What do you really, really want?1 Spice Girls
This Council meeting was pivotal because Havering voted, yet again, for No Overall Control. Minority Conservative leader Damian White was hoping to mop up a few Resident Association (RA) members but failed. Adroit political thinking by Ray Morgon led to an umbrella organization for RAs: the Havering Residents’ Association (HRA). HRA members have decided playing footsy with Conservatives is a mug’s game and they ‘really, really want to be in power’.
HRA face exactly the same challenge as every other minority party. How to achieve a majority? Enter Labour. Labour’s nine votes create a majority but…. Many HRA members dislike Labour which is reciprocated. But… what do they really, really not want? The thought of four more years of Damian White, is helping to focus minds.
The Council meeting was important but had the drama of paint drying.2 There were two decisive moments. Firstly, the election of Labour’s Trevor McKeever, as Mayor. Secondly, and crucially, Ray Morgon becoming Leader of the Council.
Instantly the challenges Morgon faces were revealed. He was unable to name a cabinet or chairs of committee and so Council was adjourned. On a positive note, Havering’s four LGA councillor nominees3 showed him building consensus politics.
The adjourned meeting is eagerly looked forward to as it points the direction of travel for the next four years.
3 Local Government Association. Havering’s nominees are Ray Morgon, Gillian Ford, Keith Darvill and Michael White