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Local Elections: Questions for candidates in Hornchurch, Emerson Park, Elm Park and Ardleigh Green

07:00 05 May 2014

In the run-up to the local elections, the Recorder wants to keep you informed about your voting options.

This week we asked residents of Hornchurch, Emerson Park, Elm Park and Ardleigh Green.

In the coming weeks the Recorder will focus on the other areas of Havering.

If you have questions you would like the parties to answer, email them to sam.blewett@archant.co.uk and state where you live.

1. Do the candidates wish to cut the amount that is paid in special responsibilities allowances?

2. There are no seats in Haynes Park, will you be providing seating and maintain other parks in the area?

3. There is not enough in Hornchurch to attract people, about a year ago there was meant to be a market set up like they have in Upminster, would you consider something like this?

Conservative response:

1. We have accepted a reduction in special allowances by reducing the number of cabinet members and scrutiny chairmen

2. Parks should have numerous benches. The borough has many parks and we continue to maintain these to guarantee access and use

3. The TfL regeneration has given Hornchurch new life, with few empty shops, it is an exciting place to live. The retail mix is being reviewed

Independent Residents’ response:

1. It’s always been our view to cut councillor’s allowances and their numbers in each ward from three to two to make a council tax saving

2. It’s important to maintain parks, they should be kept up to standard so our children can play safely, and residents can sit in comfort

3. A local farmers’ market would not only support the community in healthy eating, but also at help regenerate shopping centres

National Liberty Party’s response:

1. Many people’s wages have been cut. In solidarity these allowances should be cut too and the savings ploughed into protecting vital services

2. As contributing to our “quality of life”, all parks should have seats so visitors can enjoy the surrounding beauty in peace and comfort

3. Yes. Markets attract people who may otherwise not visit. A shopping centre needs custom to survive and we are all losers if shops close

Residents’ Association response:

1. We’d reduce costs by reviewing governance structure, number of positions, level of payments and workload. Value for money is key

2. We would consult with park users and Friends of Haynes Park to place seats where they would like them. The same for other parks in the area

3. Specialist market days in town centre, events calendar for Elm Park, Hylands and Hacton. Promoted via libraries, website and media

Labour response.

1. The number of special responsibility allowances should be below the maximum number recommended by the independent panel and the allowance itself should be the London average

2. We’ll improve facilities in all parks, work with “friends of parks” and encourage the groups to form. Seats will be a priority

3. We’ll consider any proposal which will attract people to the town centre and will work with retailers to ensure sustainability of our centres

Ukip response.

1. We believe all the allowances need to be reviewed. Also the number of committees and those receiving special responsibility allowance

2. All the parks will continue to be maintained and improvements such as seating will be made where the budget allows

3. It is essential that our high streets remain vibrant and we will consider this and other ideas to improve them

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