Investigation into boundary changes-Fair and impartial?


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”.

One thought on “Investigation into boundary changes-Fair and impartial?

  • 11th August 2020 at 7:55 pm

    It appears as though the Council have had to step back from exonerating the gerrymandering scandal alleged to have been created by Mr White and his cohorts. Great news really; especially when the original investigation was to be carried out by an ex council member who would have submitted his report to a committee made up of half of those present and part of the alleged scam themselves. That doesn’t sound like recipe to cover up the the matter does it? There is no doubting Mr Fenwick’s integrity. He would have done a superb job as an investigator, more likely, as the final say would have been with the committee, it is they who would have whitewashed the whole thing. If that was Mr White’s attempts at democracy as he would have wanted it, I hope he feels proud of the actions he so desperately would have liked to have taken place. The bigger question… What might he try now to ensure the investigation is still as ‘independent’ as he would like it to be, and not as independent as the Havering voters deserve it to be? Give the voters the honesty they are entitled to Mr White. As you, your colleagues, and Mr Rosindale believe you have done nothing wrong, why don’t you make a statement saying you want the investigation to be totally transparent and fully independent. You might actually, and legitimately, win a few extra votes that way.


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