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

15:04 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.


Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:49
Police were called after reports of an incident at the Thomson travel agency in Upminster on Friday morning

A man has been charged in relation to an armed robbery at a travel agents.

Yesterday, 15:53
Hornchurch Country Park

A man has been arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure and sexual activity towards a child after an incident in Hornchurch Country Park.

Yesterday, 14:00
Sergo Park Rainham's enterprise quarter

The developer behind a multi-million pound scheme to regenerate run-down industrial sites is to hold an official groundbreaking ceremony and launch.

Yesterday, 13:17
Perry Hayden joins mum Suzanne Hedges, Kieran Dunne, Perry Watling, April Hayden and Paul Hayden

A grieving mum says “overwhelming” community support helped her family cope after her son was stabbed to death outside his home.

Yesterday, 11:13
The Brewery Centre. Peppa Pig and brother George visiting for storytime with Peppa activities. Livia Bartlett (21mths) and mum Nicci meet Peppa and George.

Peppa Pig and her little brother George paid a visit to the Brewery in Romford for half-term fun on Saturday.

Yesterday, 10:23
Simona Boycheva has won Photography for Little People's photographer of the year award twice in a row.

A baby photographer has received an award for the second time just three years after buying a franchise.

Yesterday, 07:00
Bridge Close could be redeveloped with up to 840 homes.

Residents said they are “heartbroken” to have to leave their homes, which will be bulldozed to make way for a new housing development.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

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

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


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


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now