Updated: Feb 20
H.R.A Council Motion
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 by changing the Councils Scrutiny Committee process.
This was voted down by the Conservatives and Harold Wood Residents Association who all retained Special Responsibility Allowances as a consequence. Opposition parties have for a long time suggested that Scrutiny in Havering needed to be more robust and that more could come before scrutiny for debate. However the Leader of the Council determined that they were the Administration with the numbers and would curtail scrutiny including preventing councillors “calling in decisions” of significance. That is up until now.
The Leader of Havering Council has just decided that opposition members should have the opportunity to scrutinise forward plans and the in year budget before the Cabinet makes a decision. The more cynical amongst us could see this as a result of the huge financial challenges facing the borough, where the Conservatives don’t want to take the blame, passing the buck onto all groups for the outcome. What is clear is the Leader of Havering Council has now seen the benefit of scrutiny and trust he will be supporting the H.R.A motion going to Full Council on the 9th July requesting a review of the Scrutiny Process in line with the H.R.A budget proposal. This would make the scrutiny process robust, focused and money saving for the benefit of Havering’s Residents and the financial deficit.