Essex County Council consider disability Budget

ESSEX County Council have released a new public consultation looking at ways to improve services for adults with disabilities across the county. The consultation will ask residents their views on the services currently offered to adults, with the aim of increasing independence.

“Why and how do we fight fascism today” – Harlow TUC Meeting.

HARLOW TUC will be holding a joint meeting with Harlow Socialist History and Politics Group, “Why and how do we fight fascism today”.

Guest speakers at the even will include, Max Levitas – veteran of the Battle of Cable Street 1936, and Dan Randall Member of Workers’ Liberty and supporter of the Anti-Fascist Network.

Blog post: Nishall on Positivity

Life is too short to not be optimistic.

It is often that currently things around us discourage us. It’s hard not to be when people constantly say things like that our generation is going to have a hard time finding jobs and that everyone is getting fat and lazy and that we practically need degrees to be successful. It is hard to be optimistic when all the focus in the media is crimes, military coups, murders and starvation. In addition, yes life is hard.

Essex Council meetings this week

Residents of Essex can this week have their say at the following council meetings, which are open to the public to attend:

The Essex Health and Wellbeing Board is being held on November 21st at the Council Chamber in Uttlesford District Council Offices, Uttlesford, Saffron Walden from 14:00pm until 17:00pm.

Essex Police Crime Commissioner: Reflections on my first year

It’s been a very busy year, during which I’ve travelled round the county, engaging with local residents, businesses, and all those who work with local communities – such as Neighbourhood Watch and victim support groups. I’ve spent much time learning how Essex Police works, both supporting the force in its essential task of keeping us all safe and being prepared to challenge the force on the rare occasions where things have gone less well.

Shadow minister to host small business breakfast

THIS will be a fantastic opportunity for local business leaders to meet the Shadow Minister for Small Business in an informal environment and share your thoughts and priorities on what the government could be doing to help Harlow strengthen its business, enterprise, skills & economy.

Gypsy encampment blocks road in Templefields

GYSPY travellers who have encamped in Templefields are the responsibility of Essex County Council says Harlow Council. Residents spotted the encampment of South Road close to the cycle track at the back of Tanys Dell school at least a week ago.

Halfon defends position on Bedroom Tax

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon has defended his position on the bedroom tax after Labour candidate, Suzy Stride noted his absence from the debate in parliament on Tuesday evening. Robert Halfon said: “In a week when it was announced that unemployment in Harlow continues to fall, and the number of apprenticeships have gone up by 82%, I am saddened that the Labour Party has not released a press release celebrating this good news.

MP welcomes fall in unemployment in Harlow

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has welcomed Office for National Statistics figures which show the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Harlow has fallen by 102 in the past year. The number of claimants in the town last month – 2,221 – is also 38 fewer than were claiming benefit the previous month (September this year).

Suzy quizzes why Harlow MP missed Bedroom Tax debate

LABOUR has criticised Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, for missing a debate on the bedroom tax, which Labour argue is unfair and fails to save the taxpayer money. The policy was discussed in an opposition day debate in Parliament yesterday (Tuesday), giving MPs a vote on whether to repeal the cuts to housing benefit for claimants with a spare bedroom.

Former quango boss delighted to head up Enterprise Zone

ANDREW Bramidge, the new Project Director (Enterprise Zone Delivery) who will concentrate specifically on the delivery of Harlow Enterprise Zone has now taken up his new role. The post is being funded for the next three years by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. Andrew will support the Harlow Enterprise Zone Board which is made up of private and public sector organisations including Harlow Council, Essex County Council, Anglia Ruskin University, GSK, Raytheon and independent individuals with specialist knowledge.

Feature: Sunday evening on the Chocolate Run

THE charity gained its name when it was initially set up as a service that delivered hot chocolate to the homeless in central London. Now based at the Playbarn, at the Great Parndon Community Association, the charity reaches out to anyone in the area who is without a home, or who is struggling with financial hardship. Two hours spent at The Chocolate Run reveal that this encompasses a wide range of people, young or old and from all kinds of different backgrounds.

Funding boost for Harlow primary schools

IT is proposed to expand The Downs Primary School, Longwood Primary School and Holy Cross Catholic Primary Academy from one form of entry (fe) to two fe on a permanent basis with the provision of additional buildings, increasing capacity at all schools to 420 places. Each school would admit 60 pupils in reception from September 2014.

Nishall’s blog: The importance of family life

FAMILIES are much more than groups of individuals. They have their own goals and aspirations. They also are places where every child and adult should feel that he or she is special and be encouraged to pursue his or her own dreams; a place where everyone’s in­dividuality is permitted to flourish. Although every family has conflicts, all the family members should feel as though they can ex­press themselves openly, share their feelings, and have their opinions listened to with understanding. In fact, conflicts and disagreements are a normal part of family life and are important insofar as they permit people to communicate their differences and ventilate their feelings.

Welfare Rights response to Harlow Council press release

Eventually HWRA was left with only two funders both of which are restricted. In these circumstances it would appear that the main or possibly only reason for the council to launch expensive winding up proceedings was to stop HWRA from pursuing legal action. This means the issues raised in the judicial review that was adjourned in May will never be aired in open court. For the reasons set out at the end of point 9 above HWRA did not have every opportunity to prepare for the winding up hearing. HWRA has had no IT access since 31/8/13. Most of the hard copy documents HWRA held were in judicial review bundles. This and the other information HWRA had hard copies of did not include the evidence supporting the calculation of HWRA’s counter-claim.

Stride attacks Halfon over energy prices

ROBERT Halfon has voted for higher energy prices in the House of Commons says Labour candidate, Suzy Stride. Under this government, energy bills have risen by almost £300 a year for families, and businesses say it’s the second biggest cost they face. On Wednesday (6th Nov) Labour held a debate in parliament calling on the government to freeze energy prices to ease the escalating cost of living for families and help out small businesses. Labour also called for all over-75s to be automatically put on the lowest possible energy tariff by their supplier. Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs voted down the proposal meaning higher energy bills for households and businesses in Harlow.

Harlow parents warned over absenteeism

ESSEX parents have been given heavy penalties for failing to ensure their children’s attendance at school, evidence that magistrates are taking the offence very seriously.

In the last two months twenty parents were prosecuted in court for their children’s consistent absence, including one who received a custodial sentence and two who received suspended custodial sentences. The parents were each summoned to appear after their children’s attendance did not improve following interventions from the Essex Education Welfare Service (EWS).