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Letter to Editor: Development of Harlow and the Enterprise zone.

Politics / Wed 11th Jun 2014 pm30 12:46pm

HARLOW is in the throws of the biggest investment it has had since the 1950’s, and will probably never get this level of investment again. Yet, the suggested developments and infrastructure strategies are causing major concerns for the current Harlow residents who live and work in the town.

For nearly a year we have been bombarded with local press about meetings, groups, tours, ideas and of course what’s on offer for the current local residents. All this information seems contradictory to a lot of what’s being previously stated, and terms like “an organic approach is being taken” does not provide any confidence. What seems to be clear to me is that these stratagies do identify the number of housing and schools etc and investment figures and infrastructure requirements. These are Actual figures. What is unclear to the current residents of Harlow is how many jobs this will bring for all age groups, and importantly for our own young work force.

It is constantly publicised that 5000 jobs will be created in Harlow. So is this an actual figure for us residents to consider as part of the overall numbers being explained and sold to us to accept and seek our support. Unfortunately it is not. The “Terms” of the enterprise investments provided by the government states that neither the council or government can guarantee that any, nor one job must be provided by any new industry in this enterprise zone to current local residents.

Not only this, but the specialised industries being targeted for the enterprise zone are not industries that Harlow’s work force is known to have these skills. Do we know who these industries are and what they require, or are we just hoping industries and jobs will come along, and forced to accept we do not actually know if there will be any employment at all, or any employment for our local work force.

Perhaps, when these actual local employment figures are provided, Harlow residents may see the benefits for current residents and their young families, and then these projects and their instigators may gain the support from the residents of Harlow, to successfully reshape Harlow for the next 50 years.

Kevin Forbes MBCS.CITP

Campaigner for Local Employment

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