Havering’s Annual Council meeting1 is a character-building event. Only political geeks should attend. Out-going mayor Trevor McKeevor, walks and talks like a mayor, so Stephanie Nunn, the new mayor, has a hard act to follow. An instant difference was Stephanie’s easy-going familiarity. She waved to people in the chamber. This included Robert Benham and her spiritual advisor (at 47 minutes). This is a sharp change in tone.
The death of Linda Hawthorn2 was noted without eulogies. That will come at the council meeting on the 12th July. She was a veteran councillor having served 33 years.
The meeting livened up when new Conservative leader, Keith Prince, tried to withdraw David Taylor’s nomination for a council position. He misunderstood procedure and Taylor remained on the candidate list notwithstanding Prince’s efforts to withdraw his name. Taylor was defeated 29-3 with three members not realising they were voting for a non-candidate.3 They demonstrated loyalty (beyond!) the bitter end.
The meeting concluded with Ray Morgon’s summary of the year. He had a good story to tell. Unfortunately, he ruined it with a disastrous metaphor about the sea – in landlocked Havering. His principal highlight was building a successful coalition. The low point was the ‘parking permit’ fiasco, which he4 gracefully accepted as being the antidote of a triumph.
1 For the webcast go to Annotator Player (sonicfoundry.com) All times relate to this source
2 See Havering Councillor: Linda Hawthorn (Upminster) – Politics in Havering for a summary of her exceptional position in Havering’s political life.
3 The voting was: 29 For the HRA candidate; 3 Against; 7 Abstentions. Interestingly these 39 votes out of 54 mean 15 councillors were doing something else.
4 The responsible cabinet members, Barry Mugglestone and Chris Wilkins, presumably accepted blame in private.