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Editor’s comment: voters will rightly feel cheated

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:40 26 May 2018

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall

Archant

The manoeuvrings at Havering Council on Wednesday evening underline why so many people feel that they can’t influence local politics.

Cllr Michael Deon-Burton may be a good local councillor but the 1,300 people who voted for him on May 3 will rightly feel cheated.

They voted for him as an independent. Residents in South Hornchurch ward clearly did not want a Conservative councillor – the highest Tory vote in the ward was 634, making it eighth out of 12.

Only the Ukip and Green candidates received fewer votes than the Conservative candidates.

But now, three weeks later they find that they have a Conservative councillor for the next four years anyway, after Cllr Deon-Burton crossed the council chamber to join the Tories.

Many will argue there should be a by-election so residents can choose the party that represents them rather than having it foisted on them.

No wonder, as independent candidate Sue Ospreay, says, “people don’t believe in politics when things like this go on”.

Havering will find it hard to convince people that they have a say.

New council leader Damian White is now one member closer to an overall majority but he may find his leadership is off to a rocky start.

The Recorder tried to contact Cllr Deon-Burton so he could explain, but he didn’t answer his phone.

On a happier note, thanks to your generosity at the various fundraising events, little Isla Caton – who has captured the borough’s hearts – can go to America for treatment which should give her a much better chance of surviving the cancer which is putting her young life at risk.

Of course, it’s hugely expensive but what parent, in their position, would not do everything they could in a bid to cure their child of such a devastating illness?

I’m sure all our hopes are for Isla’s treatment to be successful. The future is looking brighter.

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