As we leave March and head into April, we are in the midst of 3 important religious festivals. Easter, Ramadan, and Passover are being celebrated over this week.
Romford has an increasingly diverse population and it's my belief that this can be a good thing. By taking time to learn from each other, we will overcome hatred which is driven by fear of the unknown or misconceptions.
This month has seen far-right groups pop up again in Romford. Leaflets have been distributed in my ward, and others and it's concerning. This group, the Patriotic Alternative, are led by a young man who gleefully appears on Channel 4's Young Nazi and Proud. There's nothing patriotic about being a Nazi!
We must not entertain these people.
Easter teaches that we can see new life, Passover celebrates a people's freedom from slavery and journey to their own land, Ramadan reminds Muslims to be charitable and to take care of the poor.
These are all things we can all celebrate. If Romford embraced the ideas of freedom, charity and new starts then we can become a place that everyone is proud to call home.
I'm proud of Romford and together we can make this the best place to live in London.
That's why I stood to be a Councillor and I'll spend my time as your Councillor to achieve exactly that!
If you have anything you need help with, please contact me on Councillordavid.email@example.com
Councillor David Taylor | St Edward's Ward
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Setting The Budget
March began with Havering Council setting it's budget and I was honoured to be asked to present the Conservative's amendment. This is quite unheard of for a new Councillor and I hope I did it justice!
I focused my speech on the theme of Leadership, something that I feel is lacking in the world of Havering politics. Too many of our Cllrs are administrators, as opposed to leaders. They may run a tight ship, but they lack fresh ideas.
There were 3 main focuses to our amendment.
- A commitment to fighting ULEZ
- A freeze to, and consultation on, parking costs
- A hardship fund to help residents with the cost of living
What has this got to do with leadership? It was made possible by cutting top politician's pay.
You can watch / read my speech in full on the link below. Beware, we are given 20 minutes to speak. So, I've also produced a shorter clip where I speak on ULEZ.
Making Romford Safer
Too often, I am told horrific stories of people who feel unsafe in their home or are victims of crime. I'm proud of Romford, but I'm not proud of people feeling unsafe here. That's why I spent time, in March, focusing on what I can do to make Romford a safer place to live.
On St Patrick's Day, I spent the night with local police. No, I wasn't arrested, but I accompanied them as they patrolled our town centre.
I witnessed the hard work that they do, but also the limitations. Their low numbers, lack of technology, and regular anti-social behaviour in Romford, meant they were not able to be as effective as they wanted. However, the team did a fantastic job and I witnessed drugs removed from our streets. I was also impressed by how the local night clubs and bars worked with our police to keep women and girls safe.
As well as working with our police, I have been looking into the CCTV situation in Romford.
The last administration, run by my Conservatives colleagues, set aside £5m to upgrade Havering's CCTV. Covid delayed the project, but it's now in full swing. The new administration have committed to seeing it through.
Too many cameras are not working, so I have lobbied the council to get residential cameras installed or replaced. I started with a petition from residents in The Rotunda.
The Romford Recorder ran a story on the block and the council have now agreed that they will be upgrading the CCTV there. I'm waiting for more details as to when.
Not everyone agrees that the situation is bad. However, one report is one too many. I'll keep fighting to make our town safer.
A Climate Emergency
Perhaps controversially I, and a majority of my Conservatives colleagues, voted with a Labour motion to declare a Climate Emergency in Havering.
This hasn't made everyone happy and some anti-ULEZ supporters have used the vote as 'evidence' that I and others are not really against ULEZ. Unfortunately, this totally misses what I said in my speech.
It is my belief that we do need to look at humanity's impact on the environment. Since I was taught, at school, about Climate Change I have been questioning the science. I'm a massive sceptic and always want to do my own research. I've come to the conclusion that we do need to do more to protect the planet.
That said, I fear climate extremism is only going to make things worse.
I was one of the few Councillors to stand up and speak during the debate. I used my speech to highlight how electric cars are causing untold damage in the 3rd world, with links to child exploitation and water pollution. I also pointed out that I do not support the use of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) or ULEZ.
We must take a sensible approach to a climate emergency. Emergencies mean time for smart choices, not panicking into bad ones.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that the people of Romford are planning some Coronation parties!
Volunteer Market Place - 5th May 2023 - 11-4pm
A volunteer market place will be taking place outside Havering Town Hall. This will host various organisations from the Havering volunteer community, providing information about how you can get involved.
Coronation Day - 6th May 2023 - Market Square
Romford BID will be hosting a party in the market. They will be live screening the coronation, as well as hosting live performances and children's entertainment.
Street Parties - 6th / 7th May 2023
There are two street parties, in my ward, that I'm aware of. These roads will be closed, temporarily.
Carlton Road - 6th May, from Glenwood Drive to Balgores Lane
Cedar Road - 7th May, from Willow Street to Maple Street