Opposition Members on the Havering Council have been advised that the Leader of Havering Council, Councillor (Cllr) Damian White, has increased the number of Cabinet Members in the Administration by two, with immediate effect. Despite the council facing a deficit of £13m, Cllr White has appointed a further two Cabinet Members at a cost of £60,000. The Cabinet roles are for Regeneration and Community Safety and Reforming Police.

Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Ray Morgon said “Havering, like many other boroughs, has been undertaking regeneration projects for years and it is therefore not a new challenge or burden the borough faces. The Leader has been pushing the point that we face challenges and a budget deficit, yet he goes on to splash the cash on party colleagues. Why all of a sudden do we need two new Cabinet members just 4 months before the Local Elections? I am sure the public would see this as yet another example of rewarding and buying support from party members.”

Cllr Gillian Ford, Chair of Havering’s Residents Association, went onto say “This is a crass decision, we are just coming out of a pandemic, our residents have in some cases been to hell and back, losing employment, loved ones and seeing their weekly income reduce due to increasing costs. Why on earth do we need to increase Cabinet positions? We need to be focusing on employing a skilled workforce that can deliver the services that our residents need and want. To suggest otherwise demonstrates the lack of leadership and understanding of the pressures our residents face.”

The Residents’ Association of Emerson Park Team wholeheartedly support the comments made by both Cllr Morgon and Cllr Ford.