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The former Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Yash Gupta, celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015. Still sprightly, he is an influential, popular and highly respected councillor who is coming up to twenty years of service. Yash will be entering The Inspiration Zone – this Sunday coming with our very own Gateway 97.8 presenter Jag Singh.
Yash Gupta came to Thurrock in 1974 following his appointment as an Educational Psychologist for Essex County Council. Three years later he was promoted to the post of Senior Educational Psychologist in charge of delivering psychological services in South West Essex. His patch included the districts of Thurrock and Basildon.
Yash reckons that during his 22 years service as a psychologist he would have helped nearly six to eight thousand children, their parents and teachers.
He thoroughly enjoyed his job but having decided to retire in August, 1995 nevertheless continued working for another five years as part time psychologist providing service to Thurrock and Basildon colleges.
On retiring in 1995 he joined the local Labour party and was elected Councillor in May 1996 , becoming the first councillor from the local BME community.
He entered local politics to continue serving the local communities and providing support to those residents who did not have any say in local decision making. As a councillor he worked hard at promoting the equality agenda in the Council and through other statutory bodies such as the Primary Care Trust and the Thurrock Development Corporation, serving the latter as a member of the Board of Governors.
He worked hard to promote the interests of local voluntary, community and faith sectors and helped to create better relations between the representative organisations and the Council.
He has always devoted much of his spare time to strengthening the local voluntary sector through working with other colleagues on the boards of eight local voluntary, community and faith organisations.
Yash has consistently championed 0lder people’s rights and has been instrumental in setting up the Older People’s Parliament which has met regularly in the Council Chamber for the last six years. He is a regular visitor to five older people’s complexes in his Grays Thurrock Ward, listens to any grievances from the residents and attempts to resolve them with the help of council officers.
As a councillor for nearly 20 years he has dealt with nearly 6,000 local residents and helped them to sort out their problems. He continues to publish his monthly reports. They appear on his blog; http//cllryashgupta.wordpress.com/.
He has been returned as Councillor seven times. In the last election in May 2012 he won the ward with a 748 majority, securing 1073 votes against the Conservative 325, UKIP 242; NF 153 and Lib Dem 82. In May this year, on completing 20 years service as a councillor, he intends to retire.
Jag Singh is delighted to welcome to The Inspiration Zone an inspiring figure, a man who has devoted a life to service for the benefit of others, a man who has brought a quiet dignity to his work and earned the respect of his voters, opponents and colleagues alike: Yash Gupta.
The Inspiration Zone is a programme designed to bring inspiring people and inspirational messages in order to help us all realise our ambitions and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges that life provides. The ‘can do: will do’ approach to life is not guaranteed to succeed every time, but it’s ‘can’t do: won’t do’ counterpart is a sure-fire road-plan to failure, disappointment and despair.
Enter The I-Zone with Jag Singh and his guest Yash Gupta, former Mayor of Thurrock on Sunady at 3pm on Gateway 97.8 FM and via the player on the web at www.gateway978.com.