Havering’s leader of the council councillor Damian White has spoken exclusively to the Havering Daily about the council’s recent decision to review the borough’s increase in parking charges and the saving of the green spaces.
Councillor White said ‘I think the residents across Havering appreciate the difficult situation the council was in last year. We now have a new Prime Minister, we now have a new spending review and as Boris Johnson has said austerity is over which means the cuts and reductions in savings for local Governments that we have had to make will be lessened.
‘We now have the breathing space to to be able to review those difficult decisions that we took earlier this year and do what we can to support and put money back into our high streets.
‘The council is doing a lot, we are going to be investing £30 million in upgrading the environmental element of our high streets, giving each high street across the borough the same treatment that Hornchurch benefited from five years ago.
‘So I’m really pleased that we are doing everything we can, I appreciate that it is not universally popular but we had difficult decisions to make and we only want the best for our community.
‘We have ridiculously high housing targets given to us by the Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He is forcing us to deliver and if we don’t deliver those targets we are going to be financially penalised and next year we are losing £2 million because the private sector has not met and delivered those targets.
‘However, because of the council’s new estate regeneration programme we are taking tired former council estates, regenerating them and building brand new communities with high density and new homes; it means we can pause and find additional units on those sites and we can protect those greens which really do matter for our residents for access to quality amenity.
‘It was a difficult decision, we have to operate as an authority within the confines of the law. We are only on the first rung of the ladder so quite often we get told what to do and how to do it but I’m delighted that I was able to announce that we are going to save those two greens and ensure that no development will take place certainly whilst I’m the leader of the council.’