Non-mainstream parties triumph in Havering elections
18:00 31 May 2014
It was a victory of sorts for the non-mainstream parties at the Havering elections last week, where the Residents’ Association claimed one of the best performances in the country.
While the Conservatives lost 11 councillors from 2010 and Labour lost four, the Residents’ Association (RA) gained seven, Ukip seven (now seven seats) and the Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) one (now five seats).
With no overall majority reached at the count on Friday, parties must now converse and form a coalition council, and Cllr Clarence Barrett, who was re-elected as RA leader on Tuesday, could play a significant role.
“I am absolutely delighted at the outcome,” he said. “Picking up an additional seven seats was the best performance by a non-mainstream group across the country.
“Confidence and trust in mainstream political parties has been significantly eroded over recent years and that dissatisfaction is reflected in these results. We face very tough times over the next four years as budgets are reduced even further, as such we need to move towards a form of governance that is more transparent, accountable, provides value for money and broadens community involvement.
“Our world has been in opposition. This time round we will probably be part of the decision making process. We will let that sink in.”
He added that the party’s presence in the community “all year round” was a large factor in its success which saw it take all three Tory seats in Elm Park, and two more in Harold Wood, where it now also occupies all seats.
The emphatic showing also led to RA candidates receiving the most votes of any, both in numbers and percentage.
Cllr Gillian Ford received the most votes in the entire borough, with 3,507 (24pc) in Upminster. The highest percentage was Cllr June Alexander in Cranham, with 3,243 votes, (25pc).