although the ward is still a Tory/Labour marginal, I did expect they would pull it off. You do wonder whether this was related to the impression that seems to be held about the Ockendon Labour councillor in some quarters (as per this article) – whether true or completely unfounded. Hopefully the latter.

  7. Horndon. No, it’s not the case that he’s working under the radar. He is genuinely never seen.

  8. I don’t know much about cllr. Kiely but I do know one thing – there is no way he would allow anything to happen “under the radar”. The guy is such a big self-publicist that if he were to actually do something constructive, he’d make sure the proverbial radar screens lit up like there was a thermonuclear war.

    Oh wait, he’s CND isn’t he…

  9. Hordon. Actions speak louder than words. If you have walked across the Flowers Estate recently you would have noticed that two of our Ockendon Councillors are working really hard for the residents regardless of our political views. It is not easy to improve and repair when you are fighting against anti social behaviour. Talk to your neighbours, the people that have asked for help, only then will you be aware who is working hard for their residents.

  10. He’s had the council and the constituents of Ockendon over. He’s picking up the cash to support his other interests and is apparently doing so legally. You’d think that if the Labour party had any morals atr all, they’d kick him out without question. The shister could walk into the council chamber, dress Comrade Kent as a poodle and get him to do doggy tricks, they still wouldn’t sack him. Copmrade Kent is not a leader. He is any Labour councillors lap dog as liong as he allows this person to continue as a councillor. What a fag end.

  11. “Horndon” Obviously you are not a resident of the Ockendon Ward therefore unaffected by the disdain Cllr Kiely has for the people who elected him. What exactly is “the massive missed opportunity for Cllr Kiely and his residents” you speak of? I think you are being over generous in your apparent sympathy for Mr Kiely. You say “that Cllr Kiely potentially has a lot to give the residents of Ockendon Ward. I say that once he was elected people, rightly so, expected him to realise his potential and deliver on his election pledges. He has been in office since May 2011 and has displayed none of, what you refer to, “as a real energy and enthusiasm” in his role as a Councillor. On the contrary that “energy and enthusiasm in life” seems to be reserved for all his other activities at the expense of his responsibilities as an elected Councillor for which he is paid from the “public purse” i.e. the pockets of the Council Tax payer. You also say that you ” would consider letting him off not attending Full Council meetings if he was/is working his socks off for Ockendon residents”. According to the information supplied on the Council;s web-site he is not a member of any Committee so does not give any time to attending other meetings so I do not consider it is asking too much from him to attend Full Council once a month. The Labour Group have appointed Cllr Kiely as a “reserve member” who attends meetings in place of another member unable to attend as a result of illness etc.This seems somewhat pointless in view of the fact that Kiely rarely, if ever, attends Council meetings, in fact he does not have the courtesy to give a reason or submit an apology for his absence. It is about time the Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr John Kent, put an end to this farce and withdrew the “whip”, i.e disowned Cllr Kiely, the Labour Group would not suffer the loss of his vote as he is hardly ever present. If you are in any doubt as to whether the impression of Cllr Kiely is true or completely unfounded ask the residents of his Ward, I think you will find that the majority feel they have been cheated and that Mr Kiely is only posing as a Councillor whilst continuing to receive money from the tax payers pockets.
    “Abbie Blogger” If I judge the tone of your comment correctly you appear to consider the criticism of Cllr Kiely to be the work of a minority and unfair and that probably most of the residents of South Ockendon Ward are “happy” with Cllr Kiely? I suggest that, like me, you talk and listen to the residents of his Ward and you may well be persuaded to a different opinion.
    The fact that the majority of comments so far are disapproving of Cllr Kiely says it all.

  12. Peter Perrin – Definitely not. What I meant was Cllr Kiely could have been a factor of this apparent unhappiness because of his lack of appearances.

  13. Just to clarify for Peter Perrin – the missed opportunity comment refers to the fact that anyone elected as a councillor has the opportunity to work hard for their residents. I was alluding to the fact that the opportunity has been missed. I also said it didn’t appear he had displayed energy and enthusiasm in his role as a councillor, but in other areas. I don’t think that’s being particularly over generous. It’s just a fair and rational examination of the facts on the basis of the impression I get. Never fails to interest me the ability of others to totally miss the point!! You’ve also totally misread Abbie Blogger’s reasonable and interesting point also so I rest my case. Focusing on the positive once more, it’s refreshing to hear Cherry’s comments about the two other apparently hard working Ockendon councillors.

  14. Thank you Horndon! 🙂

    I think the main point we are trying to get across – whether clear or not – is that Cllr Kiely’s constant lack of proximity to Ockendon is not acceptable. As Ben rightly said, the man is a self-publicist, and therefore probably has Google Alerts or some alternative: he can probably read what we’re writing about him as we’re writing it, which shows just how little he cares, because he still chooses to do nothing about it.

  15. I don’t think Cllr Kiely is a Labour supporter at all. His views are those of the extreme left. He attaches himself to all sorts of causes for no apparent reason other than the fact that the left are obsessed with race relations, hatred of the ‘West’ and human rights. Representing a marginal seat where he is the only Labour councillor is doing nothing to further his causes so why should he bother with the people of Ockendon? At least the same mistake wasn’t made in 2012 when Ockendon folk voted in Barry Johnson.

    John Kent knows that by getting rid of this councillor power will slip away from his party so he would rather keep him in place until 2014.

  16. John Kent knows that Kiely has been negligent in his duties to Ockendon and, I assume, must be pulling his hair out in frustration with the boy. But, as leader of the council, doesn’t he, or shouldn’t he, have an obligation to ensure that the people of Kiely’s ward are properly represented? If Kiely can’t, or won’t, fulfil his duties, Mr Kent should sack him and hold an election for a new councillor. If Labour put up a strong candidate there is no reason why they can’t retain the seat but surely it is the right thing to do? If Mr Kent is unable to persuade Kiely to fulfil his duties and is then unwilling to get rid of him then he would be, in effect, saying to the people of Ockendon that he is happy for them not to have representation in Thurrock Council. Mr Kent, you must act now.

  17. My suggestion would be for all residents to sign a petition, and then hand this in to the head of the labour party.

  18. Residents should start printing and distributing ‘Missing’ posters with John Kents phone number for residents to report any sightings.

  19. My money is on him being in Cuba, Palestine or floating around South Americas socialist utopias. In other words anywhere but Ockendon!


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