Search

Cllr Michael White apologises for ‘no-show’ at own ‘Meet the Leader’ session

11:41 25 March 2013

Leader of Havering Council Cllr Michael White

Leader of Havering Council Cllr Michael White

Archant

Council leader Michael White has come under fire from Elm Park residents after failing to turn up for his own Q&A session.

Residents were bemused when Cllr White sent a replacement to the monthly “Meet the Leader” session at the Tesco in Elm Park Avenue last Friday (March 15) –community safety boss Cllr Geoff Starns.

Those who had arrived were told Cllr White had been called away to an “emergency meeting in London”.

Cllr White told the Recorder: “I’m sorry that, on this occasion, I wasn’t able to attend the event. But, rather than cancel, I ensured there was a cabinet member there in my place to answer residents’ questions and feed back their comments.”

The choice of venue was also criticised, with Tesco’s management apparently not having been adequately informed the meeting was taking place.

“It was a total farce,” said Elm Park resident Barry Mugglestone. “It appeared that the manager of Tesco had no idea the consultation was taking place, and shoppers in Tesco had to keep asking if they could pass while the discussions were taking place with Cllr Starns.

“When the question was asked why this location had been chosen, the response was: ‘Where else could it be done?’

“But we have a library, a church hall and the Royal British Legion.”

Streetlife user Stephanie Nunn added: “The venue was inappropriate and a resident on a mobility scooter was frustrated at not being included in the discussion, which I pointed out.

“I thank Cllr Starns for coming, but he didn’t really know our area.”

Cllr White said: “Our residents’ views are really important to us, which is why we try to use busy places like supermarkets for Meet the Leader events. Tesco already hosts them in their larger local stores, and had offered us the use of their Elm Park store.

“We will take on board people’s feedback about limited space at the recent event, and look at other locations in Elm Park.”

In February last year Cllr White was criticised for “pulling a sickie” after failing to attend an “Ask the Cabinet” session – only to arrive at the cabinet meeting minutes later.

The same meeting in August was cancelled without notice, even though 10 members of the public – including one who had come all the way from Hertfordshire – had already turned up.

That session has now been replaced by monthly “Community Questions” sessions, the next of which will take place tomorrow at Langtons in Hornchurch from 7pm.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Tom Sowinski, Cameron Jones and Lucy Wells, who are starring in Queen's Theatre's production Roll over Beethoven. Picture: Mark Sepple

Put on your blue suede shoes and get ready for a whole lot of shaking at Queens’s Theatre.

Yesterday, 14:00
The Recorder, July 29 1955

This week in history – 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

Yesterday, 12:30
Scott Probert

An ex-paratrooper says many veterans struggle to adapt to civvy street because they are ill-prepared for life after the forces.

Yesterday, 12:00
Aqua balls at the Havering Show 2014. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Prepare to dance your socks off at the return of the borough’s biggest variety event.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder