Thurrock is the envy of the county

Looking forward to the future – Abbie Maguire

Looking forward to the future – Abbie Maguire

First published in News

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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Comments (21)

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7:58pm Thu 6 Mar 14

poortaxpayer says...

Thurrock is the envy of Essex? Is this an early April fools?
Thurrock is the envy of Essex? Is this an early April fools? poortaxpayer
  • Score: 25

8:40pm Thu 6 Mar 14

rocket1 says...

nutty as a fruitcake.
nutty as a fruitcake. rocket1
  • Score: 19

11:27pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Mick P says...

You have got to be joking ! Thurrock is a dump,it never used to be but now it seems to be mostly gridlocked,rubbish everywhere, a crumbling cinema, in the centre of the town that sums up today's Thurrock. I and others just can't wait to leave
You have got to be joking ! Thurrock is a dump,it never used to be but now it seems to be mostly gridlocked,rubbish everywhere, a crumbling cinema, in the centre of the town that sums up today's Thurrock. I and others just can't wait to leave Mick P
  • Score: 20

3:27am Fri 7 Mar 14

ThurrockResident says...

Tory wants better verges etc, but Tory Party always cutting services. Remember folks, vote them and their Liberal friends out next election!
Tory wants better verges etc, but Tory Party always cutting services. Remember folks, vote them and their Liberal friends out next election! ThurrockResident
  • Score: 3

7:35am Fri 7 Mar 14

E.C.M. says...

You can't put a wise head on young shoulders! At 18, she knows five eigths of nothing!
You can't put a wise head on young shoulders! At 18, she knows five eigths of nothing! E.C.M.
  • Score: 18

9:22am Fri 7 Mar 14

Hazel100 says...

She's young and I don't like to speak badly of a young woman but everything she said is just not true (other than wishing Grays was like Billericay), dream on. People in Grays are a bit different to Billericay or has she not noticed that is the reason why?? A Tory candidate at 18? Just left school, I don't think it's a wise move.
She's young and I don't like to speak badly of a young woman but everything she said is just not true (other than wishing Grays was like Billericay), dream on. People in Grays are a bit different to Billericay or has she not noticed that is the reason why?? A Tory candidate at 18? Just left school, I don't think it's a wise move. Hazel100
  • Score: 15

10:19am Fri 7 Mar 14

claysman says...

Thurrock is a place unlike any other it as some stunning green places (what a load of rubbish wake up out of your dream world ) any green spaces left you lot will build on it
Thurrock is a place unlike any other it as some stunning green places (what a load of rubbish wake up out of your dream world ) any green spaces left you lot will build on it claysman
  • Score: 17

10:56am Fri 7 Mar 14

Bernard 87 says...

A more realistic approach to the questions

Q1) Thurrock has good links to London and its cheap (ish) which has kept most people here. It's not unique and those pleasant green spaces are being built on, supported by our council.
Q2) The future of Thurrock is more flats, houses, London overspill, flats, more motorways and more flats.
Q3) Other parts of Essex are glad Thurrock is around to pick up the unwanted housing. In other words we are the dump of Essex sadly.
Q4) The council
Q5) It's a good local newspaper
A more realistic approach to the questions Q1) Thurrock has good links to London and its cheap (ish) which has kept most people here. It's not unique and those pleasant green spaces are being built on, supported by our council. Q2) The future of Thurrock is more flats, houses, London overspill, flats, more motorways and more flats. Q3) Other parts of Essex are glad Thurrock is around to pick up the unwanted housing. In other words we are the dump of Essex sadly. Q4) The council Q5) It's a good local newspaper Bernard 87
  • Score: 14

10:59am Fri 7 Mar 14

ebagumtrebor says...

I moved to Billericay from Thurrock and I concur with her views that Billericay is a far better place to live. I work in London and it's not until you have experienced London and living outside of Thurrock that you really come to realise just how much Thurrock has been transformed into a London Borough and all that brings with it.

As a decent place to live, it's finished. The transport links into London are not much good either. I get to London quicker from Billericay than I used to from Grays.

