Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Thurrock Elections 2019: Great night for the Independents at Thurrock Council elections

By Local Democracy Reporter
Steve Shaw

Films courtesy of Thurrock Council

THURROCK continues to be a hung council after none of the parties were able to win enough seats to secure a majority.

The council has had the same result since 2014 with Labour, the Conservatives and the Thurrock Independents each taking their share of the borough’s 49 seats across 20 wards.

But in a stunning victory in the East Tilbury ward, Fraser Massey has joined the council as the only independent councillor after taking the seat from the Thurrock Independents with 984 votes against just 74.

After getting news of his win, Mr Massey said: “It’s a lot more than I expected, to win by that amount but I am really pleased.

“East Tilbury has a history of independent councillors who have worked hard for it in the past. People remember that and they want to try that again.”

Thurrock Independents also had a positive night with a big win for Allen Mayes, who took the Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park ward from Labour – winning by almost 300 extra votes.

He said he was “ecstatic” about the result and feels the area has been underrepresented for far too long.

“People have made an epic statement now that they want things to change and the hard work starts now. I am shocked at the result as I thought it would be quite close, similar to last year but being nearly 300 votes above the opposition is just phenomenal and I have to thank everyone that came out to vote.”

The leader of the Thurrock Independents, Luke Spillman, also celebrated the victory calling it “one of the most spectacular results in Thurrock elections”.

Despite the big wins however, little has changed when looking at the make-up of the council. The Conservatives went in with 23 seats and they are leaving with 22, Labour went in with 16 but are coming out with 17, the Thurrock Independents went in with nine and are coming out with nine. The biggest change was the addition of an independent.

Labour Councillor Jane Pothecary, who successfully defended her seat in Grays Riverside described the night as “A strange one where there have been a lot of changes but also very little change”.

For now, Thurrock remains in the control of the Conservatives but in the coming days it could be possible that Labour and the Thurrock Independents form an alliance, creating a minority administration.

Councillor Rob Gledhill, leader of the council, said he had gone into these elections with confidence, despite early warnings that the Tories would face a difficult time across the country due to national politics.

He said: “I’m no more concerned than any of the other parties. We have been out knocking on doors and delivering leaflets and I think it is paying off. On the doorstep the first thing that comes up is Brexit and national politics but after that Brexit hump people get down to the local issues.”

Aveley and Uplands

Colin Churchman (Conservative) 660
Peter Smith (Thurrock Independent) 513
Charlie Curtis (Labour) 333

Maj 147
Turnout 20.74%

Cons Gain


Chris Baker (Thurrock Independents) 670
Lee Watson (Labour) 660
Romanus Nwakuna (Conservative) 255
Dave Bradshaw (British Unionist and Sovereignty Party) 148

Maj: 10
Turnout 24.19%

Thurrock Indy Hold

Chadwell St Mary

Daniel Chukwu (Labour) 863
Sara Muldowney (Labour) 783
Steve Minett (Thurrock Independents) 488
Stacey Clark (Thurrock Independents) 456
Georgette Polley (Cons) 301
Paul Polley (Cons) 267
Stephen Andrews: 142

Maj: 375 and 327
Turnout: 25.07%

Lab Hold x 2

Chafford and North Stifford

Mark Coxshall (Cons) 624
Rafal Zak (Labour) 354
Graham Hamilton (Thurrock Independents) 190
Julian Puttergill (Green) 145

Maj 270
Turnout: 23.96%

Cons Hold

Corringham and Fobbing

Deborah Huelin (Cons) 848
John Cecil (Lab) 316
Gbenga Olajugbagbe (Thurrock Independents) 255

Maj: 532
Turnout: 32.56%

Cons Hold

East Tilbury

Fraser Massey (Independent) 984
Michael Keal (Ukip) 196
Glenn Stanley (Cons) 161
Jacqueline Dobson (Labour) 158
Oliver Smith (Thurrock Independents) 74

Maj: 788
Turnout: 30.73

Ind Gain

Grays Riverside

Jane Pothecary (Lab) 800
Kevin McNamara (Lib-Dems) 399
Gurjit Thandi (Cons) 299
Kanlayani Sisasima (Thurrock Independents) 218

Maj 401
Turnout: 21.56%

Lab Hold

Grays Thurrock

Catherine Kent (Lab) 925
James Thandi (Cons) 513
Shelby Mayes (Thurrock Independents) 445

Maj 412
Turnout 26.68

Lab Hold

Little Thurrock Rectory

Tom Kelly (Cons) 586
Russell Cherry (Thurrock Independents) 426
Les Strange (Labour) 289
Neil Rivett (Ukip) 148

