Andrew1 isn’t a political thinker. His Big Idea is Havering2 joining Essex and damn the consequences. It’s Brexit politics transferred to Havering.
Andrew’s ‘independence’ programme will upset elderly voters who will lose the Freedom Pass.3 ‘Independence’ would end it forever. Popping into London for a cheap day out would be a memory. People from Brentwood are jealous of London’s Freedom Pass, especially since the Elizabeth Line started. The other main benefit is it increases Havering’s house prices.
Independence won’t protect Havering from ‘Mayor Khan’s dangerous [housing] plans…’,4 because there aren’t any dangerous plans. Businessmen make commercial decisions about housing. High rise blocks happen if there’s a market for them.
Andrew says Havering’s motorists are, ‘…being fleeced to the tune of £12.50 a day…due to Khan’s ULEZ tax.’ This is a lie. 85% of Havering’s motorists won’t pay a penny. A typical car in Havering is compliant. The Mayor is implementing a Public Health policy and using a charge to induce compliance. ULEZ is aimed at no polluting cars and clean air.
Andrew wants Havering to, “…be independent of the political structures of Greater London.” This from a man who wanted to be the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London in 2020 and failed! Shaun Bailey defeated Andrew for the candidacy. Shaun was then defeated by Sadiq Khan in 2020.
Andrew ends his Big Idea rant by saying, “….Havering [should] take back control’. Now where have we heard that one before? And didn’t it end well?
1 12 years as a Havering councillor and 22 years as Romford’s MP with an overlapping year. He’s had one year’s political experience 33 times.
2 He means Romford. Hornchurch was independent pre-1964 and was bitter about being taken over by Romford. Andrew was born in 1966 and is advocating someone else’s fantasy.
3 The Freedom Pass is very expensive for local authorities. Havering spends about £8 million p.a. Havering and the Freedom Pass – Politics in Havering
4 Romford Recorder ‘Make Havering Independent’ p34 14th April 2023 All quotations are from this article.