Havering ‘could make history’ as Residents Association councillors make bid to oust Conservatives from power

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 May 2018

Cllr Clarence Barrett

Cllr Clarence Barrett


Havering’s re-elected Residents Association councillors believe they have a chance to form their own administration and take control of Havering Council away from the borough’s Conservatives next week.

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker and Cllr Damian White have both put forward their names as the potential next leader of Havering Council. Photos: Havering Council and Ken Mears Cllr Jeffrey Tucker and Cllr Damian White have both put forward their names as the potential next leader of Havering Council. Photos: Havering Council and Ken Mears

Cllr Clarence Barrett, leader of the East Havering Residents Group and member of the Upminster and Cranham Residents Association, was re-elected in Cranham ward with 2,817 votes and is now hoping Havering can make history next Wednesday (May 23), by backing him to become the borough’s new leader at the first council meeting since May 3’s elections.

Campaigning on a common platform of “local people for local issues”, Resident Associations (RAs) and independents across the borough polled strongly, winning 24 seats and missing out in St Andrews by 25 votes and in Emerson Park by 4.

The Conservatives meanwhile gained three seats to take their number in the council chamber to 25 – still just short of the 28 needed to claim an absolute majority and take immediate control of the council.

With no single group able to claim an overall majority, the door has opened for Havering Council to become an RA led administration for the first time since its formation in 1965.

Cllr Barrett said: “Huge challenges lie ahead, for example a £30m funding gap, housing, the local economy, social care and children’s services.

“The stakes are high, but the quality and depth of RA members is such that we can bring a kind of politics that is inclusive and reflective of the people we represent while dealing with challenges in a pragmatic, collaborative and sensible way.

“A fundamental principle of RAs is that we share a vision with our community, we value ideas and suggestions in tackling the issues, big and small, and we would rather listen than dictate.

“While there have been differences in the past, either through misinformation or misinterpretation, lessons have been learnt and lines drawn in the sand.”

The councillor, who was first elected to Havering Council in 2006, would be going up against the Conservatives’ chosen candidate, current deputy leader Cllr Damian White, and Independent Residents Group leader Cllr Jeff Tucker – although Cllr Tucker has previously hinted that he could back out of the race if a more experienced candidate put their name forward.

If RA councillors were successful in their backing of Cllr Barrett, it would be the first time Havering has not had a Conservative leader since 2002.

Cllr Barrett added: “History could be made on May 23, and we want residents to be part of that endeavour.

“We want to see a local council, dealing with local issues by local people, not responding to dictaks laid down by a remote central political office, but responding to the mandate laid down by our local residents.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

A dedicated room for terminally ill patients and their loved ones has officially opened at Queen’s Hospital in memory of a beloved grandfather.

Yesterday, 13:00

Neighbours were making the most of the sunshine to commemorate the royal wedding with their very own street party.

Yesterday, 08:16

Havering’s NHS hospital trust has apologised to the family of a grandmother whose painful death from bladder cancer the NHS watchdog ruled “avoidable”.

Yesterday, 07:00

Tri-borough commander Jason Gwillim has said he would “love” more police officers in his command, but does not know how many will be pledged by the Mayor of London.

Mon, 17:49

If you’re using c2c to get home, your train could be leaving earlier than expected - or not calling at your stop at all.

Mon, 17:00

Lemon drizzle, red velvet and carrot cake were some of the many options available to Gidea Park residents attending a special bake sale held in memory of a teenager who died suddenly of a suspected heart problem.

Mon, 15:00

The second Romford Film Festival will officially open and showcase the best independently made films at Premiere Cinema in Romford this Thursday, May 24.

Mon, 11:55

A Romford man charged with the murder of 85-year-old Rosina (Rose) Coleman appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Monday, May 21.


The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


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


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now
$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')