Make Havering Independent
"It was good news when the Government backed my campaign to give local councils the flexibility and control over deciding housing targets. Havering is culturally, geographically and historically different to that of inner-city London, with fundamentally different needs. What may be right for Hackney is not necessarily right for Havering!
In truth, Havering has never been a part of London. Being made up of towns such as Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster with Rainham, our Borough is historically and culturally Essex. It was only an artificial reorganisation in the1960s which imposed a new construction called ‘Greater London’ on us, lumping our Essex market town in with inner-London. It was social engineering at its worst, by out of touch administrators who had probably never even been here and did not understand this area.
Despite Mrs Thatcher correctly abolishing the GLC and giving powers back to the boroughs, Mr Blair decided to the bring this centralised bureaucracy back, hence we are now saddled with Mayor Khan and his ULEZ car tax. As your M.P., I have always – and will always – fight to keep Havering a ‘town and country borough’, but today, the biggest threat to us is Labour’s Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who doesn’t understand communities like ours.
Instead, because Havering is lumped in the same political orbit as Hackney, Camden, Tower Hamlets and Islington, local residents in a Band D Property, for example, will have to pay an extra £434 to fund the Mayor’s portion of the council tax – whilst also being fleeced to the tune of £12.50 a day to pay simply to drive our cars in our own neighbourhoods due to Khan’s ULEZ tax.
We are also at the mercy of Mayor Khan’s dangerous plans to concrete over Havering with high rise flats, making Romford appear more like inner London. Enough is enough! The time has now come for a wholesale reform of the way the wider London region is governed.
Havering should take back control of our own affairs and be independent of the political structures of Greater London. We would still co-operate with London regional bodies on issues such as transport, as areas within the TFL zones like Epping already do, but Havering has far more in common with our nearby Essex communities. It makes sense for Havering to be co-operating more closely with Brentwood, rather than Brentford!
Only by regaining our independence from City Hall can we break free of the one size fits all approach, which now forces Havering under the ULEZ zone. Some will say this is all do difficult to do. I disagree. The time for change is fast approaching and Havering should lead the way in demanding a new arrangement that restores democracy to local people, giving boroughs like Havering the ability to take back control!"