Local election 2022: HRA and Labour form new Havering administration
- Credit: Ben Lynch
Havering has finally formed has a new administration, with a power-sharing agreement between the Havering Residents’ Association (HRA) and Labour set to lead the council for the next four years.
The parties had been stuck at a so-called “impasse” since the local election on May 5, after it was revealed that several potential deals had fallen by the wayside.
However, an arrangement was finally agreed at the full council meeting on May 25, officially ending the previous Conservative rule.
As part of the deal, HRA leader Cllr Ray Morgon was voted in as leader of the council.
Cllr Morgon is the first Residents' Association leader since Louise Sinclair in 1996/97, with Labour’s Cllr Trevor McKeever to take over from John Mylod as mayor.
Deputy mayor will be HRA's Cllr Stephanie Nunn, and Cllr Morgon noted a larger number of seats are held by HRA councillors in the deal.
A procedural motion was also agreed by all parties, which in essence adjourns the meeting until the HRA and Labour have finalised who will be sitting on committees, and what committees will be required.
This is expected to take a few days, with an update to come next week.
Following the meeting, HRA leader Cllr Morgon said he plans on doing a “root and branch review of the whole committee structure” in an effort to improve the council’s efficiencies.
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He added that to run a successful council, the new administration will need the “help and support of our residents” and to listen to input from all parties.
“No one party or individual has a monopoly of ideas,” he said. “I am confident that over the next four years, we can do this borough proud.”
Labour leader Cllr Keith Darvill echoed Cllr Morgon’s ambition to revise the committee structure, saying: “It’s going to be a more effective system, which is required.”
He said “some work” has already been done, but negotiations will continue over the next few days.
On how the HRA and Labour overcame their “impasse”, he was clear in what moved the agreement over the line.
“With agreements like this, if you have a common agenda and aims, then eventually you have to come to terms with the maths.”
Conservative councillor and London Assembly Member Keith Prince said he believes a lot of people ended up voting HRA as a non-political option, and that may have cost his party.
However, he was also keen to extend his good wishes to Cllr Morgon, saying: “I want what’s best for Havering.”
This newspaper attempted to contact former council leader, Cllr Damian White, for comment on the news.