It's become a dumping ground for the dregs from the capital. This is all thnaks to the last Labour government.
I moved to Billericay from Thurrock and I concur with her views that Billericay is a far better place to live. I work in London and it's not until you have experienced London and living outside of Thurrock that you really come to realise just how much Thurrock has been transformed into a London Borough and all that brings with it. As a decent place to live, it's finished. The transport links into London are not much good either. I get to London quicker from Billericay than I used to from Grays. It's become a dumping ground for the dregs from the capital. This is all thnaks to the last Labour government. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: 19

11:00am Fri 7 Mar 14

OckendonPaul says...

Grays WAS quaint like Billericay once, then people who thought they knew best knocked down all the old buildings and replaced them with concrete.
Nowadays people who think they know best are busily replacing the population with new people and Grays is fast turning into Barking. It will never resemble Billericay again.
Grays WAS quaint like Billericay once, then people who thought they knew best knocked down all the old buildings and replaced them with concrete. Nowadays people who think they know best are busily replacing the population with new people and Grays is fast turning into Barking. It will never resemble Billericay again. OckendonPaul
  • Score: 14

1:06pm Fri 7 Mar 14

ThurrockResident says...

Hazel100 wrote:
She's young and I don't like to speak badly of a young woman but everything she said is just not true (other than wishing Grays was like Billericay), dream on. People in Grays are a bit different to Billericay or has she not noticed that is the reason why?? A Tory candidate at 18? Just left school, I don't think it's a wise move.
Not many zero hour contracts or no pay workfare in affluent Billericay!
[quote][p][bold]Hazel100[/bold] wrote: She's young and I don't like to speak badly of a young woman but everything she said is just not true (other than wishing Grays was like Billericay), dream on. People in Grays are a bit different to Billericay or has she not noticed that is the reason why?? A Tory candidate at 18? Just left school, I don't think it's a wise move.[/p][/quote]Not many zero hour contracts or no pay workfare in affluent Billericay! ThurrockResident
  • Score: 7

1:35pm Fri 7 Mar 14

stuart695 says...

rather unfair of the Gazette to put someone of her age and selected role in the position of having to ask such a crazy question. Not many residents have a positive view of Thurrock. I work in London and most people I work with cant understand why I choose to live here; but convenient for chidcare. The view of local people is partly why Thurrock has gone continously downhill as there is almost zero pride in the place - and that is a council led position over 35 years. Wouldnt you say its rather unfair of the Conservatives to select an 18 year old with very slim experience for a council election. Even assuming she is elected she will take a constant battering from more experienced councillors and residents.
rather unfair of the Gazette to put someone of her age and selected role in the position of having to ask such a crazy question. Not many residents have a positive view of Thurrock. I work in London and most people I work with cant understand why I choose to live here; but convenient for chidcare. The view of local people is partly why Thurrock has gone continously downhill as there is almost zero pride in the place - and that is a council led position over 35 years. Wouldnt you say its rather unfair of the Conservatives to select an 18 year old with very slim experience for a council election. Even assuming she is elected she will take a constant battering from more experienced councillors and residents. stuart695
  • Score: 6

2:45pm Fri 7 Mar 14

jinksbella says...

We moved from Newham in East London to Grays when we got married 29 years ago. We wanted to bring our children up in a nice place with nice schools. We followed the A13 and found Grays town centre one Sunday afternoon and couldn't believe what a nice place it was and promptly purchased our first home in Badgers Dene. Roll on nearly 30 years and what a terrible change to a lovely place. What a shame, no nice shops now in Grays,its very dirty and as for a lot of new people who have moved to the area.... all I can say is that the problems we moved away from in London seem to be evident in the area. We have another 15 years before we retire, but do not anticipate staying and being old people in Thurrock and will be moving one more time to somewhere else.
We moved from Newham in East London to Grays when we got married 29 years ago. We wanted to bring our children up in a nice place with nice schools. We followed the A13 and found Grays town centre one Sunday afternoon and couldn't believe what a nice place it was and promptly purchased our first home in Badgers Dene. Roll on nearly 30 years and what a terrible change to a lovely place. What a shame, no nice shops now in Grays,its very dirty and as for a lot of new people who have moved to the area.... all I can say is that the problems we moved away from in London seem to be evident in the area. We have another 15 years before we retire, but do not anticipate staying and being old people in Thurrock and will be moving one more time to somewhere else. jinksbella
  • Score: 11

2:23pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Dave_ says...

