Letter to Editor – HAP don’t really say what’s happening…
News / Wed 24th Apr 2019 am30 10:50am
Letter to Editor – HAP don’t really say what’s happening…
IT’S great if you are standing as an independent councillor at elections, as you can pretty much say and promise anything you like with little scrutiny of your actions or even having to truly explain your position. Just pick something you don’t like and start shouting against it. In today’s second to second sound bite news, people rarely have time to stop and fact check.
Nicholas Taylor of the Harlow Alliance Party would have you believe that he and his colleagues are the only people to care about people building on green land in Harlow. More concerning to me as Leader of Harlow Conservatives is that he seems to suggest that Harlow Conservatives aren’t and haven’t been opposed to building on green spaces around the town, which is just not true.
Perhaps Mr Taylor hasn’t attended that many meetings of the council? Perhaps it’s election time and he wants to “spin” things his way? I’m sure readers will make up there own minds when presented with the evidence, so for clarity let me point out a few things:
2005 was when Conservative Councillors first moved a motion at Full Council making it policy that Harlow Council was against development to the south and west of Harlow.
During 2016-2018 the Local Plan process was in full swing and there are plenty of videos here on YourHarlow of council meetings where the Conservative group pressed multiple times that there should be a wider more public focused consultation on the details of the plan to allow people to object to specific sites, and not just as the Labour party forced on the town were the technicalities correct.
Then there was the Special Council in August 2016 when the Conservatives pushed through amendments to planning documents calling for future development to be to the north/north east of Harlow in the administrative districts of East Hertfordshire and Epping Forest.
And finally I point people to the Full Council meeting of Thursday 20th September 2018 when the Local Development Plan came to the council for its submission to the Planning Inspectorate. The results of that vote are found online here: http://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/mgListRecordedVotes.aspx?AIID=8333
It clearly shows that EVERY Conservative Councillor present voted against the plan and EVERY Labour Councillor voted for.
So Perhaps now the facts are here, Mr Taylor and his colleagues can stop with the “Spin”?
However as a politician I pride myself in not just disagreeing with people just because they represent another point of view and I do agree with Mr Taylor and support HAP on one thing that he said in his article.
“HAP do not blame the Conservative government for the situation residents in ‘The Parks’ and many other areas find themselves in. The fault lies with the Labour Group … at Harlow Council”
Councillor Andrew Johnson
Leader of Harlow Conservative Group
Smoke and mirrors from Cllr Johnson me thinks. So Cllr Johnson, perhaps for the benefit of YH readers you can answer the following: 1) Why did the Conservative Party not log objections to Epping Forest District Council's and Harlow Council's Local Plan with the Government's appointed independent inspector and make your case at the recent examinations? Only 3 Cllrs (2 of them Labour) even took the trouble to listen to the debate. 2) Why did the Conservative group not hold it's own public meetings during the last 3 years to raise awareness of what was being proposed?, HAP have held 5 in the last 3 months attracting a total audience of over 300 people, 3) Why did last years candidate In Gt Parndon make no mention of the fate of the Deer Park land and that at Pollard Hatch until after our election leaflets hit doors in the area? 4) Why did the Conservative group not insist that Harlow Times be used to publicise Harlow Local Plan and how residents could comment in 2018? 5) Why did the the Conservative group not find out about the land at Deer Park and at Fennells when the original list of over 300 sites were put together and insist that they be removed at the outset? The real reason why the Conservative Party has been so ineffectual is that their "Leader" Robert Halfon MP is championing the cause for a bigger Harlow and Epping Forest DC is of course a Conservative led Council. A case of don't rock the boat? Nicholas Taylor Leader of The Harlow Alliance Party
If the conservatives are so dead against it, why was it the Harlow Alliance Party that participated in the Local Plan Examination held by the inspector? Where were the conservatives at this crucial time?
Actually as the local Conservative councillor I did attend the important meetings about the field next to Greygoose Park and Deer park. David Carter
@David Carter , even if you did clearly without much impact . Labour & Conservative, are equally culpable for the outrageous situation Harlow now finds itself in. Too little too late. This pathetic bickering ahead of the elections underscores the failure of modern party politics and their ability to look after your electorate & your Town.
Readers will note that Cllr Andrew Johnson has failed to respond to my questions.The simple fact is, that from the very top to the bottom, the Conservative Party just like the Labour Party have failed to engage with the public. Raising issues or objections in the Council Chamber has the audience of "one person and their dog". What HAP has done in the last 18 months has been to put the spotlight on the actions of BOTH Parties and it is quite clear that residents, once they are advised of what is going on, don't like what they see. Osler Surgery closure, library closures, play spaces lost, hundreds of homeless families living in homes which should never have been created, plans to build thousands of homes on Harlow's borders, the lack of a commitment to build bungalows, the lack of maintenance to trees, the lack of external repair and painting to council houses are all sad legacies for all of our present councillors. Nicholas Taylor Harlow Alliance Party