A SOLID Labour ward and nothing to suggest that it will be otherwise. This year, deputy leader of Thurrock Council is defending the seat she won in 2010. Many have been impressed with the zeal, enthusiasm and dedication that cllr Rice has shown in being, not only a ward councillor, but a portfolio holder for health and as a foil for leader, John Kent.
Cllr Rice has led the way with the Stop Orsett Heath campaign but is also a regular at the sheltered complexes, community forums and many other events during the year.
Cllr Rice is also a very very effective canvasser and campaigner as anyone who has spent an hour going door-to-door will bear witness to.
The nearest any party has come is in 2007 when the BNP lost by just 235 votes. Those 738 voters are still out there. Whether UKIP can capture that vote is debatable. They are still putting in the hard yards and so one cannot take anything for granted.
Labour won by 280 in 2008, 748 in 2010 (General Election year), 551 in 2011 and finally 684 in 2012.
YH prediction: Lab hold: 450
COLE Steven, Conservative
RICE Barbara Ann, Labour
ROWE Tracy Denise, Liberal Democrat
WHEELER Kevin John, UKIP