IT WAS, arguably, one of the most important council meetings in Thurrock for years.
There were two major items on the agenda.
The response to the Lower Thames Crossing.
The plans to build up to 32,000 homes in Thurrock.
Councillors from Aveley to Fobbing were present at the meeting to make their contribution to key decisions that could shape Thurrock for the rest of the century.
However, there was no representation from East Tilbury, an area that is at the heart of the massive changes that could take place in Thurrock.
Apologies were made for the Thurrock Independent councillor for East Tilbury, cllr James Baker and the Thurrock Conservative councillor for East Tilbury, cllr Sue Sammons.
The two empty chairs contrasted sharply with the days of the two independent councillors, Barry Palmer and John Purkiss, who come rain or shine, in sickness and in health, would attend council meetings as fine ambassadors for an area known for its fierce independence.
Cllr Baker will not be defending his seat in May 2019.
Cllr Sammons is unavailable for comment.
We did speak to East Tilbury resident, Fraser Massey, who plans to stand as an Independent candidate in May 2019 and seems to be the man who might inherit the East Tilbury Independent mantle from Mssrs Purkiss and Palmer.
Mr Massey said “If elect, I will do my very best to attend meetings and represent the people of East Tilbury however there is a lot of work to do between now and May.”