The Conservatives’ grip on power has been achieved by exploiting Resident Association (RA) votes. RAs don’t want to be the bridesmaid anymore and they’re swaggeringly confident this year is their year. They might be mistaken.
Firstly, there’s more than one RA group. The principal RA group is the Havering Residents Association (HRA). They expect a majority on May 5th. This is unlikely. Havering has elected one majority Administration in 20 years.
Gooshays ward has two RA groups: (1) Harold Hill Resident Association Gooshays, and (2) Havering Resident Association – Gooshays. So, who are the real RAs? Gooshays voters are confused.
In Rainham ward HRA isn’t standing. The Rainham Independent Resident Association (Rainham and Wennington) is a type of RA group.1 South Hornchurch ward is a version of them.2 It’s possible five flaky so-called RA councillors could be elected in May. If they’re elected how long will they cooperate?
Harold Wood RA councillors have kept Damian White in power since 2018. They’re standing for election and are opposed by HRA. Harold Wood has two RA groups who are (1) Harold Wood Hill Park Residents Association and (2) Havering Residents Association – Harold Wood. (Another eight candidates are standing.)
These four wards will elect eleven councillors, who are crucial to HRA aspirations. HRA won’t get 28 reliable votes. They need coalition partners. The best partners are Conservative and Labour councillors. Their key attraction is their reliability in Council. The downside is the Conservatives are led by Damian White,3 which leaves Labour. Will they play ball?
Havering politics continues as a bizarre, wonderful and fascinating soap opera.4
1 Alby Tebbutt is an ex-Conservative and UKIP councillor; David Durant is a climate change denier and anti-vaxxer; Jeff Tucker makes incoherent speeches in Council.
3 Conservatives love power and they might change leader to facilitate the RAs. See Keith Prince vs Damian White: 2022 Conservative Leadership Contest – Politics in Havering
4 If you want to see this sort of thing mocked try John Cleese Life of Brian – The People’s Front of Judea – YouTube