Search

Gooshays’ councillor defends his ward in light of Havering benefits figures

08:01 24 February 2014

Gooshays ward Cllr Pat Murray

Gooshays ward Cllr Pat Murray

Archant

“Obviously, it is very fashionable these days to be on benefits,” said Councillor Pat Murray.

“We’ve got that TV programme Benefits Street. But in my ward, Gooshays, they’re in a situation where they have to be on benefits.”

Many of us have seen the controversial Channel 4 programme Benefits Street – and Cllr Murray is no exception.

However, he is adamant that Gooshays in Harold Hill, is nothing like Birmingham’s James Turner Street, which has one of Britain’s highest proportions of welfare-dependent residents.

According to new figures, obtained from Havering Council by the Recorder, Gooshays has more claimants of housing benefit and council tax reduction than any other ward in Havering.

“It does not surprise me,” said Cllr Murray, reacting to the figures. “When I look at these [figures], Gooshays is the most deprived ward.

“When the stats are released by the council, we are bottom all the time.

“We have a high proportion of children and parents, many of whom are working but on a low income.”

The figures show Gooshays has 1,941 claimants of housing benefit and 2,244 residents who claim council tax reduction.

Heaton has the second-highest number of claimants in both categories, with 1,634 on housing benefit and 1,930 residents claiming council tax reduction.

Cllr Murray was keen to point out that many Gooshays residents lived in “affluent” areas of the ward.

He said: “It is easy to jump to conclusions about these statistics. Gooshays is a deprived ward but quite a large proportion of residents live in nice properties. There are affluent areas in Gooshays.”

There was a warning, too, for anyone who was claiming benefits illegally.

“I do not support anyone who is claiming benefits that should not be – they are doing something which is against the law,” said Cllr Murray. “I do not want to put anyone in that category from Gooshays.”

He said the welfare system was there for a reason – to avoid “people ending up on the street with children in care,” adding: “People need to be aware of that.”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Bernard Thomas, holding the plant judged as the best succulent, with treasurer Janice Coombes, Adrian Finney and Bill Izatt

Interested in growing succulent plants? The Havering British Cactus and Succulent Society is on the lookout for new members.

Yesterday, 12:00
Level 42 fan Julian Hall with some of his memorabilia collection

When Julian Hall spotted an advertisement for at-the-time unknown band Level 42 in the Ilford Recorder in 1981, he decided to go to the gig on a whim.

Yesterday, 10:00
A TfL Rail train. Picture: Hammersfan/Wikimedia Commons

TfL Rail trains from Shenfield to Ilford over the Bank Holiday weekend will be replaced by buses due to engineering works.

Fri, 20:23
Drapers' Academy hosted a debate on the EU so its students can be informed ahead of the referendum

Harold Hill students got the chance to grill the borough’s politicians in a fiery and passionate debate today about the EU referendum.

Fri, 17:32
Members of the Havering Quilters made dresses for girls in third world countries out of pillowcases. Photo: Susan Persaud

Members of a sewing club have turned pillowcases into pretty decorated dresses for young girls living in third world countries.

Fri, 12:11
Darren Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery.

After growing up on an estate and leaving school early, a CEO of a multi-million pound company now wants to reach out to young people in Havering.

Fri, 12:00
Voters will take to the polls to choose the next London mayor and their GLA representatives on May 5

As the countdown begins to Thursday’s elections, we profile Havering and Redbridge’s five local GLA candidates vying to win. Here is what you need to know about your local candidates.

Fri, 11:09
A person was hit by a train this morning at Romford station

Trains have been suspended between Romford and Ilford after a person was hit by a train at Romford station this morning.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe