The Havering Resident’s Associations (H.R.A) write in the Havering Daily.
Whilst the Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Damian White is at the forefront in the criticism concerning allegations of Council ward gerrymandering, it seems another group had a hand in the scandal.
The leader, Councillor Damian White, says on a recording that the Harold Wood Councillors originally asked him to remove the Harold Hill part of their ward in his Boundary Commission submission:
Apparently, they had a change of mind because they later realised one of their Councillors actually lived just over the road (A12) in Harold Hill!
“But now subsequently they’ve changed their view. They want the Harold Wood bit of, at the Emerson Park bit of Harold Wood. And they don’t want the Harold Hill bit but they want Darren (D Wise) want, the house where Darren Wise lives that’s in Harold Hill, just over the road, the A12 in, um, in Harold Wood. Um. (09:58 – 10:02 laughter in background).” (DW transcript)
In the end they had to keep all of the bit of Harold Hill in their ward.
Councillor Gillian Ford Chair of the Havering Residents’ Association said “Harold Wood Councillors rejected working with Havering’s Residents Associations on the night of the 2018 election. They have worked with the Conservatives ever since, it is therefore no surprise they have been implicated in the gerrymandering process. It is however very disturbing that the Harold Wood three have tried to consider their personal positions over and above the interest of residents they are elected to represent.”
In response, the Harold Wood Councillors told the Havering Daily:
“Comments made by Councillor Gillian Ford are untruthful. May we remind her that she took part in the coalition made up of the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association and the Conservative Administration from 2014 to 2018.
“We would point out that we were never asked to join the Residents’ Association group after the 2018 election as she has stated and with regards to the boundary changes, we never wanted the Harold Hill bit of the Harold Wood Ward taken away. We only wanted to have returned the bit of Harold Wood that is in The Emerson Park Ward which was taken away from us 20 years ago when the Boundary Commission changes were made.
“We were not part of any other group conversations with regards to boundary changes as we wrote to the Boundary commission confirming we were happy with the councils intentions which was voted on at full council.”