Yes and no to this.
I was born and brought up in Thurrock and the thing that I liked was that, and you can still do it, you go north of the A13 and you are in countryside. Although that will go if the planners and planning committees are really stupid.
As for the comparison with Billericay; yes Billericay has what looks to be a nice High Street but like most places it now has a Poundland and there are parts of Billericay, that aren’t as salubrious as people like to imagine.

We have had successive councils over the last 50 years who sat on their hands and it is these councils and the associated councillors
* who didn’t see or ignored the impact of Lakeside on local shops and didn’t ensure that Lakeside was more than a shopping centre
* fails to appreciate the positive impact of decent entertainment venues
* didn’t fully appreciate the impact of immigrants on the borough
* let the ‘manufacturing prosperity’ of the river front slip through its fingers
* never took full advantage of UA status
* allowed Grays and other local town centres to become not even a shadow of what I remember as a boy
* allowing the wholesale of building houses and flats without ensuring the necessary infrastructure, schools for instance, get built

I only hope that the new younger generations of councillors (like Abbie), of any political colour, don’t repeat the mistakes of many of the old guard the electorate of Thurrock keep sticking back in. History is a great teacher and yet every single time our leaders keep on repeating the their mistakes and those of their forebears. I’m aware that many things come about due to Westminster, but why is it some councils do better and are better able get through/around these things. Unless we’ve just got a load of milk sops running the day to day business of the council / elected to office.
However when you look at the councillors one of the biggest problems we have and have had for decades are mainly Labour councillors who are complacent as they know, that due to the perception of a large part of the electorate in Thurrock, they don’t have to be competent or effective as they will get returned somewhere in the borough if they mess up somewhere else.
Yes and no to this. I was born and brought up in Thurrock and the thing that I liked was that, and you can still do it, you go north of the A13 and you are in countryside. Although that will go if the planners and planning committees are really stupid. As for the comparison with Billericay; yes Billericay has what looks to be a nice High Street but like most places it now has a Poundland and there are parts of Billericay, that aren’t as salubrious as people like to imagine. We have had successive councils over the last 50 years who sat on their hands and it is these councils and the associated councillors * who didn’t see or ignored the impact of Lakeside on local shops and didn’t ensure that Lakeside was more than a shopping centre * fails to appreciate the positive impact of decent entertainment venues * didn’t fully appreciate the impact of immigrants on the borough * let the ‘manufacturing prosperity’ of the river front slip through its fingers * never took full advantage of UA status * allowed Grays and other local town centres to become not even a shadow of what I remember as a boy * allowing the wholesale of building houses and flats without ensuring the necessary infrastructure, schools for instance, get built I only hope that the new younger generations of councillors (like Abbie), of any political colour, don’t repeat the mistakes of many of the old guard the electorate of Thurrock keep sticking back in. History is a great teacher and yet every single time our leaders keep on repeating the their mistakes and those of their forebears. I’m aware that many things come about due to Westminster, but why is it some councils do better and are better able get through/around these things. Unless we’ve just got a load of milk sops running the day to day business of the council / elected to office. However when you look at the councillors one of the biggest problems we have and have had for decades are mainly Labour councillors who are complacent as they know, that due to the perception of a large part of the electorate in Thurrock, they don’t have to be competent or effective as they will get returned somewhere in the borough if they mess up somewhere else. Dave_
  • Score: 9

10:38pm Mon 10 Mar 14

The Hog says...

and the drugs are working. All the rubbish blowing around in spring,become colourful blooms. The roads become wonderful places to go potholing at weekends. And on summers evenings you can watch the green fields turn into a paved wonderland.......ohh the joys of Thurrock
did I mention the drugs ?
and the drugs are working. All the rubbish blowing around in spring,become colourful blooms. The roads become wonderful places to go potholing at weekends. And on summers evenings you can watch the green fields turn into a paved wonderland.......ohh the joys of Thurrock did I mention the drugs ? The Hog
  • Score: 2

9:27am Wed 12 Mar 14

Abbie's Mum says...

