Thurrock Council
Thurrock Council logo.svg
Founded1 April 1974
Mayor of Thurrock
James Halden
since 26 May 2022
Leader of the Council
Rob Gledhill, Conservative
since 25 May 2016
Chief executive
Lyn Carpenter
since September 2015
Seats49 councillors
Thurrock Council composition
Political groups
  Conservative (30)
Other parties
  Labour (14)
  Thurrock Independent (3)
  Independent (2)
Length of term
4 years
First past the post
Last election
5 May 2022
Secundum Tamesim Quovis Gentium
Meeting place
New Road Grays - - 1209876.jpg
Civic Offices, New Road, Grays

Thurrock Council is the local council for the borough of Thurrock in Essex, England. Since 1997, Thurrock has been a unitary authority, combining the functions of a non-metropolitan county with that of a non-metropolitan district. The other such authority in Essex is Southend-on-Sea. It is a member of the East of England Local Government Association.


Thurrock District Council was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the Thurrock District on 1 April 1974. It replaced Thurrock Urban District Council, which governed a slightly larger area including part of Basildon New Town and had been formed in 1936 as an amalgamation of Grays Thurrock Urban District Council, Purfleet Urban District Council, Tilbury Urban District Council, and Orsett Rural District Council including associated parish councils; a result of the Local Government Act 1929. The council received borough status, permitting the council to be known as Thurrock Borough Council. Until 1998 it was constituted as non-metropolitan district council in a two-tier arrangement, sharing service provision with Essex County Council.[1]

As a result of the 1992 Local Government Commission for England on 1 April 1998 Thurrock absorbed the powers of Essex County Council for its area, becoming a unitary authority. The planning function for large developments was exercised by the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation in the whole of the borough from 2003 to 2012. The development corporation was absorbed by the council on 1 April 2012.[citation needed]

Election results and council control

Main article: Thurrock Council elections

For most of the council's history, it has been controlled by Labour, including from 1982 to 2004 and again from 2010 to 2015. Since 2016 the council has been under no overall control, but with a Conservative leader, Rob Gledhill.[2][3]

Historic political control is shown alongside the historic election results.


Thurrock is divided into 20 wards and elects 49 councillors. One-third of the council is elected every year on a four-year term and so every fourth year there is no election. Councillors are elected through first-past-the-post voting. There are 19 committees, including:[4]

Electoral wards

The borough's 20 electoral wards and corresponding representatives are:[5][6]

Thurrock UK wards 2017 numbered.png
Electoral ward Year of election
No. Name 2016 2018 2019
1 Aveley and Uplands Luke Spillman (TI)[a] Tim Aker (TI)[a] Colin Churchman (Con)
2 Ockendon David Potter (TI)[a] Sue Shinnick (Lab) Andrew Jefferies (Con)
3 Belhus Angela Lawrence (Con)[b] Mike Fletcher (Lab) Chris Baker (TI)[a]
4 West Thurrock and South Stifford Oliver Gerrish (Lab) Qaisar Abbas (Lab) Victoria Holloway (Lab)
5 South Chafford Suzanne MacPherson (Con) Abbie Akinbohun (Lab)
6 Chafford and North Stifford Garry Hague (Con) Mark Coxshall (Con)
7 Grays Riverside Tony Fish (Lab) Martin Kerin (Lab) Jane Pothecary (Lab)
8 Grays Thurrock John Kent (Lab) Lynn Worrall (Lab) Cathy Kent (Lab)
9 Stifford Clays Elizabeth Rigby (Con) Jennifer Smith (TI)[a]
10 Little Thurrock Blackshots Jocelyn Redsell (Con) Ben Maney (Con)
11 Little Thurrock Rectory Rob Gledhill (Con) Tom Kelly (Con)
12 Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park Bukky Okunade (Lab) Allen Mayes (TI)[a]
13 Tilbury St. Chads John Allen (TI)[a] Steve Liddiard (Lab)
14 Chadwell St. Mary Gerard Rice (Lab) Barbara Rice (Lab) Daniel Chukwu (Lab)
15 East Tilbury Sue Sammons (Con)[b] Fraser Massey (Ind)
16 Stanford-Le-Hope West Terry Piccolo (Con) Shane Hebb (Con)
17 Corringham and Fobbing Aaron Watkins (Con) Deborah Huelin (Con)
18 Stanford East and Corringham Town Jack Duffin (TI)[a] Alex Anderson (Con) Shane Ralph (TI)[a]
19 The Homesteads Gary Collins (Con) James Halden (Con) Gary Byrne (TI)[a]
20 Orsett Susan Little (Con) Barry Johnson (Con)

Mayors and leaders

John Kent; former leader of the council (2010–2016) and current leader of the Labour opposition
John Kent; former leader of the council (2010–2016) and current leader of the Labour opposition

Thurrock Council has a leader, mayor and chief executive. The leader of the council is also typically the leader of its largest party. They are scrutinised by the leader of the opposition, who typically leads the council's largest non-governing party.

