Havering Community Questions: investigation into councillors’ refreshments bill

18:00 15 June 2013

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Michael White

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Michael White


Havering Council is carrying out an investigation into why more than £40,000 was spent in three years on refreshments for councillors.

A Freedom of Information request by the Recorder showed the extent of the bill as the council made cuts to services in a bid to save £16million.

The refreshments provided include hot beverages and mineral water and a limited supply of fruit squash in small cartons.


A selection of biscuits is also available but the council was unable to identify the separate costs of drinks and biscuits.

On Monday, Cllr Michael White, leader of Havering Council, was asked during Havering Community Questions at myplace centre in Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, what action had been taken since the FoI request.

He said he was “shocked” by the figures, adding: “I think it’s far too much.”

He said: “We started an immediate investigation, being carried out by the chief executive. Five years ago we offered no other refreshments other than coffees and teas.”

At the meeting Havering Police boss Chief Supt Jason Gwillim said the borough would be getting 54 additional officers over the next few months. He said police are doing particularly well in the borough for its level of response to incidents.

Mr Gwillim pledged to focus patrols in North Hill Drive, Harold Hill, after a resident said drivers speed along the road.

Cllr White was also asked about school expansions in the borough and he explained plans for the almost-complete Branfil Primary in Upminster. He confirmed the council would not be providing temporary facilities at schools.

Among other issues raised by residents were parking changes at Hilldene Shopping Centre; a lack of parking in Upminster, and the demolition of garages on the Briar Road estate in Harold Hill to make way for housing.


Latest Romford News Stories

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yesterday, 12:00

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

Yesterday, 10:00
Athlete Christine Ohuruogu visited her secondary school St Edwards Church of England School in Romford to present a piece of the London 2012 Olympic track.

A former Olympic athlete wants to encourage young people to aim high as she presented her school with a piece of track from the London 2012 games.

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