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Letters to Editor: Questions asked of Harlow Council’s new repairs company

News / Sun 7th May 2017 at 05:12pm

HTS Group

Sir,

IN the spring edition of the Council’s publication Harlow Times. The Leader of Harlow District Council said ‘I am proud that once again the council’s budgets for 2017/18 will see no services closed or cut’ . At the time I asked ‘why then the increase in council tax and where will the money go’.

Well I think he should now come clean and tell us, because, the council is providing a multi million pound loan to its new trading company HTS Ltd.

How can his council, fund the doubling of housing services work force?, tripling HTS Ltd work force over that of KierHarlow JVC?, dramatically increase the staff working in Contact Harlow? and still have a surplus of funds that he can lend to HTS Ltd’.

Would it not have been better to use this money to build more council houses and help ease the burden of those on the housing waiting list? Or maybe he could use it to ease the pressure on our creaking social care system in Harlow?

I think the residents of Harlow need to know which of our elected councillors voted to run up such a large surplus and how many of them are proud of the quality of the few services Harlow Council provides for its residents, now that we all know that money is not so tight that they cannot afford to fund pet projects.

The council controlled company Harlow Trading Services Ltd, has not it would seem been set up to provide services to the residents, but, to allow HDC to trade out here in the real world. HDC is using a loophole in HM Treasury borrowing regulations to potentially create a pile of corporate debt for the residents of Harlow. How can we trust the council to operate out here in the real world when they are incapable of providing even the simplest of public services right here in Harlow?

It seems that other councils may have used the loophole to move ring fenced funds around? Is that HDC’s intention? have they already done so by loaning HTS Ltd £m?

We do not know who advised the council to do this? because we have not been consulted, what we do know is when [not if] it all goes pear shaped HDC will have to pay the advisers and any loan interest payments ahead of providing services to residents.

Who can we trust to get Harlow out of this mess? Not it would seem our existing elected representatives?

Mike Carr – Rundells.

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