Hexit: Havering Council rejects Ukip motion to leave London

PUBLISHED: 08:30 27 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 27 July 2017

London Borough of Havering sign. Picture: Google Maps

London Borough of Havering sign. Picture: Google Maps

Google Maps

“Common sense prevailed” in the eyes of the council leader, as cabinet members rejected a motion calling for Havering to leave the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The motion - which has become widely known as Hexit - was discussed at Wednesday’s extraordinary council meeting but after a three-hour long debate about the proposal as well as the Local Plan, the idea was scrapped.

Council leader Councillor Roger Ramsey said: “I’m pleased that common sense prevailed and this motion was rejected. “Havering’s been a London Borough for more than 50 years, and a majority of residents supported the creation of the GLA in 1999.

“Havering residents get a number of benefits from being part of London, including Freedom Passes and access to other subsidised transport schemes. We also co-operate across London to deliver local police and fire services as well as our transport and highways infrastructure.

“The reality is that, at the present time, this a completely unrealistic prospect.”

Hexit was put forward by Ukip Councillor Lawrence Webb in order for Havering to become a unitary authority.

It states that funding is spent on “things that the Mayor of London wants and not what is necessarily of any benefit to the people of Havering”, and called on the council to take back control over planning decisions.

But during the meeting, a number of attacks were made against the UK Independence Party, where the proposal was described as “idiotic”, “unrealistic” and a “total fiasco”.

Councillor Josh Chapman (Con, Romford Town) went so far as to say “we need some protection from Ukip”.

“I don’t think they realise the consequences of what they are proposing.

“I am very proud to be from Romford and Havering and to have this unique identity of being from London and Essex.

“Let’s be sensible, because these motions are not a joke”.

Councillor Webb fought back against these claims, saying that the purpose of the motion was to be able to “push back” against City Hall when it came to planning but Councillor Ramsey said the idea was simply “tosh”.

The motion was squashed with 29 votes to 10 and 10 abstained.

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