July 31 2014 Latest news:
Monday, April 14, 2014
A popular councillor who was dumped from the Romford Conservative Association will stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming local elections.
Cllr Andrew Curtin has topped the Romford Town polls in every election since the ward was established in 2002, and will hope to do the same on May 22.
For the last 12 years he has been responsible for the borough’s work in libraries, parks and nature conservation, sport, arts and heritage.
He was deselected by the Romford Conservative Association (RCA) last year, after being accused of not attending events regularly or having a “strong belief and understanding of Conservative values,” as well as being publicly critical of the association - accusations he denies.
Turning his attention to his new campaign, he explained why he would be different from other candidates.
He said: “Firstly, I will be the only candidate with experience of reforming public services to minimise negative impact on quality of life and avoid pressure for excessive Council Tax rises. I think this experience will be useful over the next few years, when the council will have to make unprecedented levels of savings.
“Secondly, I believe strongly that our future depends on what we share, our libraries, parks, sport and arts facilities, museums and environment.
“Clearly what has happened in the RCA is very sad, but I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have asked me to stand as an independent, and am very grateful to all of them.”
In a parting shot, he took aim at the RCA, saying it was in “self-inflicted turmoil.”
“If they can’t even run themselves efficiently then I think many residents wonder how they could possibly run the borough, particularly at such a difficult time for public spending,” he said.
On his proudest achievements over the last 12 years, Cllr Curtin mentioned the huge increase in membership of Havering Library Service from 49 per cent to 67 per cent.