WITH the European Union referendum set for June 23rd, we e-mailed all 49 councillors individually and asked them a simple question: "In or Out?"
We will update the list as we go.
Steve Liddiard: In (but wants reform)
Yash Gupta: In
Martin Kerin: In
Sue Gray: In
Oliver Gerrish: In
"I will be voting to stay "in" Europe. The reasons, job security, economic and social benefits, cheaper food / clothing products and security.
"The Conservative Party are playing, (divide and conquer) politics. Even as a political party they can’t agree among themselves what they want but to put our future at risk is deplorable".
Claire Baldwin: Out
Lyn Worrall: Out
Gerard Rice: Out
Barbara Rice (Dep Leader): Out
Mike Stone: Out
Bukky Okunade: "Let me say that, like many others, I am yet to really reach a final conclusion as one expects more information on our current membership of EU in terms of what the gains and losses are. But I will say that, as at now, I’m tilting towards our remaining in Europe giving the existing ties and the need to belong to Europe. More so, giving the hope that the reforms can address some of the reservations in continued membership.
"A better deal which holds a lot of prospects should cause a rethink in favour of our remaining in EU. I also think we remain strong in and not outside EU.
YET TO REPLY
Rob Gledhill (Leader): Out
I have made clear to the Conservative Group that the leave/remain referendum is a matter of conscience, and it is up to them to campaign and or vote accordingly. One of the many reason I like being a Conservative party member is that we can hold different views on certain subjects and agree to disagree rather than have to slavishly follow a party line. After the up coming local elections I am sure you will see Thurrock Conservative Councillors campaigning for either the leave or remain campaigns – until then we will be focusing on the local elections to ensure a change in leadership at the council as we know Thurrock deserves better.
Residents should not believe the frankly ridiculous statements that differing views on a subject is a party divided; it is more a party with a heathy respect for each other that is mature enough to work together despite different views. I would be more concerned with a political party that only allows the point of view of its leadership to be expressed – that isn’t democracy, it is nothing short of a cult.
As a Eurosceptic for many, many years I will be campaigning and voting to leave for a good number reasons – the abuse of freedom of movement for any reason, not being beholden to a governance system that doesn’t hold our best interest to heart, paying in a great deal more taxpayers money in than we can ever hope to get back out to name but a few. However I feel the Justice Minister, Michael Gove, has summed up best all of the reasons I will be voting to leave.
Simply put I feel the EU is an experiment that has failed for the UK. Whilst I hear arguments that trade or national security will be affected I would say this: we trade with EU and non EU countries now and we have done so for centuries; our manufacturing and produce will still be wanted, needed even, in the future so there is no reason that trade will not continue for centuries to come. I just do not subscribe to arguments that intelligence or police services will stop talking because we leave the EU – again they talk now and they will do so in the future. We should not give up so much just to make it a bit easier to travel across Europe, sell our goods or to get workers with the skills that UK PLC needs to compete in the modern world. Indeed most of the arguments I have heard to remain are easily answered with this phrase: we have did it before, we are doing it now, so we can do it in the future.
What we must remember is at the last national election Labour didn’t want to give you the chance to leave or remain in the EU and UKIP were never in a position to give you that opportunity either. I do believe the Prime Minister has done a good job in trying to renegotiate our position in the EU, it just falls short of what I would have wanted. If the nation decides to leave we will, in my opinion, be better off and if the nation decides to remain we will be in a stronger position to say no to a closer European Union and better protect our interests – if that isn’t a win win situation I don’t know what is.
I love my country and although Brussels is a great city to visit, I do not want to be governed from there. This is not about being a little England, it is about becoming a even Greater Britain. However, it is now down to residents make their voices heard and on 23rd June vote to either leave or remain in European Union. Then, whatever the nation decides, we need to accept that decision, move on and start to make the future arrangements, whatever they are, work for the UK.
