Top Harlow councillor quits in protest as new leader shapes his team

News / Tue 22nd May 2018 at 07:07am

Tony Durcan

A SENIOR Harlow councillor has quit his post in the council cabinet.

Toddbrook Councillor Tony Durcan was the portfolio holder for regeneration but YH understands that he was unhappy at having a large portion of that taken away by the new leader of Harlow Council, cllr Mark Ingall.

His decision to go to the backbench will be a blow to the new leader, coming just two days before the start of the civic year, which is marked by an annual council meeting.

Cllr Durcan came with years of experience at both district and county level. An eloquent speaker, he also had the ability to take the heat out of situations as well as stand up to the opposition.

He was in the midst of the presentations for the local plan. Only last week he was spearheading the plans for new flats at the Lister House plot.

With Cllr Durcan being labelled a moderate, there is no doubt that some will label this as some form of “Momentum purge” that started with the resignation of council leader, Jon Clempner.

YH contacted Harlow Labour’s press officer but they have failed to reply at time of publication.

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12 Comments for Top Harlow councillor quits in protest as new leader shapes his team:

2018-05-22 09:19:14

The Harlow Alliance Party hopes that Cllr Durcan's resignation marks the beginning a new dawn in how and when Harlow Council carries out consultation exercises in the future. Those involving Lister House, the Local Plan and so many planning issues in the past have been poor and we look forward in the hope that Cllr Ingalls takes a more proactive approach in involving residents in the decision making process.

2018-05-22 11:25:52

Weren't Manchester United rubbish in the cup final. That's Momentum's fault that is. The milkman was 36 and a half seconds late today. That's Momentum's fault that is. There's nothing on TV these days. That's Momentum's fault that is. If that little lot doesn't get me a job writing for Your Harlow, nothing will. I'm sure Councillor Durcan has his own personal reasons for resigning from Cabinet. These often include reasons of which we all know little and there are usually good reasons for that. Trying to twist this into some scaremongering story about Momentum when the true facts are little known is a bit off.

2018-05-22 12:34:28

If my earlier comments weren't spot on I'm a Dutchman. Didn't take long to begin the purge, did it ? Obviously T D,who is quite moderate, wasn't up to scratch according to the RED neck, after how many years ? I bet the atmosphere at the office is less than fragrant.

Brett Hawksbee
2018-05-22 16:05:25

So a long standing servant of the people of Harlow, with an acknowledged skillset and wealth of experience, is, sadly, unable or unwilling to embrace not seismic change, but a minor cabinet restructure resulting in a slightly revised set of cabinet portfolios. Now obviously every councillor, and every portfolio holder is working as part of a team. Today that team is headed by Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Ingall. Mark has indicated a more inclusive, more consultative approach to the role. He has presented a Cabinet with for the first time, an 'on merit' 50/50 gender balance, with a BAME Deputy Leader, in Waida Forman. But his new job involves leading, and leading involves making decisions which may not be universally popular. To lose one Cabinet Member is unfortunate, but frankly, if Cllr Durcan is unable to accept a revised brief, as part of a restructure which the new Leader of the Council believes is in the best interests of not just the Labour Group, but of Harlow and its people, he is right to step down. Mark Ingalls tenure will now start with the pre-existing and new portfolios managed by the many willing,capable and talented councillors who are prepared to get behind the new Leader. That is good news for Harlow.

2018-05-22 17:44:13

The new Cabinet better reflects Harlow I think, with the gender balance and Waida as deputy leader, the first person from a minority ethnic background to hold such a role. Increasing the number and detail of portfolios means that councillors can use their skills in a more efficient and targeted way and produce better results for the people of Harlow.

2018-05-22 19:20:07

The other 99.9999% of Harlow are just wondering what these people are talking about, new portfolios, on merit gender balanced cabinet? All the rest of us know is there a meeting on Thursday when all will be revealed, but of course not allowed to comment. Or is Mr Hawksbess speaking out of turn? I don't recall him being elected to the Labour group on May 3rd. Having lost one experienced, dynamic and Harlow-focussed councillor is unfortunate, but to lose two looks like carelessness - or inexperience? Or is it just the momentum of the Labour group now?

2018-05-22 19:42:44

There is something dodgy going on, within this Harlow Labour group. We all need to keep our Eyes and Ears open. Maybe the residents of Harlow will start to think back to what myself and ukip Harlow have been saying for the past four and half years about this Labour administrating party. They are not here for the sake of the number one priority, which is the Harlow residents. They are only in it for themselves.

2018-05-22 21:18:09

Can't find a CEO so appoint the deputy. Can't negotiate a waste contract Can't consult with residents properly on the Local Plan Can't hold on to their Leader. Can't hold on to Tony Durcan Can't Get their PPC Elected to a council ward. Not looking to good for Harlow Residents is it.

2018-05-23 02:36:46

Conservatives Respect pledge isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

2018-05-23 05:41:22

Here we go, the Tories wheeling out the same old Momentum scaremongering. Have they got any formed policy of their own? That'll be a no then. It's like they don't want us to focus on the rise in child poverty, the increase in people going to food banks and the devastating police cuts leading to our young people dying at a shocking rate in our inner cities. Uh oh "I'm a Maverick, me!" is back. FYI, Mark Ingall is the leader. Which one can't Labour hold onto?

2018-05-23 05:50:29

Was this a forced resignation,or a touch of self importance taking over. Who will have the experience of T D? With so much going on behind the scenes who knows where this will end up. M Ingall is aggressive in more ways than one, on 15th May I said we wouldn't be waiting for November for the fireworks to start. I bet the Tories are laughing up their sleeves.

2018-05-24 20:54:25

Momentum is a left wing organisation within the Labour Party, with 40000 members. Each to there own, but so we know who is representing us, will our Labour Councillors tell us if they are paid up members of Momentum?

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