Letter to Editor: GE19: Harlow Labour councillor looks at the choices…

Dear Sir,

WE are now in the closing days of the election campaign and on Thursday the people of Harlow will make a choice on who is going to represent them in Parliament over the next five years.

On the one hand we have Robert Halfon who presents himself as a “good constituency MP”, who is willing to address local issues and to his credit has campaigned for a new Harlow Hospital and the M11 link. But from his campaign literature – you’d think he had done this on his own when it has very much been collaborative effort with the Hospital Authorities, District and County Councils.

He complains about Terminus House whilst at the same time voting for the Planning Laws which allowed these very same developments, over which District Councils have little or no control.

He complains about London Boroughs placing people in temporary accommodation in Harlow whilst voting for the Housing Benefit regulations which allow and encourage such activity to happen.

At the 2015 election hustings, despite evidence to the contrary, he denied that there was problem with school funding. His response to subsequent lobbying was one of if “individual schools can give me examples of the funding formulae being inappropriately applied then I will take the matter up on their behalf. Distancing himself from the fact that he had voted for the formulae (which failed to take into account increasing pupil numbers and increases in staff related costs) in the first place.

Once it became apparent that the Government could no longer pretend otherwise than there was and remains funding crisis he positions himself to say that he has actively campaigned for increased school budgets.

Equally he voted for cuts to Disability Benefits and for not increasing other benefits in line with inflation.

He voted for the introduction of Universal credit and the notorious waiting time (whereby the poorest claimants can have a repayable loan to cover the first five weeks of their claim where they receive no benefits).

He voted for the cuts to the Police Service, which resulted in the loss of over 20,000 Police Officers nationally and approximately 700 in Essex alone. With the resultant rise in crime, rise in anti-social behaviour and fall in successful prosecutions.

He also voted for changes in the legal system, the privatisation of the probation service and the loss of our County Court and Magistrates Courts.

Then when the situation becomes unbearable for Town Centre traders due to the cuts in the Police numbers in the first place, he joins the campaign for a greater Police presence in the Town Centre and throughout the Town.

On rough sleeping and the Food Bank he publicly supports local efforts – but at the same time distances himself from responsibility for voting for the very polices which have led Harlow Food Bank feeding 5,616 (3,612 adults & 2,004 children) people with emergency food in 2018/19. Food Bank referrals increasing by 37% compared to the same period in 2017/18.

I could give numerous other examples.

So on Thursday we will have a stark choice between Robert Halfon who claims to be “good constituency MP but whose votes in Parliament have had disastrous consequences for his constituents. And Laura McAlpine the Labour Party Candidate who has lived in the town all her life and who knows Harlow inside out and backwards.

Laura will not only make “a good constituency MP” but will also vote for policies which will enrich and not impoverish Harlow’s residents.

Tony Edwards

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5 Responses to "Letter to Editor: GE19: Harlow Labour councillor looks at the choices…"

  1. MickyB77   December 9, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Nothing more than an attempt at character assassination by this bumptious part-time Marxist pseudo politician.
    When Mr Edwards has achieved, if ever, a fraction that Halfon has, perhaps people may take note.
    Residency doesn’t make L Mac / Mrs A……i the best candidate for Harlow, and by her previous interviews, her focus is dedicated to what has already been achieved by R Halfon, apart from the play clubs for children.

  2. PTK   December 9, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    It seems to me that Conservative MPs such as Mr Halfon should be thoroughly ashamed of their “achievements”.

    That poor people are being forced to move out of London and being rehoused in sub-standard converted office blocks in Harlow is something of which anyone with a social conscience should be deeply ashamed.

    It is also shameful that workers are being employed by certain companies in oppressive conditions where some are actually urinating in bottles rather than be fined for taking too many toilet breaks.

    The reductions in life expectancy in some parts of this country show that ten years of Conservative government is literally bad for our health.

  3. Towpath_Rat   December 9, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    The usual witless, ill- informed drivel from MickyB who appears to think anyone who is to the left of Tommy Robinson is a Marxist! Red! Traitor! Watch out Robert Halfon … You will incur the wrath of Micky at some point. Squawk! Squawk! Goes parrot Micky!

  4. kthe5   December 9, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    RE Life Expectancy in different areas. In Uxbridge and Ruislip (Boris Johnson’s current constituency), the A40 splits Uxbridge and South Ruislip in half. Depending on which side of the road you live could mean an eight-year gap in your life expectancy. Voters living in Eastcote, in the affluent north of the borough, can expect to reach 84 years of age. Those living in Botwell, in the poorer southern tip, tend to make it just past 76.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-50570468

  5. MickyB77   December 10, 2019 at 7:24 am

    kt, away with the saucy comments again, I didn’t realise that the A 40 was near our constituency, it seems she’ll write borrowed text for any reason, other than truthful comment.
    PTK and T- Rat , as for the message in a bottle, report it to the local council who are responsible for factory acts as this, what’s it got to do with Robert H anyway ?
    According to you Marxists, the Tories are responsible for every mishap on this planet.
    T-Rat your comments are as usual, drivel. Does your Mum know you stay up so late to write trivia ?
    Time for this trio to emigrate if it’s so traumatic for you here.
    Where’s your shop steward ? y k w.

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