Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions
Contact: Jenny Shade, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
Declaration of Interests
To receive any declaration of interests from Members.
No interests were declared.
Councillor Hebb presented the report that advised Members of the outcome of the consultation on a possible move from elections by thirds to election of the whole-council once every four years from May 2018. Members were asked to note the preferred option recommended by the General Services Committee that was to move to whole-council elections from May 2018 and that the report had been presented to Full Council for Members to decide. Councillor Hebb stated that Thurrock was ready for this change having listened to the voice of the residents as part of the consultation, which having put their trust in the powers of elections deserved the right outcomes and looked forward to the debate this would generate this evening.
Councillor Snell stated that he would not be supporting the recommendations as the number of responses received as part of the consultation did not represent Thurrock and that out of the 466 responses some would have been linked to this Chamber. Councillor Snell stated that it should be fair and democratic to give residents the option to vote yearly. Councillor Snell stated that UKIP would not have been able to represent if it were not for the elections by third. He believed elections by third brought stability to the Council and that the Council was in a better position because of this.
Councillor Gerrish agreed with Councillor Snell’s comments and would be against the recommendations. Councillor Gerrish questioned why an extraordinary meeting had been arranged for this item where there were far more important items that could have been discussed instead.
At 7.12pm, Councillor Gerrish called a Notice of Motion that the report go straight to the vote. This was seconded by Councillor G Rice. The Mayor announced that he would allow those Members who had already requested to speak to ask their questions.
Councillor Kelly stated his support for the recommendations as the four yearly cycle would allow Officers to dedicate time to elections and do the job they should be doing.
Councillor G Rice spoke on behalf of democracy that the recommendations would not be good for the residents of Thurrock and focused on the responses rates compared to other consultations.
Councillor Piccolo would be supporting the recommendations as there was a need to forward plan over a number of years and see actions through and the four yearly cycle would give the Council the stability and give confidence to residents.
Councillor Halden would be supporting the recommendations and stated that a proper whole borough election should take place. Councillor Halden highlighted that a number of wards would not go to the vote next year as some wards had 2 or 3 members. Councillor Halden continued to state that the voting procedures for elections by third were not clear enough for residents to understand.
Councillor Huelin stated her support for the recommendations and that the Council would save money and give Officers the opportunity and time to build on policies and gain the stability that the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 45.