Search

Independent Residents’ Group boycott Havering council meeting in protest against Newham merger

13:15 28 February 2014

Leader of the Independent Residents

Leader of the Independent Residents' Group, Cllr Jeff Tucker.

Archant

Empty seats set tongues wagging at Wednesday’s full council meeting, as the Independent Residents’ Group staged a no-show in protest against the back office merger between Havering and Newham councils.

Cllr David Durant.Cllr David Durant.

During proceedings, fellow councillors took turns to slam the group for missing “one of the most important” meetings of the year, in which budget proposals were debated and eventually passed.

But Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) member, Cllr David Durant confirmed that the absence of all three party representatives was a deliberate protest against the merger, which he claimed was “driven through on the back of a race row” and not publicised.

He said: “We have raised the issue a number of times and don’t feel it’s being reported. Maybe now it will.”

The merger has seen Havering Council merge all of its back-office administrative services with Newham Council.

In November, IRG leader, Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, sparked a race row by saying white council officers would find it “awkward and uncomfortable” to work with non-white colleagues in Newham.

Yesterday (Thu), Cllr Tucker contacted the Recorder from a business trip in Thailand to say although he had never missed a full council meeting in 12 years, even if he had been in the country, the “one-off” protest would have gone ahead.

“The way the council is being run stinks,” he said, “You work hard to put a good idea through and it is discredited.”

After labelling the merger as the “worst ever decision,” Cllr Tucker added that his ejection from January’s full council - for shouting “bullies” in the chamber - also played a part in the decision.

“Of course,” he said. “I am not a dog to be kicked. Kick me enough and I am going to bite back. And they have kicked me too much.

Commenting on the party’s absence, Cllr Lesley Kelly suggested that the group “couldn’t find their crayons.”

Deputy leader, Cllr Michael Armstrong, said: “It’s appalling that they don’t turn up. It shows a lack of commitment.”

To read the Recorder’s stories about the merger and the IRG’s stance, click the links on the right.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 14:00
The Ford Judo Club members who won medals at an English championship. Picture: Ford Judo Club

An impressive seven medals were won by sports players at an English championship.

Yesterday, 12:00
Jake Clemons with friends and family of Mike Kelly

A saxophonist who has performed alongside The Boss all over the world still enjoys rocking out at home – just not his own.

Yesterday, 10:00
Special needs volunteer Peter Hall gets a bike from Havco to help him get to Wellgate Community Farm  Chris Lee, from Motorvations Wendy Reilly, from Havco Sharon Leeson, from Havco Denise Moorcrort - Hogan. from Havco and volunteer Peter Hall.

The chief executive of a volunteer centre has revealed why it will close next month, leaving supporters shocked and saddened.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Tom Sowinski, Cameron Jones and Lucy Wells, who are starring in Queen's Theatre's production Roll over Beethoven. Picture: Mark Sepple

Put on your blue suede shoes and get ready for a whole lot of shaking at Queens’s Theatre.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder