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

Sam Bartlett with his nieces

A new exercise club is encouraging families to exercise together to improve the nations health.

10:00
Stand up at the Comedy Club 4 Kids

What’s happening in Havering this half-term

NHS Logo Picture: PA Images

A community psychiatric nurse has been suspended from working for a year after she accessed medical records without clinical justification and acted aggressively in front of a patient.

Yesterday, 15:00
Sanders School pupil, Mark Trew, has been chosen to take part in a film promoting a mentoring scheme. Photo: Stacey Kyraciou/Sanders School

Eight teenagers are taking part in a one-of-a-kind mentoring scheme that gives them the opportunity to mentor nursery children to develop self-esteem and confidence.

Yesterday, 12:00
Left to right: Actors Charlie Borg and Jai Sepple

“I wish I were big” were the words that changed everything in hit 80s movie Big and theatre-goers will be able to follow what happens next as the musical adaptation makes its way to the Brookside Theatre.

Yesterday, 10:00
Roxana received plaque certifying her IQ results from the mayor

An 11-year-old girl has been awarded membership to an exclusive society, reserved for people with the highest IQs in the country.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
John Brouder, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust chief executive

A £12m grant is set to train talented graduates as social workers to help people living with mental health conditions.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Tower blocks, Napier and New Plynouth house

The “forgotten flats of the Mardyke Estate” could soon be demolished and replaced with modern, affordable housing.

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

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

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!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe