Candidates in Gooshays by-election profiled

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Harold Hill’s Gooshays ward will hold a by-election later this month - its fourth poll in just eight years. Ramzy Alwakeel takes a look at the six candidates who will be contesting the seat, which was vacated when Cllr Dennis Bull died earlier this year.

Mick Braun, British National Party

I was born in East London and raised and educated in Havering. I served an apprenticeship as a precision engineer in Harold Hill and joined the Royal Electronic and Mechanical Engineers. After the decline of British manufacturing industry in 1998, I changed careers and currently drive HGV tankers.

In January I started a petition to oppose the introduction of parking charges at Hilldene Shopping Precinct. I believe any such introduction will have a detrimental effect on local businesses and may force many to close.

I have also started a food bank to give a helping hand to elderly locals in these hard times we are all facing. (Due to election rules, this will recommence after the election.)

As an animal lover and keen conservationist, I am passionate about our green belt and oppose any attempts to sell off parts of it to the private sector under the guise of providing affordable housing for local people.

Malvin Brown, Residents’ Association of London

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I currently live in Havering but lived and worked in Redbridge for many years. I am a former Havering Councillor and have been a school governor in both Havering and Redbridge. I have been a Metropolitan Police officer and an Insurance Broker, and obtained a Law degree from UEL in 2000.

High street regeneration must be a priority. Shops stand empty all over London blighted by circumstances generally not of their making. On top of that, all except small shops have to pay full rates on their empty premises. That is unfair. Squeezing them until the pips pop, does nothing for getting them let, except as charity shops.

Remember – a vote for Conservatives, Liberal Democrats or Labour is a wasted vote. Vote Independent. Vote Malvin Brown.

Marcus Llewellyn-Rothschild, Conservative Party

I moved to Harold Hill nearly 20 years ago. I was inspired to stand as a councillor to make an active contribution to the local community.

I applaud the council’s “Harold Hill Ambitions” programme, a regeneration project to improve the lives of residents on “the Hill”. Unlike previous initiatives, such as Labour’s “Horizons” project, where residents saw little change in their community and millions of pounds of their hard-earned tax money wasted, a number of large and important projects are taking place right now through “Harold Hill Ambitions”. Delivery of a new library in the Hilldene shopping area and community sports facility and park at Broxhill to name just two.

This vital work is so important I would like to ensure it continues to be delivered effectively and efficiently. The Conservatives at Havering Council are resolute to make life better for all residents in Harold Hill with unprecedented investment in the local area.

Christine McGeary, Labour Party

I have lived in Gooshays for 27 years and have many friends on the Hill. I have worked with disabled children’s services for the last eight years and prior to that with older persons’ services. In 2011 I was elected to serve as a Havering Public Governor on the North East London NHS Foundation Trust.

Having had three children attend Harold Hill schools, I have a keen interest in the provision of education locally – in particular, how the council will address increasing demand for school places. I am concerned about the number of new homes being built in Harold Hill and the lack of provision of health, schools, police and other services.

If elected I would like to help ordinary residents solve their day-to-day problems. This is the area I know and have lived in and it is this area that should have its fair share of resources from Havering Council, which up until now it has not.

Lawrence Webb, UK Independence Party

I live locally in Colchester Road with my wife and family; I am an electrician by trade and served in the Territorial Army for eight years; I have been a local active for UKIP for many years and stood as UKIP’s candidate for Mayor last year.

I believe that the people of Harold Hill are crying out for change. In Havering we pay one of the highest council tax rates in London yet we get nothing in return.

People are worried that before long all the green spaces will be built on to provide social housing – not for their own children but to house the overspill from London.

My priorities: to speak up for the residents of Harold Hill; to defend the green belt from any future attempts to build on it; to campaign against the proposed parking charges at Hilldene shops; to fight to reduce the council tax burden.

Darren Wise, Harold Wood/Hill/Park Residents’ Association

I have lived in Harold Hill for over 25 years. My children attend local schools and my family and I attend the Holy Redeemer Church in Petersfield Avenue.

Over the years, the national parties have taken Harold Hill for granted and your concerns have been ignored. If elected, I will be free to represent you without interference from “party chiefs”.

The Residents’ Association is here for local people. We deal with local issues and do not have to follow national party guidelines.

We have seen this administration implement parking fees in Hilldene Shopping Centre and parks – so what is next for Harold Hill? Parking fees in Central Park, or even resident’s permits?

You will need someone to fight for you and I would ask you to vote for me so I can be that person. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE and time to get rid of the national parties. Local people for local issues is the way forward.

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