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New Harlow Labour leader: “It is Labour who are on the side of small businesses in our town”

News / Thu 3rd Jun 2021 at 08:28am

THE NEW leader of the Harlow Labour group has slammed the new Tory administration over business grants.

Councillor Chris Vince said: “It is a real pity the Conservatives seem determined to undermine the great work that the previous Labour administration did during this terrible pandemic.  However, I shouldn’t really expect more from them.  Sadly, it’s an all-too-common strategy used by politicians to blame the previous administration for things while subsequently trying to take credit for things they have done or set in motion you know the public will like.

Up until the 30th of April over £57 000 000 was given out via Harlow Council to businesses across Harlow as part of the governments scheme, that’s over 4 000 grants with more in the pipeline.  If small businesses didn’t receive or were rejected for grants, then this was because they didn’t meet government’s requirements and not the requirements of Harlow Council.  Yes, some local councils completely ignored guidelines which is why they don’t have any more grant money to give out and where there were particular problems the council use the little discretion, it had and widened the remit for grant funding. This was a decision made by the then Labour administration and not the Conservatives . 

Labour has always been the party on the side of small businesses, whereas the Conservatives are more interested in supporting their millionaire friends.  Labour nationally focused much of its previous manifestos on small businesses, pledging to stamp out on late payments which cripple small and medium sized businesses, end the needless and expensive quarterly reporting cycle and lower their energy bills.Sadly, this is another example of the Conservative government putting more pressure on a local council to do the job they themselves have shown time and time again they are unable to do, look after the people of Harlow.  Since the pandemic started Harlow’s Labour run council were at the forefront, providing support for residents through the community hub, providing support for the vaccine centre and through relief to small businesses in administering a cumbersome and frequently changing business grant scheme.  All of this when over the past 11 years the Conservative government has cut core council finances by 60%! 

Let’s not let the Harlow Conservatives re-write history.  It is the Labour Party that is on your side.

Chris Vince 

Leader of Harlow Labour group 

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