James Halden (Dep Leader): In
Ben Maney: In
Barry Johnson: Out
Shane Hebb: ND
"Truthful answer is I am unclear (Not often I don’t have an automatic opinion on something I know! ). My mind says OUT, but I’m not dogmatic enough to not take a considered view on the matter. This issue is too weighty for impulsive thinking only.
I intend to digest and scrutinise the renegotiation agreement and see if it answers my grievances with the EU. A simple recalibration will not cut if for me – it needs to answer the issues behind all the ills many of us have with the EU superstate – immigration control, welfare payments, sovereignty, ability to make our own decisions without EU "permissions".
You’ll read into this correctly that I am not an IN person at heart, but I’m willing to review the agreement to see if it provides a fix. If not, I’m an OUT. When I read it I’ll have clarity.
For the record, I will not be canvassing for either side. This is a decision of personal principle and not politics. I respect all opinions and I have no intent in campaigning and contributing to a further divide of a split nation – whatever the outcome, I intend to work with the winning side to realise the British people’s decision. This is too big for politics in my view.
So sorry for not providing an easy answer. I have my very strong preconceptions, but I’ll be fair to the man who has attempted some form of changes to our relationship: I’ll read his work and make a decision when I’ve studied both arguments over the coming months. BUT I won’t do it on a whim. Hopefully I’ve explained why.
Tom Kelly: Out
Last year the UK’s estimated net contribution in 2015 was Â£8.5bn. This is far too much and a figure that goes up each year.
There has been much talk by the remain campaign of the difficulties both Switzerland & Norway have in relation to trade deals within Europe as of course there countries are not part of the EU however Switzerland is noted as the best place to live in Europe in terms of quality of life and Norway is also high on the list. These countries have much smaller economy’s than the UK and live perfectly fine on the back of their current trade deals with the EU. It’s of course worth mentioning our economy is much stronger than theirs so our trade deals in the event of Brexit also have more room for better negotiation with the EU. I would also argue these countries have a better quality of life due to them not being tied down by the bureaucracy which comes from the European Union.
Open boarders to every EU citizen to come, live & work in the UK are also a big concern when current houses prices are so expensive due to supply & demand. Most countries in the world with firm border control can predict population growth and put in place the correct infrastructure which meets those predictions. As we are currently in the EU we cannot predict how many people will come and work here so it’s difficult to build the correct amount of homes, schools & hospitals to meet demand before it hits breaking point. If we leave the EU we can still allow tens of thousands of economic migrants to come and work here but we could set a limit which does not negatively affect the UK where schools places, homes and hospitals are already at breaking point.
Lastly in relation to Cllr Hipsey’s comments over the Conservative Party being spilt on this choice, looking at the responses from representatives from the Labour Party in Thurrock we Conservatives are not the only party whom can’t agree amongst ourselves.
Sue MacPherspn: ND
Andrew Roast: ND
YET TO REPLY
Graham Snell )Leader): Out
Roy Jones (Dep Leader)
Most definitely OUT. David Cameron is just playing lip service to the public and ticking boxes. He hasn’t achieved any advancement in his so called negotiations.
This EU, just isn’t working. It has been a bone of contention for over 40 or so years now. We need to start taking control over our own affairs and start to look after the best interest of The UK and come away from this corrupt institution that has become a law unto itself that answers to no one. The UK was born out of shop keepers and entrepreneurs but as time as gone by this so called EU has been responsible for helping large companies become even larger and create cartels that are gradually wiping out small and medium size companies with unworkable rules and regulations that they keep introducing at great cost to these concerns.
David Cameron is trying to win by using the fear factor that if the UK exits the EU, the UK will fall apart. I suggest that if the UK votes to leave the EU then David Cameron seeks another position as it would appear that he will lack leadership qualities and confidence to lead the UK into the future.
Peter Smith :Out
Leslie Gamester: Out
Graham Hamilton: Out
James Baker: Out
Jan Baker: Out
Tim Aker: Out
Russell Cherry: Out
Chris Baker: Out
YET TO REPLY
Robert Ray: Out
Colin Churchman: Out