Search

Free 40-page supplement celebrating the Queen’s record reign in this week’s Recorder

On sale now

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

13:45
Almost a third of applications to Havering secondary schools for entry this term came from parents living outside the borough. Picture: PA/Dave Thompson

Havering’s secondary schools are being targeted by parents from as far away as Birmingham, Southend and Brent.

07:00
Angry residents outside the fire damaged plant

“£1million worth” of rotting fish has been left in a burned-out factory for two months – inflicting an “absolutely putrid” smell on nearby residents.

Corn Snake

The fire brigade are often asked to rescue cats up trees, but this morning Hornchurch station had to deal with a scarier critter.

Fire

An elderly man’s motor car burst into flames after it collided with a wall in Aveley Road, Upminster, early this morning.

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

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder