May 21 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A Havering Council by-election will take place in March to fill Cllr Dennis Bull’s former seat.
Tory Cllr Bull held one of the three Gooshays seats from 2006 until his death following a stroke last month. The election will take place on Thursday, March 21.
The ward – which currently has one Conservative and one Labour councillor – has a turbulent recent past. This will be its fourth election, and second by-election, since 2006.
Labour lost all three of its Gooshays seats that year to two Tories – Cllr Bull and Cllr Keith Wells – along with a candidate from the far-right British National Party.
The election marked the first time the BNP had held a seat on Havering Council.
But the BNP councillor, Alan Bailey, resigned after two years, blaming work pressures.
The BNP successfully contested the seat at the 2008 by-election, with Mark Logan – now a councillor for the Independent Residents’ Group in Rainham and Wennington – winning the poll.
But Cllr Logan himself defected to the IRG after another two years, accusing the BNP of being “a bunch of racists” – and his seat went to Labour candidate Pat Murray in 2010.
Cllr Murray’s win took the number of Labour councillors in Harold Hill to four – making the estate the only Labour island in Conservative-controlled Havering.
Anyone who lives in Gooshays and whose name is on the electoral register can vote. People who aren’t registered must apply by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01708 432 444 on or before Wednesday, March 6.
This is also the latest date you can apply for a postal vote.
The council will send out polling cards shortly with information about polling stations.
For more information contact the council’s electoral service on the above details.