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Harlow Labour councillors help clean up Rectory Wood

Lifestyle / Sat 22nd Sep 2018 at 06:25am

Harlow Councillors clear up Rectory Wood

MANY people who have been going down to Rectory Wood recently would have certainly got a big surprise and not the pleasant kind. Not only has the Woods become an area frequented by drug users it has also been an area that has also had its fair share of fly tippers to not to mention become overgrown and in need of a tidy.

Local ward Councillor Chris Vince enlisted the help of fellow Councillor and deputy leader of the Labour group Waida Forman and Secretary of the local Trade Union Council branch David Forman, to deal with the matter head on. As a professional gardener David provided the tools for the job.

Cllr Vince said, “I had been contacted by a number of residents in both Rectory Wood and also neighbouring Morley Grove about the condition of the wooded area. I thank HTS for clearing what they could but wanted to clear some of the fallen trees as well.”

The trio set about clearing the dead trees from Rectory Wood in an attempt not only to tidy the area but also to allow the remaining trees to flourish. David Firman explained ,” by moving around the dead trees and littering people have disturbed animals natural environments. Due to the dry summer there is also an increased fire risk and there was evidence of charring on a number of the logs.”

Waida Forman added, “we recognise what a wonderful area Rectory Wood could be for local residents but that it was in need of some real tender loving care. There is much more work to be done but we’ve made a good start.”

Waida, David and Chris recognise what a large undertaking clearing the Woods is going to be but intend to do more work on it over the next year.

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14 Comments for Harlow Labour councillors help clean up Rectory Wood:

tenpin
2018-09-22 08:16:59

This article begs at least a five of questions; 1 Why are HTS not doing this work?. Harlow Council are paying HTS £3.2 million pounds this year to maintain open spaces, hedges and trees apparently without any form of service level agreement. This means they can do the cheapest and easiest of the work required leaving areas such as Rectory Wood untouched. 2 Can any group of residents or individuals just turn up anywhere and start cutting trees down where they think fit? 3 If not, how do you get permission to do so? 4 Are these people covered by any personal or third party insurance in the event of an accident? 5 What with litter picking, clearing up around the Leah Manning Centre and now tree removal and clearance, is this why HTS have been able to under spend the money it has been paid by the Council? 5 The Harlow Alliance Party have come across numerous residents who have requested Harlow Council to remove or reduce trees close to their homes,without success. Perhaps these residents could call on the services of these Councillors to do such work for them when they have finished at Rectory Wood?

durcant
2018-09-22 16:04:52

It’s a shame that Tenpin wants to moan about what is essentially a good deed done by local people regardless of status to help a local community. The woods have been in a terrible state and it’s wonderful that others have taken the time effort and trouble to be proactive. My guess the local community will view them as hero’s whilst the alliance party see them as villains. I say thank you.

tenpin
2018-09-22 16:54:11

You know as well as I do Durcant that this is just a cynical attempt by local Labour to bring attention upon themselves .... they could have done the work but not told yourharlow about it, but of course this would not do. Many residents have trees close to their homes which are in a terrible state, but the council do not want to do anything about it. I have written to your leader about this over two weeks ago but to date have not even had the decency of an acknowledgement let alone a full reply. So ..... please would you like to answer the 5 points that I have raised?

ChrisVince
2018-09-22 17:09:37

Hi just one reply really quickly as I don’t want to get into huge debate. We didn’t fell any trees just removed the dead ones so I can’t answer question on that. I know Waida and David do a lot to help local residents, particularly elderly residents or those with disabilities who can’t do it themselves, although again not cutting down trees. HTS do a great job for our town, as I mentioned in article, but Rectory Wood I think would be described as discretionary service. Besides if we can do things ourselves council officers/HTS can focus on other things. I reject comment about it being some sort of stunt. I genuinely became a Cllr to help local residents and intend to continue to do so whenever I can. Hopefully during my term as Cllr I can do more projects to reduce people’s cynical view of politicians but appreciate this will take time and I’ll never convince everyone. Hope some of this answers some of your questions. So much for a quick reply 😆 Kind regards Chris V

tenpin
2018-09-22 18:38:10

You have hit the nail right on the head Chris, this is the very reason why HAP has been set up ... Councillors of both Parties do not want to enter into debate with residents. Your Party closed it's Neighbourhood Offices 16 years ago, it stopped holding Area Committees, it only tries to engage with it's tenants (and fails), rather than with all residents, it has for instance failed entirely to consult residents on it's Local Plan, listing just FOUR meetings, including with ECC, Churchgate Street Residents and the Youth Council. HTS are doing a great job at what they are choosing to do .... they have no guidance/budget headings/service level agreements from the Council and can return half a million pounds this year to the Council because their are loads of things, like trees that they should also be doing but are not.Harlow Council have legal obligations about the safety of trees where ever they are on it's land. there was a case not far back where a lady was killed by a falling tree in another District .... what would have been the consequences if such a tragedy had occurred when the tree at The Stow recently fell over ..... and it was shown that Harlow Council has no planned maintenance. Try looking at Stevenage DC's website you will find what they are doing posted on it. As for my original questions about insurance, permission etc ..... someone within the Labour group need to provide answers before they go cutting down more trees.

