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  • Writer's pictureDavid Taylor

Roundup: January 2024

Updated: Feb 2

We're already a month into January and I can't quite work out where the month has gone. I'm told that this is a sign I'm getting old. I'm going to say that it's a sign I've had a very busy month.

I hope it's the latter.

January was a month of campaigning and much of it focused on housing. Housing is a huge issue here in Havering, with the lack of social homes and high levels of homelessness meaning we spend £millions ever year that we could avoid.

Havering is going to the government for an emergency loan, based on the fact that we have a big budget deficit. The loan will only ever be a short-term solution. If we don't tackle homelessness then we'll just keep going round in circles.

Rather than playing politics over who is to blame, it's time our politicians campaign for change.

At the start of the month I began a campaign to get the council to start work on the Waterloo Estate, towards the end of the month I was pleased to join residents who are campaigning against a 12 storey tower-block being built in Como St.

These two things may look like opposites, but it is about building the right thing in the right place. It's about the council finishing what they've started before they start another project.

I also spent a good amount of time scrutinising some of the cuts that are being proposed, I launched my plan to save Romford market, and I stood up against cuts to school transport for children with special needs.

Going into February there will be more budget scrutiny. Conservatives have to put together our alternative budget proposal and I'm playing a role in making that happen.

As always, I'm also keen to meet residents and to help with local issues. My next surgery is on Saturday 17th (details below) and I'd love to see you there.

Otherwise, welcome to 2024, keep in touch!



Fighting New Parking Charges

The Labour / RA council have plans to introduce parking charges into Havering's parks. This is something that will have a negative impact on resident's health as well as hurting the local clubs that use them.

During the budget scrutiny meeting, I tabled a motion calling on the Scrutiny Board to recommend that the changes don't go ahead. We won the vote, with support from RA Councillors, and Cabinet will now be encouraged to drop the proposal.

Fingers crossed Cabinet listen to scrutiny!


Full Council Meeting

I asked questions relating to investment into Romford Market, Cycling infrastructure, and Royal Jubilee Court.

Rear my report from Full Council on the link below.


Special Needs Transport Cuts

Havering council has tabled a set of proposals to cut and change the provision of school transport for children with special needs and disabilities (SEND).

A public consultation has been carried out, which local parents have told us is mis-leading and mis-representative of the facts.

Following meetings with impacted parents, Havering Conservatives tabled a motion calling on the council to stop the cuts. We did so as we felt that continued consultation was pointless, if the consultation was flawed.

Read more about the cuts, and watch my speech on the links below.



Como St Action Group

I was pleased to join residents at the launch of an action group, against the overdevelopment of the Como Street car park. Launched at The Mawney Arms (above) and headed up by residents, myself, our MP and other local Councillors met to discuss the situation and to decide on how to campaign.

I'm thrilled to see so many residents self-organising to protect the character of Lower Mawneys. The development proposed is out of character and the council (the developer) should engage with this group.

I look forward to supporting the group in their campaign.


Budget Scrutiny

Last night, Wednesday 31st January, we met as part of Havering's Overview and Scrutiny Board (OSB) to look at the proposed budget before it goes to Cabinet next week. The OSB does not have the power to force Cabinet to do anything, but it is formed of Councillors from all political parties and makes 'recommendations' to Cabinet following scrutiny of the proposals.

I don't believe the council has done enough to model the impact of the cuts to Romford, and so challenged them on this and a number of other issues.

Read more about my questioning on the link below.


What's On In Romford

Italyans Pizza Restaurant Opening - NOW

You know the drill, when there's new food in Romford, I'm there. So, I'll be dropping by soon to check out some authentic pizzas and arancini! An Italian friend of mine says the menu looks great.

Check it out, Romford Shopping Hall (where the pie and mash shop used to be)

Stepping Out - Hilarious Smash Hit Comedy - Brookside Theatre 14th - 18th Feb

The Brookside Theatre will kick off their 2024 season with the side-splitting, heart-warming, toe-tapping comedy, Stepping Out, from the creative team behind the hit shows ‘Allo ‘Allo, The Ladykillers and Clue.

Take a retired West End chorus girl, a disgruntled battle-axe at the piano and eight dancers with sixteen left feet and you have a feel-good comedy packed with laughter, drama and plenty of razzle-dazzle, from the author of The Darling Buds of May and A Touch of Frost.

Book your tickets or read more HERE


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