Havering’s councillors love eulogies. Nothing deters them. David Amess, the murdered Southend MP, brought Ron Ower to his feet. Ron lived near Amess in Forest Gate as a boy and councillors were pleased to hear about that. Eulogies are supposed to celebrate the deceased, not provide a platform for ego massage.1 They should be given a maximum of 10 minutes to stop time-wasting.
The Climate Change Emergency was the principal item of business. The Council’s plan is huge and lacks detail. It emerged on 10th November and Ray Morgon and Keith Darvill said it needed scrutiny. It didn’t get it and was brought to Council seven days later. Thirteen minutes of argy-bargy ensued. Bizarrely, this means scrutiny will happen after agreement.
Councillors in speaking order:2
Joshua Chapman (44 mins) remarked Climate Change meant “an organisational and cultural change” for the entire Council.
Jeff Tucker (50) said the plan was basically a directive from Boris Johnson, aka ‘The Big Boss’.
Keith Darvill (56) reviewed his previous objections in a telling way.
Viddy Persaud (59) likes the way officers work hard.
Robert Benham (1:01) sold his Jaguar so the Emergency is virtually over.
Ray Morgon (1:03) described the Plan as a ‘massive wish list’, uncosted and ‘all talk’.
Stephanie Nunn (1:07) was scathing, describing it as ‘uncosted’ and ‘rubbish’.
Roger Ramsey (1:08) claimed ‘existing budgets’ would take the strain. He had a straight face proving what an old pro he is.
Michael Deon Burton (1:11) said opposition members were petty for objecting.
Dilip Patel (1:14) wants to spend a lot of money for the future of children.
Barry Mugglestone (1:16) said they hadn’t got the basics right
Chris Wilkins (1:17) said the 2019 report had been ignored.
Jeff Tucker (1:18) spoke movingly about out-of-order lights in Rainham churchyard.
Damian White (1:23) was in combative mode. He claimed councillors hadn’t read the report and the oft quoted £500,000 cost didn’t exist. Surprisingly he added it might cost £10 million. He said Overview and Scrutiny committees were hopeless and never produced anything for the Cabinet to discuss. He’s becoming a class act.
Keith Darvill, Ray Morgon and Damian White should have a round table discussion and get on with substantive decision-making. The drivel that punctuated this debate demonstrates that leadership is called for. Amazingly, Michael Deon Burton was quite right. There is too much pettiness and this matter is too important for that.
1 The finest recent example of a eulogy was by Roger Ramsey about Del Smith. Havering’s Council Meeting: 1st September, 2021 (part one) – Politics in Havering
2 For the webcast go to Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com) All the times relate to this source