At a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday (22 October), Havering Council Leader, Roger Ramsey, will formally announce the formation of a new coalition at the Town Hall.
He will tell assembled councillors that the Conservative Group, with its 22 councillors, will be linking with the newly formed, eight-strong East Havering Residents’ Group to give the Council a majority Administration that has been lacking since the local elections in May.
Following the elections, politicians on all sides were unable to reach agreement on a power-sharing deal. The Conservatives were duly established as a ‘minority Administration’, meaning they formed the Cabinet, but had no majority in the wider Council and needed the votes of other groups to pass essential measures such as the Council’s budget.
The new joint Administration will see two councillors from the East Havering Residents’ Group join the Cabinet. Councillor Clarence Barrett will be appointed Cabinet Member for Financial Management – responsible for overseeing the Council’s savings programme. Councillor Ron Ower will be appointed Cabinet Member for Housing Company Development and oneSource Management.
Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“Since May, I’ve repeatedly said that my group was willing to work with others, in the best interests of local people. I’m very pleased that Councillor Barrett’s group has decided to take the next step and form a joint Administration with us.
“This coalition provides a degree of certainty, in uncertain times. It will allow us to plan more effectively for the future and it will bring new perspectives into the decision making process. But it won’t stop us from talking and listening to colleagues from all parties in Havering, and to our residents – as we face new challenges over the next few years.”
Councillor Clarence Barrett, Leader of the East Havering Residents’ Group, said:
“Against a backdrop of a £60m funding gap, we are pleased to engage in a sensible working partnership with the Conservative group to see us through the next four years.
“Havering has a long history of different political groups setting aside their differences to work together in coalitions, and in this Administration it is important that the Residents’ Association take an active, responsible and influential role. In doing so, we will maintain our identity and independence as Residents’ Association councillors and we will not be subject to the Conservative whip.
“Over the coming years, we will seek to work constructively with the Conservative group and colleagues across the Council in balancing the need for savings, with the needs of all Havering residents.”