LEADER of the Labour Group, Councillor Oliver Gerrish, is to stand down, Thurrock Labour have announced.
Speaking over the bank holiday weekend, Cllr Gerrish said, “We have enjoyed great success over the last year, particularly at the local elections where we set out our first local manifesto, gained an unprecedented number of seats and returned to official opposition from our previous position as the smallest group. More importantly we have stood up for the interests of Thurrock residents time and time again on issues such as Orsett Hospital, the Lower Thames Crossing, the Grass Tax, sheltered housing charges and many more.
“It has been a great privilege to lead the Labour Group during that period. I believe that with the work that we have done over the past year, we can look forward confidently to delivering for the residents of Thurrock when we take control of the council in May.
“However, I have recently had the time to reflect on my own future. Simply put, I do not aspire to be Leader of the Council.
“Given that we expect to take control shortly, I believe that whoever will become the Leader of the Council in May should have the time and opportunity to develop their own vision and manifesto for control to put to the electorate, rather than take something inherited from me.
“To that end, I am resigning as Leader of the Group, effective as of 29 August.”
He concluded, “I would like to thank Labour councillors, candidates and members for their exceptional hard work and support over the last year. I intend to continue to play a full roll in Thurrock Labour, both through the council and its committees, and in campaigning to support our 2019 candidates.”
The deputy leader of Thurrock Labour is Chadwell St Mary councillor, Gerard Rice, who is expected to take up the reins until a new leader is elected.