The current leader is Conservative councillor Rob Gledhill, who has been in office since 2016, while the current leader of the opposition is Labour Group leader John Kent. Kent was previously the leader of the council from 2010 to 2016, when he stood down after his party's loss in the 2016 council election. He remained leader of the Labour Group until his parliamentary candidacy in the 2017 general election,[7] returning after his successor Oliver Gerrish's resignation in August 2018.[8] He left his post after again standing for election to parliament in 2019 but returned after his successor Jane Pothecary resigned from the leadership in 2020.[9][10] From 2016 to 2018, the leader of the opposition was UKIP Group and then Thurrock Independent Group leader Graham Snell,[11][12] who was de-seated[13] and lost the opposition leadership to Labour's Oliver Gerrish after the 2018 council election.

The mayor acts as the council's chairman and undertakes ceremonial duties. They usually serve for a one-year term, with a new mayor being elected by councillors in an annual council session.[14] Although rare, mayors have served for a longer period, such as when Mayor Yash Gupta served from 2011 to 2013.[15][16] The current mayor is Conservative councillor James Halden, who is the first homosexual to serve in this position. He was sworn in on 26 May 2022.[17] The first mayor in Thurrock was Margaret Jones who served from 1974[18] and the first Black mayor was Tunde Ojetola who served from 2017 to 2018.[19]

Historic leaders and mayors are recorded with the historic election results.


Coat of arms of Thurrock Council
Thurrock Council coat of arms.jpg
Shield and crest originally granted to Thurrock Urban District Council on 17 January 1957. Supporters granted on 14 May 1976.
On a wreath of the colours an Albatross rising Proper from a bollard Sable roped Or.
Argent on a fess wavy between in chief a ship's screw and a wheel Azure and in base a Celtic cross also Azure charged in the centre with a Tudor rose Proper three lymphads Argent.
On the dexter a sea-lion guardant Or gutty Sable the tail Vert gutty Or and Argent holding in the dexter claw a block Or tackle Sable and on the sinister a knight in armour tempus 1370 resting the exterior hand on the hilt of his sheathed sword a hound at his feet all Proper upon a compartment per pale water barry wavy Argent and Azure and a representation of a stone quay Proper.
Secundum Tamesim Quovis Gentium (By The Thames To All The Peoples Of The World).[20]

See also

Thurrock, the area with borough status which this council administers.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Thurrock Independents group was formed by councillors who were originally elected as UKIP, but later left the party. Tim Aker was re-elected as a Thurrock Independent in the 2018 local elections.
  2. ^ a b Angela Lawrence and Sue Sammons were originally elected as UKIP, but left the party to form the Thurrock Independents alongside the rest of their group members. They later joined the Conservative Party.
  1. ^ "Introducing Thurrock Council". Thurrock Council. Archived from the original on 30 August 2000. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Council compositions". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Thurrock". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Committees, meetings and minutes - Thurrock Council".
  5. ^ "Wards and polling stations". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^[dead link]
  7. ^ "Thurrock Labour announce new leader on council". Thurrock Gazette. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Former council leader John Kent returns to lead Thurrock Labour group". Your Thurrock. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  9. ^ Speight, Neil (11 May 2020). "Change of Labour leadership at Thurrock Council as John Kent returns to the opposition front bench". Thurrock Nub News. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Labour leader returns after stepping down for election". Thurrock Gazette. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Thurrock's "Mr History" Jonathan Catton passes away". Your Thurrock. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Report of the Cabinet Member for Related Decisions". Thurrock Council. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  13. ^ Pearson, Gary (10 May 2018). "Editor's comment: It was kinda alright on election night..." Clacton and Frinton Gazette. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  14. ^ "The role of the Mayor". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Political stalwart Yash Gupta retires after twenty years of public service". Thurrock Gazette. 24 April 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  16. ^ Abbott, Matt (23 May 2013). "New mayor of Thurrock announced". Thurrock Gazette. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  17. ^ "New mayor vows Thurrock will 'rival London's square mile'". BBC News. 26 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  18. ^ Speight, Neil (26 March 2008). "Farewell and thanks to ex-mayors". The Echo. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Thurrock elects it's first black mayor". Your Thurrock. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  20. ^ "East of England Region". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 9 March 2021.