South Hornchurch is Havering’s political disaster zone. It’s a Residents’ Association (RA) stronghold which has imploded.
Michael Deon Burton fell out with the RAs and was re-elected as an Independent. 48 hours after being elected he became a Conservative. As Conservatives are toxic in South Hornchurch this was Damian White’s only route into the ward. Michael is an important part of Damian’s coalition. Damian’s Conservatives failed to get a majority and he had to win over those who were susceptible to his charms.
The re-drawing of Havering’s ward boundaries reduced South Hornchurch to two seats from three. Easy-peasy you might think. As there are only two RA councillors left, they carry on. Unfortunately life since 2018 has been unkind. Michael is awaiting trial for harassing RA Natasha Summers1,2 and as a renegade he’s unlikely to be elected. She hasn’t enjoyed being a councillor and might not stand.
The elderly, but feisty, Graham Williamson3 is the last RA standing. The self-inflicted damage the RAs have suffered will help Labour’s Julia Offord Pearman and Adeel Akhtar. Unlike Graham they live in the ward. Ironically this used to be the RAs selling point. Labour is campaigning. This is a skill complacent RAs forgot long ago. Campaigning can make a difference even in safe seats.
2022 is throwing up interesting contests but, as always, democracy is about who turns up to vote.
3 Graham features in Wikipedia Graham Williamson – Wikipedia