Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Council meeting - 17/07/13

I have just received the new council seating plan for this evening drawn up by the Council Clerk (click image to expand):

Interesting that from the Mayor's perspective UKIP will be to the right of the Conservatives, whereas traditionally opposition parties are...well, opposite.

Here is the new make-up of the council as of this evening:

Conservatives (29), Administration
Residents Association (12), Principle Opposition
Labour (5), Principle Minority Opposition
Independent Residents (4), Joint Minority Opposition
UKIP (4), Joint Minority Opposition
I am looking forward to the reactions of councillors from all sides regarding the Conservative-UKIP defections. Will there be any more? Only 2 more are needed for there to be a hung council where the Conservatives will have no overall control.
Questions and Answers
Having been speaking with residents in Harold Wood and Harold Hill, and seeing for myself the damage done by vehicles on grass verges, I am very pleased that Cllr Brian Eagling (Harold Wood, RA) will be asking Cllr Barry Tebbutt, Cabinet Member for the Environment how seriously the council is taking this issue and what further actions are being done to tackle this.
Other questions include Cllr Denis O'Flynn (Heaton, Labour) asking Cllr Steven Kelly, Deputy Leader of the Council about the Bosworth Field improvements in Harold Hill, Cllr Jeffrey Tucker (Rainham and Wennington, IRG) pressing Cllr Andrew Curtin, Cabinet Member for Culture, Towns and Communities about the new Leisure Centre in Romford, and Cllr John Wood (St Andrews, RA) asking Cllr Roger Ramsey, Cabinet Member for Value about the council's use of bailiffs to recover money owed by residents.
Cllr Keith Darvill (Heaton, Labour) will ask Cllr Lesley Kelly, Cabinet Member for Housing about the Administration's decision not to build new council houses in Havering, Cllr Ray Morgan (Hacton, RA) will also ask Cllr L Kelly what the council will be doing to stop the increase in rent arrears when the government's Universal Credit kicks in, and Cllr Pat Murray (Gooshays, Labour) will be demanding reassurance from Cllr Curtin that no wildlife will be affected by the creation of new football pitches at the Manor, Harold Hill.
Cllr Clarence Barrett (Cranham, RA) will also be pressing Cllr Ramsey on what savings the council didn't make last year, Cllr Paul McGeary (Heaton, Labour) will ask Cllr S Kelly when Harold Hill councillors will receive the implementation plan for the Ambitions programme (a motion to be discussed later, and Cllr David Durant (Rainham and Wennington, IRG) will ask Cllr Michael White, Leader of the Council for an update on the proposed super-sized prison the government is wanting to build but the Greater London Authority is opposing.
Cllr June Alexander (Cranham, RA) will be asking Cllr Ramsey about the New Homes Bonus expenditure, and finally Cllr Denis Breading (South Hornchurch, Labour) will be asking about the number of voids of council homes.
All responses can be heard live online, and will be published shortly after the meeting is over.
Romford Ice Rink (now closed)
Two motions today. The first entitled 'New Romford Leisure Centre' is being proposed by the Independent Residents Group who want the Administration to "publish and review all the advice that informed their decision to close Romford ice rink" so councillors and residents are assured the building of the new centre is "technically and financially viable".
However, the Conservative Administration is proposing an amendment to that which points out the new centre was part of it's manifesto commitment, and also that it won't publish anything that "conflict(s) with any financial confidentiality".
The second entitled "Harold Hill Ambitions Programme" is being proposed by the Labour Group who want the Administration to "disclose full details" of the Programme so that Harold Hill residents and councillors (non of whom are Conservatives) are kept informed.
However, an amendment by the Conservative Administration attacks "Labour inactivity" concerning Harold Hill and disputes that residents haven't been involved in the process.
Join me at 7.30pm this evening where you can follow my live Twitter feed @HaveringMeh. You can also watch the meeting online.

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