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COUNCIL PAID OUT £230,000 IN DUPLICATE PAYMENTS
Havering Council paid out over £230,000 it did not owe between 2011/12 and 2012/13, it has been revealed.
The figures came to light after Cllr Clarence Barrett (RA, Cranham) asked Havering's cabinet member for value how much the council had paid out in duplicate payments in each of the last two years.
The question followed up a similar request earlier this year when it was revealed that that £55,000 had been paid twice between 2009/10 (£44,168) and 2010/11(£11,403). In 2011/12 duplicate payments of £217,468 were made. This mainly comprised of four large invoices. However, £216,553 has since been recovered. In 2012/13, duplicate payments of £13,331 were made. To date, £8,588 has been recovered.
Cllr Barrett said: "Although the sums have been largely recovered, it is of great concern we have a system that actually allows duplicate payments to be processed. What would have happened if the company owing the money goes bankrupt - as happened a couple of years ago?".
I totally condemn the shameful comments of Cllr Tucker. They are bigoted, shameful and a downright disgrace. He has offended the people of Newham and Havering in equal measure and is no longer fit to be a councillor in Havering. May I make it absolutely clear that Cllr Tucker and his Independent Residents group have no connection whatsoever with the Residents Association group.
Cllr Clarence Barrett
Leader of the Residents' Association Group
Following concerns and representations from residents and councillors, an application to erect a 12.5m mobile phone mast in the middle of Cranham village has been withdrawn by the applicant.
Following the rejection of an earlier, almost identical, application in the summer, the latest proposal sought to replace the existing 10m phone mast placed at the junction of Moor Lane and Front Lane, which is disguised as a telegraph pole, with a 12.5m phone mast that would have taken on the appearance of a standard mobile phone mast along with additional cabinets at ground level.
The application was opposed by Cllr Clarence Barrett (Cranham, RA) who said: "This phone mast would have had a seriously detrimental impact on Cranham Village, both in terms of appearance and amenity value.
"As technology advances we all want the latest and fastest mobile phone connections, however the same technology, with a little imagination, can also overcome the need to site such carbuncles in the middle of a largely residential areas."
As winter approaches ‘Cold Weather Payments' for pensioners and other eligible residents living in Havering have become even more important in light of recent hikes in energy bills. But in an extraordinary twist of postcode lotteries, those living in RM4 area of Havering will have their weather measured at Andrewsfield (Nr Great Dunmow) while the rest of Havering is measured 40 miles apart in Gravesend. Furthermore, the temperature for the rest of London is measured at Heathrow!
Payments of £25 are made when the average temperature is recorded as zero degrees Celsius or below for seven consecutive days during the period 1st November to 31st March.
This bizarre arrangement has led to pensioners receiving Cold Weather Payments despite living opposite pensioners who do not - yet they share the same weather!
Following concerns raised last year, Cllr Clarence Barrett, (Cranham RA), wrote to the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) to request a consistent approach is adopted to avoid such contradictory outcomes.
However, the DWP have confirmed that the current system will continue for 2013/14.
Cllr Clarence Barrett, (Residents' Association), said: "This is a very helpful scheme for those in need, but there is something clearly amiss when a resident living on one side of the road is eligible to a cold weather payment while their neighbour living opposite is not.
"Having the temperature of the same road measured by weather stations 40 miles apart is simply bizarre. There should be some form of consistency when measuring temperatures that is equitable to all and doesn't leave some residents out in the cold.
"Although never an exact science, it would make much more sense if the whole of Havering were measured by one weather station."
Further information about cold weather payment can be found at the following link
The results of the 2013 council survey ‘Your Council, Your Say' have been released which show wards with Residents' Association councillors with the highest levels of satisfaction.
Asked if residents were ‘satisfied with my local area as a place to live', Cranham drew the top satisfaction score (91%), followed by Upminster (88%), St Andrew's (87%) and Hacton (86%). Coincidentally, of the 12 councillors representing these wards, 11 are Residents' Association members.
Following a public consultation to appropriate the site of the Old Windmill Hall, the former car park and 191m2 of parkland for planning purposes to assist with future development proposals, the conservative Cabinet of the council will meet on Wednesday 14th August (7:30pm) to consider the responses and whether to follow the recommendations of the report which is to press ahead with the appropriation.
The toll booths at the Dartford Crossing will be taken down by October next year to ease congestion, it has been confirmed by the Government. However, the toll will not only remain but will increase from £2 to £2.50 for a standard crossing!
