Thursday, July 25, 2024

Thurrock Labour leaders to stand down

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Thurrock Labour Leader John Kent and Deputy Barbara Rice to stand down

THURROCK Labour Councillor John Kent announced this week that he will be standing down from his role as Leader of the Labour Group. Cllr Kent has been the Leader of the Labour Group since 2004 and was Leader of Thurrock Council between 2010 and 2016.

He leaves a proud record of achievement in office.

When Labour assumed control in 2010, Thurrock Council was on the verge of going bankrupt, massively overspending and down to only £2m in reserves. Under Cllr Kent’s leadership, financial controls were re-established and the reserves rapidly restored.

Under John’s leadership, Thurrock maintained its position as the council with the lowest council tax in Essex. There were a number of major challenges during the period, most notably the massive cuts in grant funding from central government.

Cllr Kent has a particular passion for raising education standards and took the number of Thurrock’s youngest children in good or outstanding primary schools from just 33% when Labour came to power, to over 95%.

Speaking about his decision to step down from the role, Councillor Kent said “I have led the Labour Group for 13 years, six as Leader of the Council. I’m proud of what has been achieved in that period, and I believe that the time is now right to move on.”

It was also announced that Councillor Barbara Rice would be leaving the Labour leadership team, stepping down as Group Deputy Leader.

She said “I’ve been very proud to work alongside John in the last few years. I believe we’ve really delivered for Thurrock, and now seems like the right time to step back. I want to continue fighting hard for my residents to make sure they are better served by the council.”

Both Cllr Kent and Cllr Rice are to continue as councillors despite stepping down from the leadership team. They aim to keep working hard and delivering for residents in their respective wards of Grays Thurrock and Chadwell St Mary. They will continue in their roles as Leader and Deputy Leader until the Labour Group annual meeting in May.

1 COMMENT

  1. Led both the council and the local Labour Party through a particularly tricky time of it. Cllr J Kent and Cllr B Rice are probably two of the better local Government leaders but they now move on. Many a council officer and constituent would echo my best wishes to both and thanks.

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