Saturday, July 13, 2024

Fence-gate: Gerard Rice steps down as wife Barbara makes robust defence

CHADWELL ST MARY councillor, Gerard Rice has announced he is standing down from his position on the Thurrock Council planning committee after the controversy regarding the fence at their home in Heath Road, Chadwell St Mary.

In a statement to the press, the veteran councillor said he had been saddened by the interpretation put on some comments he is reported to have made on this issue.

He said: “I am shocked at some of the reporting of my wife’s fence and for the record want to state as clearly as I can that I do not believe we should be treated any differently to any other residents of Thurrock.

But nevertheless, the controversial councillor has decided to fall on his sword.

He said: “In light of the publicity this has generated I will be standing down as a substitute member of the council’s planning committee.

His wife, Barbara, who is also a councillor in Chadwell has also mounted a robust defence.

Cllr Barbara Rice said: “I am amazed at the publicity this fence has attracted. When I purchased the bungalow last December it needed a huge amount of work, including a new fence as the existing hedge was dying off. It was, of course important that I made my garden secure especially as my grandchildren are frequent visitors.”

Cllr Rice added: “I really didn’t think the fence would be a problem as the plot next to ours has a similar fence of the same height – with the blessing of the council.

“My fence was only ever intended as a temporary measure until we can a get a new hedge planted and established.

“I am in discussions with the council planning department and hope that we can come to an amicable resolution and I will, of course, abide by whatever the planning officers decide and look forward to putting this unpleasant saga behind me.”


  1. So come on then who is to blame? sounds like Cllr Rice is blaming the press for the inaccuracies in the report, care to enlighten us MC?

    Probably more the fact that this Cllr has realised that he can’t have his cake and eat it and is now trying to pass the buck so he looks like the victim?

  2. If Gerry Rice does any more spinning he will take off and land in the Thames.

    After the way the teflon tory Cllr Redsell has got away with her dubious behavior no wonder other councillors think they can act as they like.

  3. Cllr Gerry Rice’s behaviour over the past few weeks shows this man is unfit to be Chairman of Thurrock Council’s Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview & Scrutiny Committee.

    It is now obvious why he tried to get a 10 foot fence voted for at a previous planning meeting thus setting a precedant so he could use this as a reason for his disregard for the planning rules.

    If the Leader of the Council would grow a pair he would keep this man and his wife away from anything to do with planning.

    How can he continue to chair the Planning, Transport and Regeneration Overview & Scrutiny Committee when he has clerly demonstrated a complete disregard for the rules and regulations that he expects the rest of the boroughs residents to abide by.

    If Cllr Kent fails to act it shows councillors can treat residents with contempt and act as they please with no fear of any sanction.

    I would also question if Cllr Barbara Riceis a fit person to continue as Portfolio Holder in the ruling group at Thurrock Council. She is a corporate decision maker and budget holder making rules affecting thousands yet her and her husband think they can stick two fingers up to residents and arrogantly do as they please.

    The rules regarding fence sizes are nationally set and used by every council in the land. They are there to stop your neighbour suddenly building a 10 foot fence next to your home and the planning application gives you the right to object.

    And while we are talking about councillors flouting planning laws could the Councillor who lives next to a school explain why she has installed a lockable bollard on the public footpath outside her home?

  4. I understand that councillor Revell who lives at the lodge in Fen Lane Bulp ham. Has A brick wall around his Garden a Meter high adjacent to the Highways and policy states it should be  2 meters high surely that contravenes planning laws 

  5. Ed what do you think about councillor Revell , and his wife forgetting council laws because you seem very knowledgeable

  6. Ed it was one massive cover up with cllr Redcell, Roger with Thurrock council lets see how long it takes to get there finger out and investigate Micheal and Diane Revells brick wall. It isn’t as if it’s a lighthouse being errected infront of a block of flats, no residents want. I understand why residents are up in arms, I hear there is a new planning officer in Thurrock David balls, lets hope he starts as he means to go on and checks out all the councillors.


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