ROBERT Halfon wishes a Happy New Year to everyone in Harlow and the Villages.
“I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas break and are looking forward to the year ahead.
“2018 was a brilliant year for Harlow. In December, the Government made a £9.5 million investment into the Princess Alexandra NHS Hospital Trust’s overburdened A&E unit. In October, Harlow College was announced as a ‘Maths Centre for Excellence’ bringing in £700,000 of extra money for education and skills into Harlow. The College also opened the Stansted Airport College in the Autumn – an £11 million technical Further Education facility with fantastic STEM courses. Back in March, seven schools in Harlow succeeded in acquiring Condition Improvement Fund money, as part of a £514 million Government scheme. The rough sleeping strategy also saw Harlow benefit from £260,000 to combat homelessness. All this is on top of the many millions of pounds invested in Harlow’s Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Centre, our Enterprise Zone and the move of Public Health England to Harlow.
“As we look to 2019, I will be continuing to work hard to cut the cost of living for Harlow residents. In April, hardworking families in Harlow will start to benefit from key Budget announcements – an increase to the National Living Wage, rising from £7.83/hour to £8.21/hour and a higher amount of tax-free Personal Allowance, rising to £12,500. In the year ahead, I will campaign further to keep fuel duty frozen, after the success of 2018, and am also working with motorist organisations on a regulatory watchdog, ‘PumpWatch’, to ensure that prices of diesel and petrol can’t skyrocket.
“After securing three debates in the House of Commons in 2018 on the need for a new hospital in Harlow, I want to take this even further in 2019. Last year’s £20.5 billion investment announcement for the NHS was excellent news, as was the £9.5 million specifically for Princess Alexandra Hospital’s A&E unit, but I want to see greater Government funding in Harlow. We need a new state-of-the-art health campus and I will continue to work with the hospital’s management team and the Department for Health until we get the investment.
“I am working closely with Essex Police and Harlow Council to combat the rise in anti-social behaviour in the town centre and now in Old Harlow, to make it a safer place for shoppers, staff and residents. In December, I hosted a meeting for local businesses in the Market Square to work out an action plan with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner at Essex Police and am looking forward to seeing the effect of this over the next year.
“Later in January, I will also be taking on a sponsored swim of 100 lengths in aid of the Princess Alexandra NHS Hospital Trust. All money raised through my JustGiving page will help enhance patient care, purchase special equipment, improve facilities and invest in vital research.
“2019 promises to be an eventful year with preparations underway to leave the EU. I will continue to ensure that Brexit means Brexit and respect the vote of the Harlow population.
“I wish everyone a very happy start to the New Year and all the best for 2019.”
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