AND so we begin our little journey around the wards of Thurrock with a visit to Corringham and Fobbing.
For a start, we would firstly like to say that it is a shame that cllr Andrew Roast has stood down. he is just the type of Thurrock businessman and member of the community that the Thurrock Conservatives needed and their group, whether in control or in opposition, will be the poorer for his leaving.
This is, fair to say, solid Conservative territory.
In 2011 they won by 243. In 2012, by 142 and in 2015 by 201. Comfortable enough margins but you always wondered if the opposition did more or circumstances were different then there might be a surprise.
Are people minded enough to register a protest against the Tories due to a number of factors including the issues such as the New Thames Crossing or the Conservative government in general.
Or perhaps there may be disaffection as to they way the whole matter of the Frost Estate Parish Council was handled.
Andrew Roast’s replacement is a young local man called Aaron Watkins. All we know is that he is a local (young) man who has been out and about and talking to residents.
However, they look like they are a hard working unit over in the east of the borough and will work hard in all those wards.
The Labour candidate is Vince Offord who has been a stalwart activist for the party but whether he is going to put in the hard yards is a good question.
And then there is the editor of the Thurrock Enquirer, Neil Speight. Despite being a life long Conservative, Neil has decided to stand for Ukip.
As you can see from our interview, Neil is in bullish mood. This may be a long game for Neil and he may have his eye on the future of Ukip post referendum, where some say the party may morph into a quasi-ratepayers/grassroots type party.
Prediction: Cons hold. Maj 120.
Corringham and Fobbing
Vincent Offord – Labour
Neil Speight – UKIP
Aaron Watkins – Conservative