Council Administration Shuts Down Climate Debate
Havering Council Opposition Members had reason to call in the Conservative Administrations Report Havering Climate Change Action Plan.
Back in the summer of 2019, the Upminster and Cranham Residents Association submitted a Climate Emergency motion, which was voted down by the Conservative Administration. Instead, the Administration proposed a review, which has taken until now, to finally publish their report Havering Climate Change Action Plan.
H.R.A member and Leader of the Opposition Councillor Ray Morgan, said “The report failed to clearly set out the priority order in which the Council intends to deal with issues to tackle climate change in Havering, there were no costings or where the money to do these things would come from. This is something that would be of critical importance to residents. There was also a lack of detail as to how the Council intend to engage with residents on this issue".
It was, therefore, necessary for the opposition to stop the report, and call a special meeting to discuss them in more detail.
The meeting took place at the Town Hall on Tuesday 7th December, opposition members were restricted to 5 mins per group to speak and campaigners including the H.R.A were outside the Town Hall, oblivious to the fact that Conservative Councillor Maggie Themistocli, moved a procedural motion to take the report to the vote before opposition Member Councillors had the chance to speak. The Conservatives supported the stopping of the meeting and voted against further questioning.
Councillor Ray Morgan said “This was yet another outrageous attack on local democracy by the Conservatives who clearly do not believe in being scrutinised, challenged and held to account. This is why we need change next year to bring back democracy under a HRA Administration"
Councillor Gillian Ford Chair of the H.R.A who was outside the Town Hall with campaigners said “Climate and the environment should not be a party political issue, it is something we all need to work on together, to ignore proper scrutiny to make the report the best it can be is childish, irresponsible and unfounded.”