Search

Havering Council’s opposition leaders slam ‘disgraceful’ lack of discipline that saw debates cancelled

PUBLISHED: 15:04 15 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:10 15 February 2013

Cllr Keith Darvill (Heaton, Labour)

Cllr Keith Darvill (Heaton, Labour)

Havering Council’s opposition leaders have criticised the lack of discipline in the chamber that saw three out of four motions ignored at last month’s meeting.

And they have called for debates to be time-limited so it can’t happen again.

One of the debates - over plans to introduce parking charges in the Hilldene Shopping area - had been the subject of a 1,100-signature petition presented earlier in the same meeting.

But its Labour proposers conceded prior to the meeting to defer it for reasons of timing.

Two others – a debate on the future of St George’s Hospital, Hornchurch, and a debate on Met plans to close a number of stations and desks across the borough – also went unheard.

Cllr Keith Darvill (Labour, Heaton) moved early in the meeting that 40 minutes be allocated to each item.

But the motion was defeated by the administration. As a result, a debate about CCTV in Rainham dragged on for 110 minutes and there was no time for the other issues.

Leader of the opposition Cllr Clarence Barrett (RA, Cranham) said a “lengthy, bad tempered and totally unproductive debate” had been allowed to take precedence over three other topics.

“It is important that matters brought before full council are given the fullest opportunity for debate,” he told the Recorder. “Allocating an agreed time slot per item is the only sensible way forward.”

Cllr Darvill said he was “absolutely disgusted” by the way the meeting unfolded.

“It’s disgraceful they said no to the motion for 40 minutes to be given to each debate,” he said, adding the Tories “domineered” during debates because of sheer numbers.

But Tory whip Cllr Barry Oddy said a 40-minute time limit would have been unrealistic.

“If, as with the CCTV debate, you have two amendments, you’ve got 10 minutes for the person to move their motion and 10 minutes to move each amendment,” he said. “Five minutes to wind up takes it to 35 minutes with no time for the actual debate.

“Can you imagine a 40-minute debate on St George’s? You would be curtailing members in the wards that might be affected from speaking.”

But he also said councillors could raise time-limiting debates with the council’s governance office.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

12:00

Whether it is by winning medals at local diving competitions or helping beginners perfect their moves, the Havering Cormorants never fails to make a splash.

A Holocaust survivor relives his journey more than 70 years on, recalling how he lost his identity at Auschwitz.

09:00

Mother’s Day came early for one mum who was treated to a special makeover day at Mercury Mall.

Yesterday, 15:00

A fairytale land thrown into chaos when its good-evil equilibrium is disturbed is the subject of an inclusive drama group’s latest show.

Yesterday, 12:00

The list of names which Barry Cryer has written jokes for reads like a who’s who of comedy greats.

Yesterday, 10:00

In 1922 protesters seized Romford’s workhouse in anger at growing poverty. Prof Ged Martin tells us more

Fri, 18:00

X Factor star and TV personality Stacey Solomon has visited patients and staff at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, after donating £17,000 to the hospital’s charity.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

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