Harlow Council leader angry at Tory stance on Gypsy-Travellers

Politics / Wed 23rd Jul 2014 at 04:12pm

THE LEADER OF Harlow Council has responded with anger at a number of statements from the Harlow Conservative group over the ongoing gypsy-traveller problem.

Cllr Jon Clempner said:

“Unfortunately, once again, there are several errors of fact in the statement from Cllr Charles

Cllr Charles asserts that ‘The figure would have been far less if Labour had taken measures throughout the year to protect council land’

Measures have been taken throughout the year. Physical measures have been taken over an extended period of time (not just in response to the recent surge in illegal encampments) and are continuing to be taken, to protect vulnerable open spaces across Harlow. However, over a third of all land in Harlow is open spaces and it is not possible to physically lock down Harlow in its entirety, although possible sites for incursion are being continually assessed and action taken where appropriate.

He says that ‘The Conservative group are also alarmed that Labour are relying on unspecified savings to pay bills’.

Once again Councillor Charles has his facts wrong, the increase in this year arising out of the new cleaning contract, is nearer £20,000, not the £41,000 he claims which is for a full year, principally to ensure that all employees are receiving the Living Wage. In addition, rather than ‘unspecified savings’ this will be fully funded within the existing budget, with increased revenue that is being seen from parking income and planning applications, and careful control on spending. As Councillor Charles knows, the Council’s budget had a modest underspend last year, and this careful financial control will continue.

On street cleaning and landscape maintenance, the targets are on an improving trend, having peaked at their worst level in March 2012, under the previous administration. There is of course always room for improvement in keeping the town neat and tidy, which is why we have announced this week increased resources allocated to grass cutting, taking immediate effect, fully funded from existing budgets”.

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1 Comment for Harlow Council leader angry at Tory stance on Gypsy-Travellers:

2014-07-23 20:43:26

But Jon, you don't know what it is you are not going to do to make up the shortfall on the cleaning contract. If it is increased car park or planning income why is not in the original budget? Or we going back to the bad old days of emergency budgets because you got your sums wrong - a bad habit and poor financial control abolished by the Conservatives.

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