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|2nd May 2002|
|Labour are decimated, losing twenty seats to the Conservatives. The Lib Dems were reduced to one and the Independents gained one. The new council consisted of 26 Conservatives, nine Labour, one Lib Dem and 18 Independents. The electoral boundaries had undergone another review and Harold Hill was reduced from three wards of three to two wards of three. A section of Gooshays was added to Harold Wood ward and Heaton incorporated much of Hilldene. Following other changes across the borough the total membership of Havering Council was reduced from 63 to 54.|
Labour held all the seats in the two new wards but things were hotting up. In Gooshays the opposition were badly split with nine candidates and that left Labour with perhaps flattering majorities. In Heaton things were tighter but still comfortable. The most remarkable thing about this election was the startling success of the Independent Working Class Association, (IWCA). A small radical left wing group with all candidates living on Harold Hill as opposed to the Labour candidates who all lived outside of Harold Hill.
The IWCA worked hard, led by Neil Stanton a former Labour Party member who had left the Labour Party in disgust at the Westminster Labour government's continuing drift to the right. Unfortunately Stanton had his own personal frailties and the IWCA couldn't sustain the effort into the 2006 election and they fell by the wayside. But they had shown what was possible.
Obviously even the IWCA had struggled to find people to stand in this election, examplified by their fielding of "Mad Harry." Mad Harry had previously attempted to stand for Labour and failed. But he dearly wanted to be recognised for the political force he was. He lived in Dorking Close and his close neighbours quickly came to recognise him as pompous and self important. His chosen tactic was to garner votes from those who didn't know anything about him. It was largely a successful ploy and he achieved nearly 1000 votes. Mad Harry went on to join many different political parties in his attempt to join the council, but he never achieved the heights that he thought were due to him and he failed in every attempt. Though at one time he was a local tenants rep where his major campaign was for the introduction of ID tags displaying name and title for all tenant reps. Just in case anyone couldn't recognise what an unprincipled nonentity he really was. Sadly he died a very disappointed man.
|4th May 2006|
|If 2002 was bad for Labour across the borough then 2006 was rock bottom, they lost five of their six seats on Harold hill and were reduced to just two in the whole borough. It was bad enough to lose seats to the Conservatives but they also lost one to the BNP. It was the first time in the history of Harold Hill that Labour had lost an election on the Hill. Labour's last representative on Harold Hill was Keith Darvill the former Upminster MP. Borough wide the Conservatives won eight extra seats and the independents lost one. The Lib Dems clung on with one seat leaving the Conservatives in overall control of the council for the first time since 1982.|
Bailey, Alan H. BNP 996
Fox, Christine S. CON 930
Two of the BNP's finest
Alan Bailey had been arrested for an assault in February in Harold Wood he pleaded guilty when he appeared at Havering Magistrates' Court in April. He said he admitted the offence because he wanted the case out of the way before the elections. He was fined £350 plus £50 compensation and £51 costs. Just months later he topped the poll and Tory, Keith Wells beat Labour's Yve Cornell by just one vote. Bailey only lasted half of his term and he resigned in 2008 sparking a by-election. His successor Mark Logan duly won that election for the BNP
A year or two later in the run up to the 2010 elections Councillor Logan announced he would not stand for the BNP again claiming that his party was racist and he had been unaware of that when he joined. Now this is quite some misunderstanding on his part, a bit like the time I accidentaly turned up on a nudist beach fully clothed. I acted cool and pretended not to notice. Of course the remedy was obvious and I happily stripped off. Logan claimed he had now seen the BNP naked for the first time and he took the alternative route and promptly left the beach. Quite honestly he looked a bit of a pratt in doing so, but better late than never. His colleagues claimed he didn't jump he was pushed, because of constant squabbles and more alarmingly concerns over his health, know what I mean.
Mark Logan stood as an Independent in 2010 in Rainham and Wennington. He won but he stopped attending council meetings in the summer of 2013 due to ill health. In December 2013 he was removed from office for being absent for more than six months. Later on in the 2014 elections he put himself forward again for the Independents but this time in South Hornchurch.
He lost to UKIP. The end of an illustrious career.
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