The Havering Residents Association group this week write:
Following accusations of the gerrymandering of Council wards following a recording of a Conservative Councillors’ meeting, the Council have agreed to an investigation.
The complainants, the Havering Residents’ Association and Jon Cruddas M.P., expressed concern that the investigator, Daniel Fenwick, was ‘too close’ to the Council, being an ex-Havering Monitoring Officer and a Director of the shared services company oneSource for Havering and Newham.
It now transpires that Mr Fenwick’s initial report would go to the Council’s Adjudication and Review Committee, its’ main purpose is to oversee the Council’s Corporate Complaints procedure. That Committee would decide whether the investigation would continue with an independent investigator and decide upon any recommendations, including any sanction.
It turns out that out of the eight of the Committee, four, including the Chair, are Conservative Councillors which gives them the controlling vote. It is also believed that all of them were in attendance at the recorded meeting; Matt Sutton (Chair), Tim Ryan, Ray Best, and Joshua Chapman. The latter two were even recorded speaking at the meeting. None have come out and condemned the actions of their Leader.
Leader of the Opposition, Resident Association Councillor, Ray Morgan, said “It is hugely important that the Public have faith in their political leaders, as they are key decision-makers and hugely impact the daily lives of so many. It is therefore absolutely vital that a truly independent investigation is carried out. Anything less will not be acceptable to the residents of Havering”.