Five borough alliance aims to make voice of north east London heard

Barking and Dagenham joined five other east London councils in the North East London Strategic Allia

Barking and Dagenham joined five other east London councils in the North East London Strategic Alliance (Pic by EPS Photography) - Credit: Archant

Havering has joined five other local authorities in an alliance that plans to “speak up for north east London”.

The North East London Strategic Alliance (NELSA), made up of Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest councils, was formally created on Thursday at Eastbury Manor House, in Barking.

It will focus on the delivery of homes, jobs, skills, transportation and public services.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, said: “This alliance is going to be a very important one, now more than ever. We are seeing our part of the world changing rapidly in front of our eyes, and it will continue to do so over the coming years.

“Having the backing of the other boroughs puts us in a strong position, and allows us, as NELSA, to speak up for north east London on the issues that matter most here. I’m very pleased that Havering is part of it.”

Chair of NELSA and Waltham Forest’s Council Leader Chris Robbins said “This area of London deserves better representation at a national and regional level of decision-making and we intend to make sure this happens. And in partnership with the Local London eight borough sub regional partnership, we want to secure greater devolution of powers from central Government so that we can better enable growth and development in our areas – such as building more homes, helping more people into work and being able to do more to support schools, businesses and local investment.”

As the alliance was formed Cllr Robbins told those gathered he felt the current borough system of London’s regional authorities was unsustainable.

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He said: “We have to face up to the reality that we might have to talk about boroughs amalgamating – we can’t sustain 32 boroughs.”

But, Havering’s cabinet member for financial management, Cllr Clarence Barrett, said “This is not going to become North East London Council it’s about learning from each other, about best practice and opportunities for procurement of contracts.”

NELSA will also support a second partnership of eight boroughs, which is leading proposals for the devolution of control of public services to local authorities.