FIRSTLY, we may have missed it but has anyone actually gone on record to say thank you to councillors who have decided to bow out. One of them is Homesteads councillor, Pauline Tolson. Mrs Tolson had been a councillor since 2007 and not so long ago was the portfolio holder for the environment. You get the feeling that she was dumped unceremoniously and more or less disappeared without trace.
Still, not so long ago, the last council meeting of the year, would be marked by a few words of thanks. Shame.
The Conservatives have worked hard to establish this as a solid heartland and we have to go wayback to find it any different. In 2018, James Halden won by 658 votes. To think in 2014, he sneaked home by a slim margin.
This time, local man, Paul Arnold, gets a chance, having done the hard yards in Chadwell St Mary in 2018.
The big question for Tories is whether they will be impacted by national issues as well as their image locally. They would argue that the Aveley by-election would suggest no.
It is also a question as to whether high-profile, Thurrock Independent, Gary Byrne, plays the Brexit card or concentrates on local issues. He certainly did well in 218, polling 575 votes and showed that if they can build an infrastructure then the TIs could be here to stay.
The Tories have and will work hard in this ward to secure the vote. Won’t be 500 though.
Paul Arnold (Cons)
Gary Byrne (Thurrock Independents)
Dan Norton (Labour)
Prediction: Tory Hold-300
Result in 2018.
Gary Byrne (Thurrock Independents): 575
Daniel Chukwu (Labour Party): 532
James Halden (Conservative Party): 1233
Peter Prendegast (Ukip): 172