Harold Hill History Index


5th May 1994.
The Conservatives hit rock bottom with just 11 seats. Labour increased to 31, their highest ever tally. The Lib Dems lost two and the Independents increased to 17. Labour were one short of a majority, but not for long.


DEL SMITH (Lab)     2179
BILL HARRISON (Lab)       2070
MIKE DAVIS (Lab)  2046

Steven Bell (Con)       624
Jacqueline Tebbutt (Con)      586
Eileen Rosindell (Con)            566
Yvonne Clayden (Lib Dem)  391
Adam Hurlstone (Lib Dem)    365
Bill Bonnen (Lib Dem)           347


DENIS O’FLYNN (Lab)       2192

David Ratcliffe (Con)             629
Hazel Tebbutt (Con)        619
Richard Richardson (Con)      603
John Porter (Lib Dem)            403
Sarah Wilding (Lib Dem)       352
Susan Williams (Lib Dem)      350


DENNIS COOK (Lab)      1894
WILF MILLS (Lab)       1700
TONY HUNT (Lab)   1682

Anne Cannings (Con) 481
David Havhow (Con)   452
Henry Tebbutt (Con)             436
John Hewitt (Lib Dem)           258
Alison Jasper (Lib Dem)         254
Keith Plant (Lib Dem)            246

Below; Ghassan, some time after leaving Havering.

All old hands were elected for Labour with one exception, Ghassan Karian. Ghassan was young, inexperienced and politically naive. He was also enthusiastic, energetic and he knew all about computers and spread sheets and stuff like that. It wasn't all that many years earlier that I had been compiling local newsletters with a typewriter and stick on letters called Letraset. Ghassan was very welcome. He was studying at university in London so he was always about but he only stood for election once in Havering.

Ghassan was born in Lebanon and spent some of his early years in a Palestinian refugee camp. His father is an Armenian and his mother a Palestinian. They moved to London when he was eight. After graduating  and moving away from Harold Hill he maintained his interest in Labour politics and was elected to Hammersmith and Fulham Council in 2002. He was the youngest councillor there. He was always on the right of the party but none the less likeable for that. He is director of his own communications company and has taken on senior roles in the London Labour Party. A good bet for an MP one day.


One of only two Tory election leaflets that I have. It's not that they didn't put them out, they usually did but I didn't save them. This one is distinguished by the appearance of David Hayhow who seems to claim to be an honorary Harold Hillian. To quote his leaflet "David Hayhow is very knowledgeable of the area and its people" After all he drove 174 and N98 buses.

Well if all you need to do is to drive past bus queues to qualify as one of us then he qualifies. Pity all the other hopefuls were not so devoted to us.

Barry Tebbutt is the son of Romford's most notorious removal man, Albie Tebbutt. He joined many of his family who have fought Harold Hill elections over the years and was to become a senior member of Havering council in the years to come, just like his father. His father is now an ex Conservative councillor (now a member of UKIP). He is also a convicted thug.

In 1991 he was convicted of assault and received a suspended sentence, (see opposite)

In 2005 he was suspended from Havering Council for bringing the council into disrepute over allegations he intimidated and swore at a fellow Tory and insulted his wife. He had earlier been cleared of common assault in connection with the incident.

The same year he was referred to the audit commission for racking up a £6,500 council mobile phone bill while holidaying in Hawaii.

In 2007, after leaving the council, he was found guilty of threatening behaviour after an electioneering bust-up in which he told a man "I'll bury you" and he was sentenced to a year's conditional discharge and £400 court costs.

In 2010 he was convicted of spitting in a man's face, that conviction was overturned on appeal.

In one respect young Barry is nothing like his father.He is a removal man. He is a conservative councillor. But he is not a convicted thug.

His recent court appearance charged with assault of a bus driver ended with his aquital.

It was towards the middle of the 1994 Council that a hurricane struck the Labour administration. Four of Harold Hill's Labour Councillors refused the Labour whip and brought down Arthur Latham's Labour administration. A long story, too long for these pages, but read the full gory details HERE.

