PSEPHOLOGICALLY (voting and stuff), Ockendon is a fascinating ward.
It has also produced quality councillors across a number of parties. Amanda Arnold and Barry Johnson for the Tories, the much missed Barry Lawrence for Labour.
This year, there are some quality candidates.
Luke Spillman. Much of the criticisms of Luke Spillman may not be of any concern to the voters. They may simply see a Conservative candidate and vote for him.
Fact is , we don’t believe Luke is a Conservative. We first got to know him before he entered politics and was doing sterling work in housing for Citizens Advice in Thurrock.
Whatever party he appears to be in, he has been concerned about social justice. We truly believed his natural home was one of Independents but maybe he just wasn’t gammon enough.
But Luke is a horseracing fan and he clearly felt that if he wanted to see results, he had to switch horses.
He will benefit from Andrew Jeffries having been in a few years. That’s not just for Brandon Groves but for issues such as education and planning across the ward.
Of course this assessment may be a bit namby pamby. Go read Mr Perrin’s blogs.
Ruth Clapham is standing for Labour. Ruth comes across as a candidate who is too good not to be in the council chamber.
She will have learned a lot after losing by 237. If she has been working the ward she may have a chance.
Again, the presence of a Thurrock Independent may spoil things. Their candidate is called Maurice Kelly. Nope, me neither…but he does have the backing of former UKIP councillor Kevin Wheeler.
YT Prediction: You know we always get Ockendon wrong but……….Cons Hold
Jan Baker (Thurrock Independents): 663
Ruth Clapham (Labour): 745
Andrew Jeffries (Cons): 982
By-Election March 2018
Andrew Jeffries (Cons): 696
Les Strange (Lab) 696
Allen Mayes (Thurrock Independents) 531
Sue Shinnick (Lab) 864
Romanus Nwakuna (Cons): 740
Janet Baker (TI): 663