After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'.
After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'. Abbie's Mum
  • Score: -2

12:47pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Paul_Grays says...

I live in Grays and this place is a dump.
The hard working indigenious people of Grays remember how this place used to be before it just become a dumping ground. And i've liked in Greenford and Ealing so I know what I'm takling about.
I live in Grays and this place is a dump. The hard working indigenious people of Grays remember how this place used to be before it just become a dumping ground. And i've liked in Greenford and Ealing so I know what I'm takling about. Paul_Grays
  • Score: 4

12:48pm Wed 12 Mar 14

E.C.M. says...

Abbie's Mum wrote:
After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'.
Abbie's Mum, I sincerely respect your support for your 'child' and whilst no doubt she has more intelligence than humble moi, she does not have the experience...albeit no fault of her own (wisdom comes with age)!

Surly, she needs to get out into the world, live a little, have some fun, make mistakes and learn from them first!

The phrase 'All the gear...no idea' springs to mind! I for one, do not want to be patronised by someone who hasn't been there, seen it, done it!

All the best in the future Abbie, I hope you achieve your destination...but essentially, enjoy the journey first and learn and gain experience en route!
[quote][p][bold]Abbie's Mum[/bold] wrote: After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'.[/p][/quote]Abbie's Mum, I sincerely respect your support for your 'child' and whilst no doubt she has more intelligence than humble moi, she does not have the experience...albeit no fault of her own (wisdom comes with age)! Surly, she needs to get out into the world, live a little, have some fun, make mistakes and learn from them first! The phrase 'All the gear...no idea' springs to mind! I for one, do not want to be patronised by someone who hasn't been there, seen it, done it! All the best in the future Abbie, I hope you achieve your destination...but essentially, enjoy the journey first and learn and gain experience en route! E.C.M.
  • Score: -2

4:52pm Wed 12 Mar 14

poortaxpayer says...

Abbie's Mum wrote:
After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'.
Sounds like one of the parents on X Factor who proudly tells everyone their sprog can sing when they actually sound like a cat being tortured.
[quote][p][bold]Abbie's Mum[/bold] wrote: After reading some of the comments above as Abbie's Mum I felt compelled to reply. Here we have a young woman who has a real interest in politics and her local community, let's not forget that Abbie is giving up her free time to pursue something that she feels passionately about. I agree that Abbie is very young, but she has to start somewhere. Young people in this country often get a bad press sometimes with good reason so when we have a young woman like Abbie who wants to make change and be involved in her local community should we not as a community be supporting and applauding her rather than labelling her 'nutty as a fruitcake' or 'knowing five eights of nothing'.[/p][/quote]Sounds like one of the parents on X Factor who proudly tells everyone their sprog can sing when they actually sound like a cat being tortured. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 1

5:37pm Wed 12 Mar 14

s.a.p. says...

Hear, hear for Abbie's mother. Abbie is young but as her mother says, she has to start somewhere. In this article Abbie was asked for her opinion on certain issues and that is what she gave, her opinion. They clearly are not the opinions of everyone but she does not deserve to be pilloried for giving hers. It seems to me that some of the authors of the comments lack any sort of vision and some need to broaden their horizons - Thurrock extends beyond Grays town Centre and Lakeside you know!

I wish Abbie a successful career in politics.

I would make one more observation and that is in response to ECM's response to Abbie's mother. Whilst you say you do not want to be patronised by someone who has not been there, seen it, done it, it seems you do not mind being patronising when you refer to Abbie as a 'child' when clearly at 18 she is a young woman.

