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

07:00
The parking bay in Calbourne Avenue with the faded parking bay lines.

A frustrated driver was left fuming after being slapped with a £110 fine for parking in what she claims is a “money trap” bay.

Volunteers for the flashmob

Charity volunteers overcame their nerves to perform a flashmob dance in aid of International Youth Day.

08:23
Drivers faced big delays on the A13 Essexbound last night. Picture: TfL

Three separate collisions on the A13 caused hours of delays for drivers.

Yesterday, 16:45
Friends Grace Smith and Demi Wilkinson, both 11, enjoy a fun day at Dovers farm estate green.

More than 100 residents took part in fun activities on a green, that was recently threatened with a housing development.

Yesterday, 15:44
Young people from the Habbit Factory and young volunteers from the National Citizen Service at The Brewery to raise awareness and funds for the factory which works with disabled and able-bodied youngsters

Teenagers from the National Citizens Service (NCS) have launched a campaign to lend their voices in a show of support for a performing arts charity.

Yesterday, 15:01
Becci hosted the tea party on Sunday and managed to raise £210 for charity

Miss Romford has now raised more than £1,000 for charity after holding a tea party for family and friends.

Yesterday, 12:03
Report shows rise in number of tenants and landlrods in parts of Havering

The number of landlords registering rental properties in Hornchurch has gone up almost 60 per cent in one year, according to one estate agents.

Yesterday, 10:06
An artist's impression of the new building for Suttons Primary School. Picture: Suttons Primary School

A primary school will be celebrating 82 years of schooling before pupils and teachers begin a new chapter in their new school building.

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

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now