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  • Writer's pictureH R A

H.R.A PRESS RELEASE: 01-07-2020

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Back in February, Havering’s Residents Associations (H.R.A), not including Harold Wood

Residents Association, put forward a budget to council that included a £167,000 saving to

the Members allowance budget by making changes to the Councils Scrutiny Committee


This was voted down by the Conservatives and Harold Wood Residents Association.

Opposition parties have regularly argued that the Scrutiny process in Havering needs to be

more robust and streamlined. However, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Damian White

has a different view and has forced various changes through the Council Constitution to

curtail scrutiny, including preventing Councillors “calling in” decisions for further

examination. That is up until now.

The Leader of the Council, Damian White, has now decided that opposition members should

have the opportunity to scrutinise the in year budget changes before the Cabinet makes a

decision. Why now when for the past two years he has resisted any opposition challenge?

Could it be because of the huge financial challenges now facing his Administration?

We are pleased that the Councillor Damian White now sees the benefit of scrutiny and trust

he will be supporting the H.R.A motion going to Full Council on the 9 th July requesting a

review of the Scrutiny Process in line with the our budget proposals. This would make the

scrutiny process robust, focused and money saving, for the benefit of Havering’s Residents

and the financial deficit.

H.R.A Motion:

In February 2018, a cross party group of members put forward to the Governance

Committee a report on changing the Overview and Scrutiny structure, in order to

provide a more efficient and productive system of scrutiny. In light of the budget

savings identified in the recent Council Tax setting meeting and the financial impact

COVID-19 will have on borough finances, this council calls for a cross party group of

members to re-visit this report and where appropriate provide further

recommendations to the Governance Committee to recommend to council for


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