Building strong working relationships can make such a difference in securing good outcomes for constituents, so it is always sad when fantastic local leaders move on. I wanted to use today’s column to pay tribute to some of the community figures with whom my team and I have worked in recent years and who are taking on fresh challenges beyond Havering.
Over the summer, we said goodbye to Tony Chambers, Chief Executive of Queen’s Hospital, a straight-talking northerner who started his career as a nurse in Bolton. Tony joined BHRUT as interim Chief Executive at the end of 2019. What would have been a tough job in the best of times led to Tony dealing with some of the biggest challenges of his career as he steered Queen’s through the pandemic. We worked closely together over the difficult New Year period to secure a new oxygen system in the hospital, and I am grateful for the service he and his team gave during a time of incredible pressure.
Our Borough Police Commander, Stephen Clayman, is one of the most professional police officers I have worked with and he will be spending autumn away from Havering on a leadership programme. Stephen has pioneered new routes into the Met, led important work on missing people and helped my team and I on all sorts of constituency casework and events. We wish him the very best with his work and look forward to his return.
Finally, it is farewell to Rev Shaun Moore of St George’s Church, Harold Hill, who has provided a haven of support to the local community since 2014. Shaun has always been incredibly generous in letting us use the Church for meetings, the most important of which was the event on youth violence held following the murder of Jodie Chesney. He is a remarkable community leader and will be sorely missed. Thank you, Tony, Stephen, and Shaun, for your service to Hornchurch & Upminster during some of the constituency's most difficult times.