ON Wednesday 16th May Thurrock Independents’ Councillors elected Cllr Luke Spillman to be the Party Leader and Leader of the Council Group.
Thurrock Independents Leader, Cllr Luke Spillman said: “This is a very exciting time for our fledgling party and so it is a real honour to be elected as the new Group Leader. I would like to thank my predecessor, Graham Snell, for the all that he has done, and continues to do, for me and our party.
“Whilst we fell a few votes short in a handful of wards, resulting in less seats than we hoped, our share of the vote was impressive and extremely encouraging. Over one in five voters lent us their support in the recent local elections. I have set us the aim of increasing that to one in three by May 2019.
“To do this we will have to work extremely hard over the next 12 months and speak to as many residents as we can. Only by doing this will we be able to communicate our clear vision for Thurrock. By meeting as many residents as possible we will be able to further understand concerns across Thurrock so we can provide a policy offering best suited to the needs of every resident in Thurrock.
“In May, one in five voters reacted warmly to our commitments on protecting the environment, cutting council tax, prioritising local people for housing, improving health care and bringing council services back in-house. One in five voters supported our commitment for cleaner and better politics. Our task is to build on these policies and the wonderful support we received.
“We will always put the residents of Thurrock before politics. We will uphold our commitment to better politics for all. We have never been afraid of hard graft and cannot wait to get started.
“I’ve spent the last decade fighting on behalf of Thurrock residents as an advice worker and legal aid caseworker. It has been a real privilege. I have had the opportunity to learn so much from the many thousands of Thurrock residents I have met.
“These insights have greatly informed my understanding of the many challenges this borough faces. We look forward to speaking to thousands more residents over the next year.”
Cllr Luke Spillman has also appointed Cllr Jack Duffin as his Deputy Leader.
Thurrock Independent’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Duffin said: “I am extremely grateful in being given such an important role by Cllr Luke Spillman. Our Council Group will continue doing what we have done over the last four years in the chamber. A common-sense and reasoned approach to council policy entirely focused on what works best for you, rather than silly Punch and Judy politics.
“We will work with all the Councillors in the chamber to make sure the wishes and needs of Thurrock residents come first. We will continue pushing for a reduction in Council Tax. We are committed to saving residents money without cutting any services.”