IN the latest in our Your Gazette series, we speak to 18-year-old Abbie Maguire, who is the Tory candidate for the Stifford Clays ward at the May elections.

Abbie has lived in the borough since she was two. She’s lived in East Tilbury, North Stifford and is now in Grays.

She moved to East Tilbury with her parents, Stephen and Sandra, sister Rebecca and grandparents, Richard and Sharon Phillips. Her brother Alex was born here.

Q) What do you love about Thurrock and what is it that’s kept you here?

A) Thurrock is a place unlike any other – it has some really stunning green spaces and properties, it’s a catalyst for knowledge and opportunity, it’s business-savy and it’s a wonderful place to grow up.

Q) How do you see the future panning out for the borough (DP World, Thames Crossing etc)?

A) I think the future is what we make it. There are no doubt some important decisions to be made, and this will of course generate healthy debate. I can see Thurrock preserving its celebrated tradition, but striving forward where needed.

I certainly see Thurrock becoming busier, and I’m looking forward to our transformation into something perhaps more modern.

Q) How do you think other parts of Essex see Thurrock?

A) I love places like Billiercay with its beautifully quaint High Street – I’d love to see Grays match its success. But the environment in Thurrock, the dedication in the council chamber, the people and the organisations within the borough are certainly something to be envied by others.

Q) If you could change one thing about the borough, what would it be?

A) Better roads and verges. They are in an absolute state, and some areas in particular need urgent attention. People pay hard-earned money for their houses and cars and they deserve to be in a wellkept environment.

Q) Finally, what’s your view on the Gazette?

A) I love the Gazette! I’ve written for a few newspapers in my time, and the Gazette is so informative and impartial. It really has a personal feeling, like the reporters are best friends with everyone they write about. I love the live reports on the full council too – pure genius!

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