Maj 162
Turnout 31.68

Cons Hold


Andrew Jeffries (Cons): 982
Ruth Clapham (Labour) 745
Jan Baker (Thurrock Independents): 663

Maj: 237
Turnout: 30.9%

Cons Hold

Stanford East and Corringham Town

Shane Ralph (Thurrock Independents) 812
Roy Jones (Cons) 709
Carl Morris (Labour) 394

Maj 103
Turnout 29.88%

Ind Gain

Stanford-le-Hope West

Shane Hebb (Cons) 921
Michael Fawcett (Thurrock Independents) 313
Clifford Holloway (Lab) 274

Maj 608
Turnout 28.34%

Cons Hold

Stifford Clays

Jennifer Smith (Thurrock Independent) 610
Jennifer Craft (Lab) 492
Graham Snell (Cons) 485

Maj: 118

Thurrock Ind Gain

The Homesteads

Gary Byrne (Thurrock Independents) 960
Paul Arnold (Cons) 946
Dan Norton (Labour) 328

Turnout 34.51

Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park

Allen Mayes (Thurrock Independents) 712
Clare Baldwin (Labour) 429
Daryl Palmer (Cons) 103

Maj 283
Turnout 27.05

Thurrock Ind Gain

West Thurrock and South Stifford

Victoria Holloway (Lab) 752
Jimmy Mower (Thurrock Independents) 358
Joseph Kaley (Cons) 262

Maj 394
Turnout: 17.39%

Lab Hold


  1. Under 18 per cent turn out in west Thurrock, people have lost faith in the local council, HGV trucks thundering through the streets and no one gives a sh1t.

  2. And once again the overall turnout in Thurrock is approx 30% and these councillors claim a great victory in their wards, they win with little over 10% of the electorate voting for them.

    Surely this must send a message to the establishment that the vast majority of people are either not bothered about their local council or what is more likely us that they are fed up of these people who no longer actually represent the people they are meant to serve and have dragged Thurrock so far down into the mire to feather their own egos that people know that nothing will ever change

  3. Valen, a majority of 400 where less than 22% actually voted is a complete joke.

    They cannot take the moral high ground with those numbers, each and every party involved in the elections should hang their heads in shame, they have done nothing to get people to interact with them, they push out a few leaflets that push national issues rather than local ones, they no longer knock on doors and engage with people and they wonder why the majority could no longer give a toss about them

  4. I did not have a single leaflet this year from any of the parties and the only ones that knocked on my door were the independents.

  5. Lambo – Cllr Pothecary made an effort to drum up enthusiasm for voting and even McNamara (Lib Dem) made an attempt as both came around to personally ask for me to vote for them. The Tories and Thurrock Independents didn’t bother to campaign at all which shows exactly how much they give a toss about wanting people to vote. The only leaflets that came through my door were from Labour (4) and Lib Dem (1). The turnout may have been poor but that’s due to apathy in the electorate and not due to apathy on the part of the parties that actually do put some effort into electioneering. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by Cllr Pothecary that, despite the poor turnout, she impressed those who voted enough to gain the percentage of the votes that she did.

    As for the leaflets being about national issues and not local ones, I have to say that Labour’s leaflets for Cllr Pothecary covered nothing but local issues. I can’t say for the other parties but, for Labour, you were totally wrong on that.

    You also said that they don’t engage with people and, for Labour at least, you’re wrong on that score too as all three of my Labour councillors (Kerin, Fish and Pothecary) have engaged with me on many issues that I have shown concern with and l, when electioneering for this election, all three Labour candidates (not just Cllr Pothecary) came to my door and spent 20 minutes or so discussing many issues, both local and national.

    Grays Riverside have very engaged and engaging Labour representatives so you can’t blame them for the low turnout. Blame the lazy sods who can’t be bothered the go out and cast their vote.

  6. How anyone can vote Labour or Conservative is beyond me.

    Dispite a very poor turnout well done all you independents – we desperately need change.

    Now step forward Mr Farage and the Brexit party, your time has come.

  7. Problem is till the Brexit party have a wide range of policies they are a one trick pony. which will have to change there name in six months time. I don’t see anything on the economy, Health, education or climate.

    I see UKIP got hammered in the elections. So much for Tommy and co. Looks like they got milkshake on there faces again.

    Good to see UKIP, Tories get hammered. and well done to the Lib Dems, Greens and independant Others on increasing there seats.