durcant
2018-09-22 20:34:16

Tenpin I feel your losing sight of the real issue. This is just about some nice people doing a nice thing for the community. Nothing more nothing less. As one of many am grateful regardless of politics that we still have local people willing to volunteer their own time and energy to support others. No hidden agenda. No cheap PR stunt. Just nice people. We’re grateful. Please stop criticising and be proud . Community in action. Thank you.

tenpin
2018-09-22 23:28:43

I am afraid Durcant you have lost sight of the real issue. This wood and all the others around the town on Council owned land and individual trees are the responsibility of Harlow Council who are clearly not carrying out any maintenance/inspections/ risk assessments (which is why this wood is in the state that it is in ..... dead trees which could fall at any time).This is nothing to do with supporting others, there are lots of worthy things that Cllrs do I am sure, this should not be one of them. It should not be left for members of the community to deal with what are potentially dangerous situations without any insurance/public liability insurance. If you still believe this is Ok then it must be OK for any group of residents to take action into their own hands and deal with trees which are affecting their homes? Or does this just apply if you are a Labour Councillor? And of course you are still dodging the questions I raised in my first post.

durcant
2018-09-23 06:50:21

Last posting on this subject. Not really sure if people know or care if the volunteers have political views or not. Many areas have residence groups or dog walkers or just good neighbours who go out everyday and carry out community action. Unsung community champions who just make it better for everyone. This is a good news story and I know local people are grateful for what they have achieved Dead wood removed to enable others to enjoy the area in a safe way. Let’s encourage and support and look on the positive not the negative. It’s our community be proud and stop knocking people who want and do make a difference. Off waking my dogs with a carry bag to pick up rubbish as I walk along now. My tiny contribution to my town. Proud of everyone who bothers and cares. End of debate. Thank you

MickyB77
2018-09-23 07:05:40

How could these Momentumists accuse tenpin, of doubts, about the real reason behind the so called clean up Publicity stunt, what cheek. I contacted the council about problems with some overgrowth and tidying up that was needed. They told me that I would have to employ my own gardener, and pay the costs incurred. Obviously, I don't qualify as an opportunity for publicity. Where's HTS then, for the benefit of tax-payers ?

durcant
2018-09-23 07:43:34

Change the subject to attack my comment, it ok but childish. Call me anything but me a momentumist ....... No further comment required. Wish this rain would stop.

tenpin
2018-09-23 08:27:31

Who are you trying to kid Durcant. No cheap publicity stunt ..... so who got yourharlow to post an article and a picture then? The heading was about Labour Cllrs, not resident groups etc, who do indeed do lots of good works , but they do not call up yourharlow everytime they go out and do a clear up. And as for ending the debate .... you would because your Council are not attending to trees as they should and you cannot defend the difficult position many residents find themselves in as a result. This is my last post on the subject. Harlow Alliance Party 1 Harlow Labour 0.

durcant
2018-09-23 09:02:44

Tenpin sad that the debate ends on a childish point scoring outcome. None of my posts were political but a response to supporting people who care enough to make a difference. Regardless of politics it’s about caring for our community. Nothing more nothing less. You started the debate so if you feel you have scored a vital goal then who will judge you. Hope the rest of your weekend goes well. Take care.

Maverick
2018-09-23 11:58:05

From Harlow Council Website Note it states HTS will deal with trees not any Tom Dick or Harry that decides to rock up with a chainsaw. What happens when trees are blown down in storms? When storms or high winds occur we usually receive many reports of damaged trees on Council land that could be dangerous. HTS (Property & Environment) Ltd have emergency crews on standby and will assess the level of urgency of each reported problem. They will then draw up an order of priority and deal with them as soon as they can.

MickyB77
2018-09-24 14:21:24

Of course it's a chance for a do-gooders to get their face plastered over the local press. C V looks a complete idiot preparing to start work with a chain saw, without any protective clothing on, and all bright and shiny gilets, never seen a day's work. durcant, I do feel that you've been suckered again.

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