7th May 1998
Not much change, Labour lost two and the Lib Dems lost one all to the Conservatives. Labour continued with a minority administration under their new leader, Ray Harris. Labour held 29 seats and needed 32 for a majority.


Coles, Geoffrey (LD)                  185
Cornell, Yvonne (L)               1,067
Gardner, Margaret (C)                 337
Harrison, William (L)             1,070
Martin, Rosina (LD)                    174
Porter, John (LD)                         146
Robinson, Kevin (L)               1,118
Rosindell, Eileen (C)                   306
Staggs, Eric (RA)                         331
Stocker, Ian (RA)                        318
Street, Joan (RA)                         286


Clark, Ken (L)                        1,159
Davies, Winifred (RA)                 361
Eden, David (C)                          343
Eden, Jeanne (C)                          321
Evans, David (RA)                      357
Galloway, Peter (RA)                  333
Latham, Margaret (L)             1,149
O'Flynn, Denis (L)                  1,143
Wilson, Richard (C)                    392


Desmond, Cornelius (C)              372
Everett, Andrew (C)                   363
Hill, David (L)                         1,085
Mills, Wilfrid (L)                     1,088

Neill, John (C)                             442
Roberts, Ann (L)                    1,042


The Harold Hill Rose was a spasmodic newsletter intended for the whole of Harold Hill. The one above went out in the summer of 1998 and features all of Harold Hill's Labour councillors. From left to right Denis O'Flynn, Ken Clark, Margaret Latham, Bill Harrison, Yve Cornell, Ann Roberts, Dave Hill, Wilf Mills and inset, Kevin Robinson who lived on Harold Hill, but not for much longer. He was too busy elsewhere when the main group photo was taken. Margaret Latham a long serving councillor died at the end of 2000 and Sean Willis for Labour won the subsequent by election on 25th January 2001. He returned to the council, for he had represented Gooshays for just one year in 1990/91 before he resigned and moved away from the area. So he was back to complete a bit over two years in total this being his total reward for two election victories. At the end of his brief second term he was lost for ever as a servant of Harold Hill's working classes. He never stood again. The loss went unregistered and unlamented.

There were six candidates in the by election but the turnout was just 15%. Labour received 582 votes, the Conservatives 240, the Residents Assn 139, an Independent Tenant 135, the Liberal Democrat 91 and UKIP 74.













                         Cutting above, Harold Recorder 31st October 1997.

By 1998 the four rebel councillors had been expelled from the Labour Party. They had stated from the outset that they would not stand again as long as Arthur Latham was not the leader of the Labour group. He wasn't and they didn't stand. Arthur had made a futile attempt to get selected for a seat in Harold Hill for the 1998 election but at the selection meeting in the Harold Hill Community Centre he received just one vote from the members present. His sole supporter was Reg Whiting an elderly ex Cllr. Arthur sloped off back to Romford mustering as much dignity as he could. He failed to find a seat anywhere else in Havering and consequently he didn't stand in 1998. It was the end of a long political career, a sad end really.
Along with the four rebels, Ghassan moved on, leaving five vacancies. These were rapidly filled by five new members four of whom came from outside the area. Kevin Robinson was the sole Harold Hill resident left representing Harold Hill and even that was only a half-hearted attempt on his part. He moved to Southend not long after he was elected. That was bad enough, but worse was to come. Unbeknown to anyone in Havering he stood for election for Labour in Southend whilst still serving in Havering and he won. I somehow doubt he mentioned the detail on any of his election material. So he was now a Councillor in both boroughs getting two sets of allowances. Southend were unaware of his role in Havering and Havering likewise unaware of his role in Southend. As it happens it's not illegal but at the very least it's somewhat questionable behaviour. He juggled the conflicts and simply didn't turn up when it was inconvenient for him. The two boroughs voted for and paid for two Councillors and in fact got half of one each. Simply appalling.


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