    The best thing for the Brexit party to have happen is for May and her loyal follower JDP to stick around, If Rees-Mogg or Boris get the job the Brexit party is in trouble competing for support. IMHO.

  8. Catching the Bus – You’re totally right. The Brexit Party is much like the Referendum Party back in the 90s – one policy and nothing else. Like UKIP or not, at least they have a wider agenda than just Brexit even though it’s a deplorable one.

    I think these days more people would vote for the Greens if only they could stand in every constituency and ward in the country. Climate change is a massive issue now and people are getting increasingly concerned that no one seems to be acting on it as if it’s the emergency it truly is. Of course the Tories and UKIP won’t do a thing about climate change until it’s too late, if at all. The Lib Dems and the other small parties won’t get into positions of power enough to be able to do anything to help unless the electoral system gets changed to something like Proportional Representation which really only leaves Corbyn’s Labour that has the policies and the potential power to make any positive changes towards combating climate change.

    It was nice to see the Greens and independent candidates make some good gains though. It shows that the electorate is getting a little too intelligent to vote Tory though which is a step in the right direction.

  9. Just for the record, I got no leaflets, no visits and nothing but what I could glean from this excellent web site.
    Until 08:30 I had resolved to “spoil my ballot” by adding “None of the above”, but thanks to Yourthurrock I managed to track down the political thoughts of one of the candidates.

    So that candidate got my vote, even though I did not really agree with some of the political sentiments. At least the candidate lived locally (Not in another county) Did not try to hide their address and had achieved something other than politics in their life.

    At Friday lunchtime the BBC had some statistics showing the share of the vote:
    28% Tory 28% Labour 25% Others only then Libs, Greens etc.

    The statistic missing is “spoiled ballots” ie None of the Above.
    Can Yourthurrock publish the number of spoiled ballots?

  10. Here are a few statistics of spoiled votes:

    Basildon 800
    Castle Point 414
    Tendring 600
    Chelmsford 539
    Folkestone & Hythe 647
    Great Yarmouth 693
    Immingham 200

  11. Newshound – I understand that you didn’t get any leaflets or visits from candidates on which to decide who to vote for but voting for someone you don’t agree with because they are the only person you’ve seen on this site giving their views is the same as spoiling your ballot form. You didn’t vote on a considered opinion on the merits of the candidates or the past record of one who had already served, you just voted out of desperation for someone to vote for.

    I totally agree with your inclusion of an official “None of the Above” on ballot forms and have stated that opinion on many occasions. I also agree that spoilt ballot statistics should be made available.

    As I said, I understand that you had no other basis on which to cast your vote and that is not only regrettable but intensely anger-provoking however what you did equally cheapens the electoral process. And please don’t think I’m singling you out as I made the same argument with my Mum who once voted Tory because she didn’t know who to vote for so just picked a candidate at random. The only difference between the two cases is that my Mum didn’t even bother to look at the electoral literature she got and you just didn’t have any to base your choice on.

  12. Soiled ballot papers are like voting Tory, Labour and the Lib Dems combined…God help us all.

    Lets get out of the EU not stay in it.

  13. I have two reasons for voting for someone, with whom I don’t entirely agree:

    Representatives, who think they do not need to compete for the privilege of being my representative especially in a party “club”, can become lazy and self-serving.

    If I simply spoil my ballot I probably won’t appear in the statistics; when I vote I in effect appear twice.
    The candidate who could not be bothered loses one vote and their rival gains one vote, thus reducing the “comfortable” cushion of the winner by 2.

    Not a great help in a first past the post system, but the best I can do.

    My mum used to live in a district council run by the residents’ association; unlike the County Council, by and large they did a good job.

    I don’t think we need national posturing for the local government. It gives the impression that a local councillor has powers that have been reserved to the national government.

  14. Newshound – I totally agree that people who want us to vote for them should make he effort but we all know that many candidates don’t think they have to do the legwork because voters will simply vote for the party they want to win rather than voting for someone who may actually do what’s expected of them. That said, it still doesn’t excuse you cheapening the democratic process by voting for someone you don’t agree with because the person you voted for didn’t make the effort to come to your home to try to convince you to vote for them or, at the very least, post some literature through your door.

    I think local elections are where local media could help reduce the democratic deficit by chasing the candidates and making sure that all of them give an account of their priorities, etc, so that voters have the information they need to make an informed choice.

    I’m in complete agreement with you that local elections should be about local issues alone and the national agenda should be left for General Elections. How can you make an informed choice on who’s best to represent the local area when all they’re wittering on about are national issues they have no control over?


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