Motorists will have the option to pay by either phone, text message, online or at some shops instead of stopping at the tolls to hand over money. Users will have up to midnight the following day to pay the standard charge.
The penalty charge for nonpayment will be £70, with a reduced rate of £35 if paid within 14 days. If the penalty is not paid within 28 days, it would increase to £105.
According to statistics released by the Office of National Statistics and the NHS, half of Havering residents (over 16 yrs) have never smoked.
Figures show that there are 59,000 (31%) ex-smokers in Havering while some 35,000 (19%) people are still smoking.
Across London, Redbridge has the highest proportion of people who have never smoked with 62%, while Richmond upon Thames (40%) has the fewest.
Greenwich and Hackney have the highest proportion of current smokers (24%) while Redbridge and Merton have just 15%.
Click here to see full set of figures.
Four Havering based companies are celebrating after reaching the finals of the UK's biggest parenting competition.
In response to concerns raised by Residents' Association councillors about the way orange recycling and black refuse bags are lumped together at Gerpins Lane, the
East London Waste Authority (ELWA) have confirmed that there is now a container at the site for residents who choose to bring recycling to the centre in orange sacks.
The site staff will be making users aware that orange sacks should not be used to bring general waste to the site but if they do these sacks will be stored with the general waste sacks and sent to the biomrf for processing.
ELWA have also confirmed that the tender for the continued supply of orange sacks has now gone out and that they have asked for samples which will be independently tested before appointing a supplier.
A planning application to erect a 12.5 metre high mobile phone mast and associated cabinets has been refused by Havering Council.
The mast was planned to replace the existing 10m telegraph style pole with a 12.5m conventional style mobile phone mast and additional cabinets at street level.
Motorists using the A12 and A127 may have noticed, and welcomed, dozens of newly planted trees along the central reservation on the A127 (opposite Wingletye Lane) and further down the A12 just past the junction with Mawney Road (pictured). Unfortunately the majority of the trees, which were planted by Transport for London (TfL), are either dead or dying due to an apparent lack of after 'planting' care.
The NHS has undergone many changes since its inception in 1948. Trying to understand how it all hangs together is a challenge for those in the profession, let alone the general public.
Summer planting by the Cranham Friends Association has turned Avon Road and Cranham Village into a cascade of colour and vibrancy.
The Association, chaired by Viv Miles, is a completely voluntary organisation which works with the Council to make a Cranham a welcoming, green and pleasant place to live and visit.
Once planted the flowers need constant watering throughout the summer and this is undertaken by a willing resident on a purely voluntary basis.
This is a great example of residents and communities working together to improve the place where they live by taking responsibility and ownership themselves.
There are over 1.6 million hectares of green belt land in England, covering 13 per cent of the land area of England, which designed to prevent urban sprawl by keeping areas permanently open and free from 'inappropriate' development.
While this sounds a large area, it is important to remember that, according to government statistics green belt land has reduced by 32,000 hectares over the last decade.
A petition to reverse the assumption of inclusion in the edited version of electoral register, which can be bought by anyone, has been launched by local councillor, Cllr Clarence Barrett.
Later this year, electoral registration forms will be dropping through letterboxes across the borough. While the register contains personal details of all residents, there are two versions. The full version, which is used for official purposes, and the edited version, which can be sold to anyone for any purpose and can lead to increased levels of junk mail and uninvited marketing calls for residents.
Following the introduction of the new safer neighbourhood arrangements from 24th June, the regular opening times of the police office in Corbets Tey Road will change.
The office will only be open on Wednesday and Thursday each week from 7pm to 8pm and on Saturday from 2pm to 3pm. These arrangements will be kept under review.
You can telephone the office on 0208 721 2726. If you have any comments on these new opening hours please get in touch with me.
Cllr Linda Van den Hende
Upminster Football Club will be hosting a special event to mark their 75th anniversary on 20th July at their home ground in Hall Lane (opposite the Upminster Court).
The clubhouse will also be open all day to where visitors can buy beverages and snacks.
Major fly tipping hit the borough again last week when 600 tonnes of rubbish was dumped across the borough.
The sites were Sunnings Lane (7 June), Manor Farm, Pea Lane (6/7 June), new extension at Upminster Cemetery (5/7June) and Berwick Pond Road, Rainham ( 30/31 May).
With so many health bodies and boards it can be a maze as to who to contact should you have a complaint. The document at the following link gives a simple and uncluttered guide as to who to contact. Click here
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