Instead of moaning and doing nothing, give young people a chance to do something and possibly make a difference.
Hear, hear for Abbie's mother. Abbie is young but as her mother says, she has to start somewhere. In this article Abbie was asked for her opinion on certain issues and that is what she gave, her opinion. They clearly are not the opinions of everyone but she does not deserve to be pilloried for giving hers. It seems to me that some of the authors of the comments lack any sort of vision and some need to broaden their horizons - Thurrock extends beyond Grays town Centre and Lakeside you know! I wish Abbie a successful career in politics. I would make one more observation and that is in response to ECM's response to Abbie's mother. Whilst you say you do not want to be patronised by someone who has not been there, seen it, done it, it seems you do not mind being patronising when you refer to Abbie as a 'child' when clearly at 18 she is a young woman. Instead of moaning and doing nothing, give young people a chance to do something and possibly make a difference. s.a.p.
  • Score: -1

6:54pm Wed 12 Mar 14

E.C.M. says...

s.a.p. wrote:
Hear, hear for Abbie's mother. Abbie is young but as her mother says, she has to start somewhere. In this article Abbie was asked for her opinion on certain issues and that is what she gave, her opinion. They clearly are not the opinions of everyone but she does not deserve to be pilloried for giving hers. It seems to me that some of the authors of the comments lack any sort of vision and some need to broaden their horizons - Thurrock extends beyond Grays town Centre and Lakeside you know! I wish Abbie a successful career in politics. I would make one more observation and that is in response to ECM's response to Abbie's mother. Whilst you say you do not want to be patronised by someone who has not been there, seen it, done it, it seems you do not mind being patronising when you refer to Abbie as a 'child' when clearly at 18 she is a young woman. Instead of moaning and doing nothing, give young people a chance to do something and possibly make a difference.
s.a.p. Hold on Sunshine, "instead of moaning and doing nothing"?! I've just given Abbie some invaluable advice...free of charge!

At 18 she is still a 'baby'...who will hopefully live a long and fulfilling life and become a resposible citizen who makes a positive contribution to society...I wish her well!

In comparison, Bob Crow R.I.P...love or loathe him, talked the talk and walked the talk! He'd been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt!

His life was the railway and underground, having started work at 16 and doing his 'apprenticeship' before rising through the ranks!

He new his industry inside out and why...because he had experience!

Abbie, will (probably) be terrific one day...but I reiterate and still believe, you cannot put a wise head on young shoulders!
[quote][p][bold]s.a.p.[/bold] wrote: Hear, hear for Abbie's mother. Abbie is young but as her mother says, she has to start somewhere. In this article Abbie was asked for her opinion on certain issues and that is what she gave, her opinion. They clearly are not the opinions of everyone but she does not deserve to be pilloried for giving hers. It seems to me that some of the authors of the comments lack any sort of vision and some need to broaden their horizons - Thurrock extends beyond Grays town Centre and Lakeside you know! I wish Abbie a successful career in politics. I would make one more observation and that is in response to ECM's response to Abbie's mother. Whilst you say you do not want to be patronised by someone who has not been there, seen it, done it, it seems you do not mind being patronising when you refer to Abbie as a 'child' when clearly at 18 she is a young woman. Instead of moaning and doing nothing, give young people a chance to do something and possibly make a difference.[/p][/quote]s.a.p. Hold on Sunshine, "instead of moaning and doing nothing"?! I've just given Abbie some invaluable advice...free of charge! At 18 she is still a 'baby'...who will hopefully live a long and fulfilling life and become a resposible citizen who makes a positive contribution to society...I wish her well! In comparison, Bob Crow R.I.P...love or loathe him, talked the talk and walked the talk! He'd been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt! His life was the railway and underground, having started work at 16 and doing his 'apprenticeship' before rising through the ranks! He new his industry inside out and why...because he had experience! Abbie, will (probably) be terrific one day...but I reiterate and still believe, you cannot put a wise head on young shoulders! E.C.M.
  • Score: -1

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