'Impasse': Deadline looms over Havering parties struggling to agree to coalition after election

Romford Town Hall

Multiple Havering parties continue to attempt to negotiate a new administration, with no majority emerging from the recent council elections - Credit: Archant

Havering's political parties have reportedly hit an “impasse” as they attempt to form a new administration. 

No one party secured enough votes in the local council election on May 5 to be counted as a majority, resulting in what is known as No Overall Control (NOC)

This means that one or more parties will need to enter into some form of power-sharing agreement for the annual full council meeting on May 25. 

A sign that no agreement has been reached, each group has now submitted a motion for that meeting, nominating their own leader as leader of the council. 

Labour said it has already declined a “confidence and supply arrangement” from the Havering Residents' Association (HRA), which would see HRA leader Cllr Ray Morgon appointed leader and all cabinet posts going to HRA councillors. 

Cllr Morgon described the current situation as "a bit of an impasse", but insisted there would be no Tory and HRA coalition with Cllr Damian White as leader of the Conservatives.

Cllr Ray Morgon

Cllr Ray Morgon - Credit: Havering Council

On the HRA offer, Labour leader Cllr Keith Darvill said: “We feel that the way forward is for there to be a strong administration. It can only be strong if the two groups work together and it’s quite open in terms of what influence we have.  

“A confidence and supply arrangement is weak because we have limited influence on that, particularly in the day-to-day running without a role in the cabinet, and at the same time we’d be expected to cast nine votes for whatever the HRAs say."

Cllr Keith Darvill

Cllr Keith Darvill - Credit: Archant

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Cllr Darvill also said Labour had received an offer from the Conservatives, but that a deal with the Tories would not be “feasible”. 

Meanwhile, Cllr Damian White, who was re-elected Conservative leader earlier this week, said: “We all come from respective different vantage points wanting the best for the borough, it’s how we can create a consensus on the issues we face as an authority. 

“The worst outcome for residents is having a minority administration that is unable to get a programme ahead, which will create uncertainty and paralyse the authority going forward.” 

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Cllr Damian White - Credit: Mark Sepple