Friday, May 24, 2024

We need to talk about Aaron……..

Editorial Comment

WE HAVE BEEN running a number of stories on the absentee Ockendon councillor over the last year.

Many people will have come across cllr Aaron Kiely for the first time when reading the articles in the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

We first spoke to Aaron before he was a councillor. Indeed his credentials were that of a Green Party supporter who was a student at the University of Kent.

When he was selected and campaigning, we were impressed (no that that counts for anything!). And once elected and once out serving his constituents, he seemed really keen: turning up to community forums, residents associations as well as council meetings.

But as soon as cllr Kiely took on (and then won) the challenge of becoming a Black Students Officer for the National Union of Students, it almost appeared as if he was taken on a new character, almost a method politician.

Every tweet, every public utterance seemed to be designed to illustrate his empathy for his fellow black friends, students and colleagues.

That would have been fine and indeed none of our business but as this intensified so running parallel was a cooling off of his work in Ockendon until, as of now, it had completely disappeared.

No attendance in January, February, March, June, July, August and September has been well documented as does the going rate of £7k for one half hour annual mayor making in May.

But even then, Aaron looked like a youngster who was made to sit at a boring meeting his parents were at.

As we have said before, the people voted for Aaron Kiely in May 2011 and they will get an opportunity in May 2015.

As long as he attends one meeting every six months, then he can remain a councillor. He could be bunged out of the Labour group or sit as an independent etc. but nevertheless, the law is the law and he can sit tight and take another £32,000 worth of taxpayers money.

And that is the nub. For all his radical posturing, there are people who are really really struggling out there. People in Ockendon who cannot feed their kids, who are living the lives of quiet and not so quiet desperation.

Let us put it in perspective. Of the 8,000 people in Ockendon, the vast majority of people neither know nor care about Aaron Kiely.

All they know is that the petrol is getting more expensive, the food bill is going up. People are anxious about the disability living allowances or the jobseekers or the damp in their homes.

For others, it is about chasing invoices, the next tax bill in January.

And for others it is their child’s welfare and whether the streets are safe to walk in.

It is a shame. Aaron does seem to be an intelligent young man. His argument and essays are articulate and well structured. You don’t have to agree with him, you may find the questioning of Abu Hamza’s extradition, repugnant, but again, he is free to express himself, within the law.

And yes, Aaron has now got the loonie left/radical student badge of honour by being in the Daily Mail. He will have been lauded by colleagues and his phone and e-mails going like a fair with messages of Verenceremos and solidarity etc and eta (sic).

And he may well stick it out as we said, flourish as a student politico and move up the ranks.

But we will always remember, that on the day you were elected, the proudest person in that room, was Aaron’s mother. Wonder what Carol Kiely thinks of all this?

Right, we have wasted 600 words on this matter but when you are one of those small businesses, spending thousands on petrol and chasing invoices as well as seeing local councillors who work really hard, the case of comrade Kiely really pushes our buttons.

Enough said.


  1. Wow Cllr Kent is now having him investigated, not due to the lack of him not being there for his constituents, or the level of abuse chucked his way in the local press!!!!!

    Now it’s gone National Cllr Kent has no choice, look at Labour in Thurrock, Councillor in Ockendon earning 7K for 30 minutes work whilst everyone else suffers.

    And as for supporting someone that preaches hate on the world, and would happily support terrorism, what a Joke he is.

  2. He earns £7K for 30 minutes work? That’s just over £1K more than I get on Incapacity Benefit for a year. I think people should be able to call for a vote of no confidence in any elected representative who fails in their duty so they can be replaced with someone who gives a toss and is worth the money they get.

  3. Says all you need to know about Labour. They don’t really care about people who are genuinely struggling to live. It’s a game. They spend public money like it’s their own personal slush fund to throw away on their pet projects. Look at the hundreds of millions that Labour have wasted on promoting multiculturalism. Black history month is here again. What other group in society gets a whole month dedicated to them solely to promote them. Kiely is a failure and a liar as are the Labour party.

  4. So Thurrock Labour have one councillor who is robbing the taxpayer blind while spouting left wing rubbish, not to mention his liking of terroists and another two who completely disregard planning laws in relation to their fence and think they are above the law. It amazes me people in Thurrock still put their trust in such a party…

  5. Bernard87, please don’t tar everyone in the Labour Party with the same brush as Aaron. He had his chance and blew it. There are many Conservatives who also are a waste of time and money.
    There are good and bad, better and worse, in every part of the political spectrum in this country.

  6. JMW I know that there are many people in the Labour group who are hard working and want to improve their communities, that goes without saying. However at the moment the local group seem stand by councillors who are clearly in the wrong. I can understand Cllr Kent wanting to give Aaron a chance but it has been too long. If the post was unpaid I wouldn’t be as bothered whether he showed up to meetings or not, but it is a paid post, and a privilege to represent your local community.

    As for the Rice’s….their fence should be removed. No excuses.

    I stand by what I said, I struggle to see what good the Labour leadership is doing for Thurrock. Maybe you will have to enlighten me?

  7. “There are good and bad, better and worse, in every part of the political spectrum in this country”

    This is very true!

  8. Just how much longer are the Labour Party going to let this weasle get away with fleecing the public purse, Mr Kent needs to take radical action against him, failure to do nothing will only serve to prove how ineffective he really is.

    Whilst Mr Kiely may be very articulate with his writings he has let both Ockendon and Thurrock down and needs to be bought to book.

    Oh by the way Ed, who is Abu Ramza? and is Mr Keily only being paid £7 for one half hour meeting 🙂

  9. To the ordinary layman its seems that what goes round comes around again, we have been through all this in party fighting before, and I dont suppose this will be the last time it will happen, as long as something positive comes from it, but with this rag tag Labour Party running Thurrock, its never going to get any better, we seem to stagger from one major problem to another problem, and they are never really addressed by the leader, the one and only John Kent.
    Ockendon as for many years been blighted by narrow minded councillors, who are only interested in feathering their own nests, before helping the people they were elected to serve, we have had one councillor telling everybody that would listen to her, that she wasnt bothered if she got elected again, as she had just been elected to serve as the chair person for the SORA group, two other councillors for the Belhus Ward never help anybody from their ward, this as also gone on for years, and it wont get any better, the answer is sack any councillor who breaches his or hers conditions, such as no show at full council meetings then, have another election, because the like of Aaron Kiely are treating the position of councillor as a private savings account, and the cash strapped people of Thurrock are paying the cost, so wake up Mr Kent and get your finger out, and have another election in the Ockendon Ward.

  10. The problem is Danny with a majority of 1 Cllr Kent knows the balance of power is so finely tipped that if Labour were to lose Ockendon his party may lose overall control.

  11. Bernard87, I think you have nailed it on the head, Labour have a majority of 1 on the council and are frightened of losing Ockendon to the tories and therefore losing control of the Council. Cllr Kiely has another two months to turn up to a Council meeting or he will say goodbye to his £7k pay packet! I just wonder what his beloved “Diane Abbott MP” would say if he fails to shape up and Labour loses control of the council. Have been looking back to when the last time this happened in Thurrock? Homesteads Tory Councillor Karl Manigon was kicked of the council in 2005 for failure of attending meetings for 6 months, funny enough Labour won the by election.

  12. To defuse the money issue – pay by attendance with allowance for medical grounds. Being a Councillor is about serving the community not being served upon. Neither party have Councillor performance targets with consequence. Coupled with the lack of manifesto and the cuts Thurrock is in the Doldrums for now and into the future! .


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