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Motion to challenge Havering Council leadership rejected

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 May 2017

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker. Picture: Havering Council

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker. Picture: Havering Council

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A leadership takeover bid at Havering Council was thwarted by the council’s legal team.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Havering Council Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Havering Council

Members of the Independent Residents Group (IRG) had tried to submit a nomination for Councillor Jeffrey Tucker to become council leader.

But in emails shown to the Recorder, the council’s legal, governance and democratic services department rejected the nomination.

“It’s wrong,” said Cllr Tucker, leader of the IRG.

“I’m totally not in agreement with the council. We did everything right, did everything on time. It’s unacceptable really.

“It is not about winning. It is my democratic right to challenge the leader of the council.

“I fight tooth and nail for my residents. They are always first. I feel the council is deliberately trying to hold me back.”

But the council said in the email nominations do not include a vote for leadership but relate to the filling of annual vacancies on the committee.

And there is currently no vacancy for the leader of the council. Conservative Roger Ramsey holds that position.

The officer said that provisions for the removal of the leader under the executive arrangements are set out in the Local Government Act 2000 and require a motion to the council.

Cllr David Durant (IRG, Wennington and Rainham) said such a motion was submitted to be heard at the annual council meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 17.

But that too was rejected because the agenda had already been set.

A council spokesman said: “The annual council meeting agenda is prescribed by the council’s constitution and, unlike ordinary council meetings, motions are not included on the items to be considered.”

Cllr Durant said the intention was to highlight the 30,000 new properties the council hopes to build, mentioned in the booklet “Havering - Making a Greater London”.

“At the moment it’s 10,000 [properties] and they’re [the council] proposing high density housing without sufficient parking, no guarantee of public facilities or infrastructure,” he said.

“And that’s for the 10,000 in the pipeline. What about the 20,000? Where’s the money, where are they [the properties] going?

“It’s a nonsense figure.”

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