An open letter from Havering Council to prospective candidates in the Mayoral and GLA elections

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, has written an open letter to all prospective candidates in the GLA and Mayoral elections, calling for improvements to Havering’s public transport issues.
Dear candidates,

I am writing this open letter to all prospective candidates on behalf of the residents of Havering, as we look towards the London Mayoral and Assembly Member elections.

The joint administration in Havering wants to work with everyone we can, so that we get the best outcomes for the residents of the borough. Hopefully, if elected or re-elected, you will too.  We have been working more closely than ever before with the GLA and TfL to improve transport infrastructure around Havering. 

However, over the years, Havering has often been the forgotten borough and we tend to be in the hinterlands when it comes to getting the infrastructure investment we need. Like many outer London boroughs, we do not get our fair share of investment, despite the fact that our transport infrastructure is well below that of many of the inner London boroughs.

Yes, we have had more engagement and visits from Deputy Mayors and officials (though not the Mayor). You could say that we have benefitted from the Elizabeth Line and I cannot deny that the extension across London beyond Liverpool Street (where it used to stop) is useful for many travellers from Havering. However, this does not bring any residents closer to a station, and investment in our stations has been pitiful when compared to many of the plush new facilities in inner London.

We have also lost from this, as we no longer have a regular fast service to Stratford and Liverpool Street, which therefore actually slows down the journey times of many residents. We are still waiting on whether a new Beam Park station will ever be built, and the agreed works at Gallows Corner flyover are not as extensive as we would have liked.  Our borough recently lost around £20m of funding from TfL for two liveable neighbourhoods projects to improve our roads for active travel, improve safety and enhance greening to improve air quality.  

The heralded, but not so ‘Superloop’, does not reach Havering, and whilst our bus infrastructure East to West is generally good, the same cannot be said for North to South. You can’t get from the north to the south of the borough easily or quickly unless you have a car, and many employers complain that they cannot get workers because of the lack of transport infrastructure. 

We have two housing zones and opportunity areas in Havering. We are determined to help deliver new homes to support the ever-increasing housing crisis in the capital, and new jobs to support economic growth, but we need public transport options to improve so that people can reduce their reliance on their cars. 

This is why we were surprised that money has been spent to fund the rebranding of the London Overground. In this time of little cash, we feel it could have been spent more wisely to benefit residents, as we are not sure this branding exercise does anything other than create a news story before the election.

Ahead of the election, please make sure you don’t forget the Havering Hinterland. We have much to offer to help London grow both in terms of delivering homes and in providing economic growth not just for the capital but for the UK too. Whilst we can deliver many things in the borough, we need regional and sub-regional government to deliver support where it will help facilitate that growth.  

You know that East London will be the fastest growing area in the whole of the capital going forward, and Havering will be at the heart of it, so please come and see us to make sure we get the necessary infrastructure investment needed to ensure our residents can get to where they need to be.

Kind regards,

Councillor Ray Morgon
Leader, Havering Council  

(Picture – London Borough of Havering)

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