Ward by Ward: Aveley and Uplands: Tories take the fight to UKIP!

LAST but not least as we have reviewed the issues on all the wards in Thurrock, we come to Aveley and Uplands.

For many years it was a Tory stronghold. In 2007, they won by 109 with 671 votes but that was in the strong BNP year when they polled polled 562. In 2008, Labour polled 845 votes beating the BNP, who polled 521, by 324.

The political landscape got it bit more complex in 2010 when UKIP and the Independents came on the scene. The Tories still triumphed under Wendy Herd as she polled 1264 votes, beating Labour into second place by 372 votes. The Independent, Colin Churchman polled 734 votes followed by UKIP with 553. It was not the last we would be seeing of Tim Aker!

In 2011, Maureen Pearce got home by just 75 votes from Colin Churchman and UKIP edged a little bit closer.

UKIP’s breakthrough year was 2012, when Robert Ray took the ward by polling 495 votes, beating the Conservatives by just 47 votes. The Independent candidate this time was Rev Alan Field who polled 350 votes.

This time, Robert Ray’s wife, Maggie, will be standing. Maggie has been at Robert’s side in council events over the last two years as she has learned the ropes. This time, she is standing in her own right. It is the ideal year and in many ways, a UKIP candidate’s dream as they already have a solid base. What Maggie actually thinks, like the other thirteen candidates in the constituency of Thurrock appears to be a closely guarded secret.

The Conservative candidate, Teresa Webster is, by contrast, running a high profile campaign in the ward. Her lavish banner adorns the side of the Crown and Anchor as well as the shops in the high street.

Teresa is typical of that old irish saying of “The squeakiest wheel gets the most oil” and has, campaigned on a number of local issues already.

You will see from her interview that Teresa goes on the attack with UKIP, challenging them on all the key issues.

Whatever you say or think, they are at Teresa’s fingertips and of all the interviews we have run, perhaps the last is the most comprehensive.

As we said, if Teresa does lose. you would hope she stands again. It is a shame that many of the Conservative councillors in this part of town, seem to become disaffected.

Good to see Cliff Holloway standing for the fourth time now. Cliff would not doubt see getting over 500 votes as a success.

So many issues, so many dimensions to Aveley political life.

This should be a fascinating poll.

YT prediction: UKIP gain. 125

A full list of candidates can be found on our politics page.


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