Cllr Steven Kelly “tells dementia sufferers off for talking” at Havering Council carers’ week event, Hornchurch

12:30 28 June 2012

Cllr Steven Kelly

Cllr Steven Kelly


Havering Council’s deputy leader Cllr Steven Kelly has been lambasted after allegedly telling dementia sufferers off for talking.

But Cllr Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) said his words were directed at policemen and charity workers who had been talking over a 70-year-old volunteer.

The deputy leader delivered one of three speeches at the council’s Carers’ Week Big Event in North Street Hall, North Street, Hornchurch – during which there was some noise from the audience, which included people with mental disabilities and their carers.

After the speech, Cllr Kelly shocked the group by calling them the rudest, noisiest people he had ever addressed.

A carer who was present at the event but did not wish to be named said the remarks were “totally inappropriate”.

“Sometimes you can’t tell elderly people to be quiet and some people’s conditions mean they are a bit noisy,” he said. “After it had happened people were visibly shocked. People were in disbelief and a couple of the service providers packed up and went.”

But Cllr Kelly said the audience was disrespectful. “When a 70-year-old volunteer is treated with contempt by his peers it’s quite insulting,” he said.

“I saw one group consisting of two policemen – who certainly don’t have hearing or talking problems – talking to a group of people from another charity for 20 minutes.

“Don’t you think when people have the courtesy to get up on a stage you should have the good manners to listen to them?”

Another witness, who also did not wish to be identified, said: “There was an audience of people with dementia, older people and people with learning disabilities – and they weren’t really listening.

“The PCSOs were there to get to know the public and talk to people, and that’s what they were doing. WWere they supposed to tell people to shut up?”

Cllr Keith Darvill (Labour, Heaton) said the remarks were “really disrespectful”.

“When you’ve got a mixed group of carers and people with learning disabilities in the same hall you just have to be able to cope with the different environment,” he said. “Carers are essential to the delivery of care for the vulnerable. Many carers work freely and without their input the cost on the borough would be much higher.

“It’s essential that they are respected.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London politics news

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of the City and Islington College in 2012.

Jeremy Corbyn has declined an invitation to be sworn in to the Privy Council amid continued uncertainty over whether he will declare allegiance in person to the Queen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Oxford Street has been called the most polluted street in Britain (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Five major candidates for Mayor of London, including Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and Sian Berry, have said they would close Oxford Street to traffic.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first keynote speech on day three of the Labour Party annual conference. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak at a protest against postal cuts in Manchester today, as his rival party meets in the city for its conference.

Monday, October 5, 2015
Police ushered the Mayor into the conference as protesters heckled and jeered (Photo: Mark McGowan/YouTube)

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was pelted with plastic balls as he arrived at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today.

Friday, October 2, 2015
Zac Goldsmith will face Sadiq Khan in the battle for London in May 2016 (Picture: PA Images)

Environmentalist Richmond Park MP and Tory girls’ dreamboy Zac Goldsmith has been picked as the Conservative Party’s candidate for London Mayor, winning the contest with 70% of the vote. Here London24 brings you some of the funniest Twitter reactions to his selection.

Monday, September 28, 2015
View from Commercial Street of how Bishopsgate goodsyard development will look

A battle for the heart of east London has now switched to City Hall in a manoeuvre to get Boris Johnson to push through the controversial Bishopsgate goodsyard development before he steps down as Mayor of London next May.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Line-Up Events


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

Read more
You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more

Latest Tech News