Last month, Jon Cruddas MP’s team had the pleasure of speaking with Councillor Matt Stanton the Labour Ward Councillor for Beam Park Ward in Havering. Matt was elected as a Ward Councillor in the most recent May 2022 local elections.
Councillor Stanton was first asked to run in the approach to 2018 but did not feel it was the right time for him. He has always wanted to improve his community and people’s lives, which he states, is why he is in the Labour Party. Becoming a Councillor was his way to formalise the desire to help people and gain the ability to effect more concrete change.
When asked about the Conservatives effect on The Borough, Councillor Stanton said: “As much as I think the Conservatives nationally and locally have had a detrimental effect on the borough, seats we hold are ours to lose. We had the country; we have had the council. When we regain both we must not be complacent. Every day is a new opportunity to succeed and to fail, and we must make sure that as an organisation - the Labour Party, the Council, the Government - that there is no complacency, that no one falls through the cracks.
We must be absolutely clear to our membership that that there will be no quarter given via the media, we must be agile and effective in our communities to make sure that people understand our values, our policies and our work ethic.”
Councillor Stanton has already achieved a great deal during his short time since being elected in May 2022. He has set up a working group between Havering, the police and Clarion Housing to deal with anti-social behaviour in Orchard Village. Councillor Stanton has pushed for the delivery of Beam Park Station. He has also worked on community engagement in the area, helped individual families with long-overdue repairs and in some cases has been able to help families move home.
Councillor Stanton: “One of the biggest challenges is Orchard Village, the disrepair and ASB going on there. At first sight it might seem like previous councillors were not effective in dealing with it, but I have found out myself that it is going to require a lot of work. I am confident that with the backing of local people and Labour members, that we can make Orchard Village a great place to live. We are also working hard to make sure that all parties work together to deliver Beam Park Station. This is the key to unlocking the potential of the area. Overshadowing all of this is the funding crisis and the first priority for us in the ward has to be that we receive the support we need proportionate to our needs. If that comes at the expense of middle-class, affluent areas, so be it. We are the party of the working class and we shouldn't apologise for wanting to lift up the worst affected first. By the time of the next election, I want every street to know that when they need help, the Labour Party is there for them. I am just a representative.”