Everyone knows Romford Conservatives are a nest of vipers but usually they attack each other in private. David Taylor’s leadership bid was as subtle as a train crash and Keith Prince repudiated it by voting against Conservative budget propositions.1 HRA’s men wore green ties as a bonding exercise. Seven maiden speeches were an important step towards a more mature council.
Chris Wilkins needs a speechwriter to avoid whining.2 Constant worried glances at the council screens punctuated his flow with pauses. HRA are delusional about lobbying. They expect Havering’s MPs to help. Chris finds Julia Lopez disappointing. Shock horror.
David Taylor praised the HRA/Labour budget, offering minor tweaks.3 His principal point was that his budget proposals showed LEADERSHIP! David is negotiating to be a coalition partner, to replace Labour, but hasn’t cleared it with Keith Prince.
Keith Darvill did a political job. He sees the destruction of Havering’s finances by government under-investment as crippling. He said the entire country is suffering identically. Government policy has reduced growth and national wealth. (0:55)
Martin Goode (1:01) isn’t loved by HRA members who heckled him. Apart from an excellent Captain Mainwaring4 impression, this was a familiar jog-trot through well-known prejudices… debt, pessimism, conspiracy theories.
General debate – Maiden speeches
Philip Ruck (1:22) He was nervous and a few witty reminisces calmed him down. It was a stellar performance in the circumstances.
Matt Stanton’s (1:32) speech was a tour de force. He surveyed the political and economic scene adding an interesting flair to it.
Mandy Anderson (1:35) spoke of ‘degraded finances’, an interesting phrase. She spoke darkly about finance for the ULEZ challenge.
Kathy Tumilty (1:40) praised Overview and Scrutiny and wondered why the Conservatives hadn’t provided a full roster of members.
Frankie Walker (1:46) is passionate about statistics and shared this with the meeting. Her statistics damned the government, which Conservatives didn’t like.
Jane Keane (2:02) upset Michael White who displayed a thin skin for the first time in his life.
James Glass (2:08) praised Conservative councils who are paying for the ULEZ challenge, which means Havering benefits for nothing.
David and Ray Morgon rounded off with banalities.
1 For the webcast, where all the timings refer, go to Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com) Go to 1 hour 42 m (1:42) for Keith Prince’s announcement. Normally rebellion is punished by loss of the whip but was ‘agreed’ because ex-Leader Michael White joined him.
2 In this case about Westminster council (0:24) For budget detail got to Challenging budget still sees investment in roads, homes, schools, police and free parking | The London Borough Of Havering
3 The proposals for councillor allowances reduces council tax from 4.99% to 4.79% for example.
4 Dad’s Army (TV Series 1968–1977) – Full Cast & Crew – IMDb
2 thoughts on “Havering Council: The Budget Meeting: 1st March, 2023”
What’s David Taylor doing leading on the budget, or getting the front page of last week’s Recorder? He’s only been on the council for about twenty-four minutes.
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To the outside observer Romford Conservatives are imploding. A senior Conservative, GLA member Keith Prince, said that there was no consultation on the Conservative propositions. This was then backed up by an ex-Council Leader, Michael White. They both said they’d vote against their own proposals. This is unprecedented. Meanwhile Damian White, the current Leader of the Conservatives, turns up in a cardigan and doesn’t speak.
Taylor is doing a power grab but doesn’t know how to do it (alienating fellow Conservatives is a BAD idea).