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Hexit: Havering Council to vote on motion to ‘take back control’ from City Hall

PUBLISHED: 08:51 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 10 July 2017

Cllr Lawrence Webb  says the GLA operates like a 'mini EU' Credit: Paul Bennett

Cllr Lawrence Webb says the GLA operates like a 'mini EU' Credit: Paul Bennett

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Havering Council are set to vote on Wednesday on a motion to ‘take back control’ from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and City Hall.

Since 2000, the Mayor of London has been responsible for the capital’s planning, fire services, police, environmental issues and transport.

This year’s budget to cover those services is £16bn - the figure is largely raised through council tax.

In a motion put forward by Cllr Lawrence Webb, of the United Kingdom Independence Party, it proposes to make Havering a unitary authority, rather than a London borough.

This would mean that Havering, dubbed a ‘Brexit heartland’ during the referendum to leave the European Union, would no longer be under the control of City Hall on specific issues.

Described as ‘Hexit’, Cllr Webb told BBC Sunday Politics that the move would let the council ‘take back control’.

He said: “We want to take back control of planning. We want Havering out of London’s planning process.

“The Greater London Assembly operates like a mini-EU.

“We raise tax through the GLA precept which is given to the Mayor, and then we have to beg for that money back, and we don’t even get 100pc of the money that we give.”

In the motion, which councillors will debate on Wednesday night at Havering Town Hall, it states that money is currently ‘spent on things that the London mayor wants.’

It states: “Only part of [the GLA funding] do we see returned and only then to be spent on things that The London Mayor wants and not what is necessarily of any benefit to the people of Havering; rarely used cycle lanes being a case in point.”

It goes on to add that currently Havering Council has “little control to set its own destiny when it comes to planning: “Which with the ever increasing demand for housing largely fuelled by continued uncontrolled mass immigration this situation is not going to get better any time soon.”

But in a motion by the Conservative party, councillors warn that this will lead to a loss of Freedom Passes and other subsidised transport schemes.

It says: “The Council notes further that, even if Parliament could be persuaded to pass such an act, there would be considerable implications including the loss of London-wide Freedom Passes and other subsidised transport schemes for our residents.

“The apportionment and burden of future funding of liabilities such as GLA pensions, the future of local policing and fire services and involvement in their governance and the future of the local transport and highway infrastructure which are controlled by TFL and its governance.”

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