Flashback: A ‘lodger’s rent’ row, schoolgirls on the pill and a councillor’s appeal victory

40 years ago.

40 years ago. - Credit: Romford Library

A look back at the biggest stories of this week from 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

40 years ago.

40 years ago. - Credit: Romford Library

1958: Strong language and cries of “apologise” marked a 90-minute rates row in the Romford Council chamber over the Conservative minority’s proposal to impose a weekly “10 shillings lodger’s rent” on over-21s living with parents in council houses.

Describing the proposal as a “crazy, half-baked scheme”, the Labour majority threw out the proposed tax and also a Conservative plea that the rates should be 5p less than the 20s, the council was asked to levy.

This increase of a shilling was eventually decided.

Opening the stormy debate, Ald. Pat Ridley, chairman of the finance committee, said the rate increase was necessary because of the increased county precept of 5d, a £30,000 rise in council wages and salaries, representing another 5d, a 1d. increase for parks developments and 1d. rate increase to provide a capital fund to pay for some items out of income rather than loan.

20 years ago.

20 years ago. - Credit: Romford Library

1978: More and more Havering schoolgirls were going on the pill, it was revealed.

And doctors at a special family planning clinic for teenagers said many of the girls supplied with advice and contraceptives were under 16.

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They felt it was safer for teenagers to go on the pill rather than coping with unwanted pregnancy.

One doctor said the youngest girl he had seen was 13.

Barking and Havering Area Health Authority figures showed almost 2,500 teenage girls wanting sex advice were seen at special sessions held in the Family Planning Clinic, Eastern Road, Romford, in 1977.

There were 668 new patients, 77 of whom were under 16.

A spokesman said: “We are doctors not moralists.

“We feel it is responsible for girls to be protected even if they are under the age of consent.”

1998: Veteran Havering Labour councillor Pat Ridley dramatically won an appeal against an attempt by local party bosses to bar him from defending his Collier Row seat at the borough election on May 7.

He had been accused of making racist remarks at a Labour party social event and members of Havering Labour party’s local government committee voted to deselect him as a candidate in Collier Row.

Councillor Ridley contested the accusations, denying he had made racist remarks.

And, following an appeal hearing at the London regional officers of the Labour party, he was cleared of the allegations and the decision by local members was overturned.