Search

Town hall split as Havering passes historic EU ‘Out’ vote

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 January 2016

Cllr Lawrence Webb

Cllr Lawrence Webb

Archant

A groundbreaking vote in support of the EU “Out” campaign dominated the full council meeting, but it angered some members.

The atmosphere was unusually tense among the sharply-dressed councillors as film crews set up cameras in the town hall chamber.

They were there to film Havering becoming the first council in Britain to support the EU “Out” campaign, which it did by 30 votes to 15.

But some members did not appreciate the spotlight being taken away from pressing local issues like meals on wheels, which was scrapped last week.

Ukip leader Cllr Lawrence Webb (Gooshays), who proposed the motion that Britain would be better off out of the EU, was keen to keep it local. He listed an A-to-Z of EU issues he said impacted negatively on Havering, including agriculture, energy, free movement of people and social care.

But he was criticised by the leader of the opposition, Cllr Ray Morgon, who was angry the discussion was taking place. “I was voted in by Hacton residents to talk about local issues, not national issues,” he said. “They are interested in what I do in holding the administration to account, and perhaps the leader of Ukip should be doing that rather than this self promotion.”

Cllr Barbara Matthews, (RA, Hacton), agreed, saying debating the issue was a disgrace.

East Havering Reisdents’ Group leader Cllr Clarence Barrett (Cranham) spent most of his allotted 15 minutes outlining why members should support his motion not to discuss the issue.

But many others backed the debate. An impassioned speech from Cllr Graham Williamson (IRG, South Hornchurch) urged members to “vote for freedom and vote to leave”, while Cllr Ray Best (Con, Havering Park) called it the “most important vote of our lifetime”.

Cllr Keith Darvill (Labour, Heaton), Cllr Alex Donald (EHRG, Harold Wood) and Cllr Ron Ower (EHRG, Upminster) all argued for Britian to remain in the EU.

Former MP Cllr Darvill discussed red tape issues, saying Britain does influence legislation.

He also argued the working time directive was a good thing. “It protects workers with their hours and health and safety issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) members competed for the most confusing speeches on the subject.

Cllr David Durant argued why people should vote to leave the EU, even though he believes doing so won’t ensure Britain leaves.

“Government won’t honour an ‘Out’ vote,” he said. “I want to reassure moderate ‘In’ voters that you can vote ‘Out’ in the referendum in the certain knowledge that Cameron will use the ‘Out’ vote to negotiate better terms to stay in.

“An ‘Out’ vote becomes the best way for moderates to secure the halfway house Europe you say you want.”

His leader, Cllr Jeff Tucker, then spoke of why the issue was relevant to local councils.

“This national issue has become a local issue because all the people locally are asking what we’re going to vote nationally about.

“I will give you a letter that Cllr Webb didn’t include and that’s Z and what do you get in a Z? You get a zoo. And what do you get in a zoo? You get monkeys. If we don’t represent residents of this borough and express their views and understand how we’re thinking and how we should vote we’d get monkeys, not councillors, monkeys.”

Members questions were left out due to the meeting over running. The answers will be emailed out.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

18 minutes ago

Police, paramedics and firefighters flocked to Collier Row’s high street this evening (Wednesday, August 15) after a man was injured in an apparent acid attack.

18:38

More than 100 police officers are gathering in Elm Park in what is believed to be a ‘show of force’ this evening (August 15).

18:07

A broken rail is causing delays on c2c trains out of London.

17:00

The results from the NHS GP Patient Survey have revealed what the best and worst surgeries in Havering are.

A little bit of magic will be making its way to a shopping centre as a new pop-up Disney shop is set to open in the next few weeks.

An academy will be giving its students the opportunity to travel around the world and make a difference after being granted funding.

The mum of a nine-year-old boy who had a £100,000 life-changing operation says he is a “completely different child”, one year on.

07:00

More than £166,000 has been issued in penalty notices to rogue landlords by Havering Council across the borough over the last five months.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now