Mark Hall By-election: Green candidate wants to hear your concerns
News / Sun 13th Jun 2021 at 12:04pm
IT is a while since a Harlow election has had a Green candidate. We always finds that they have something to say.
A few years ago, Hannah Ellen Clare stood in the District and General Elections. Subsequently, she moved to Brighton and became Deputy Leader of the council.
Which brings us to Jamie Gilbert, who is standing in the by-election for the Mark Hall ward on July 8th.
You have to applaud his timing with plans to put a four lane highway across the lands near the River Stort.
YH went down to Tany’s Dell to speak to Mr Gilbert and find out a little bit more about his campaign.
Details of the other candidates can be found on our politics page.
Progress is all well and good, but as Jamie said putting up new unaffordable housing indicates to me and probably many others that it's not progress pushing forward these building plans, but rather putting cash in the pockets of the developers who are probably on friendly terms with the councils, don't care about green spaces or how they affect the environment and don't care that they will affect endangered species that call the Stort home.
This is interesting, particularly his use of the excellent Corbyn slogan ‘For the many…’ Given recent stats showing massive changes in young voting intentions since the end of Corbyn & the advent of Keith, Labour could end up scoring a massive own goal in Mark Hall in July unless they come out clearly & unequivocally against the environmental destruction concomitant upon the monstrous Stort crossing proposal. Opposing it is clearly the *ethical* thing to do. It might also be the *pragmatic* thing to do if Labour wants to hold onto their seat. Kay Morrison is clearly a decent, principled, human being (she joined in the memorial to George Floyd taking of the knee this year in the town park) . Why is she ( and most of Harlow Labour, with a few honourable exceptions ) so deafeningly silent on this?
The answer Michael is that the then Labour Leader at Harlow Council signed up to the deal to create the Harlow and Gilston Town some years ago and since then Harlow Council officers and at least one Labour Councillor have been directly involved with the consortium's board. It was the Labour group controlling Harlow Council earlier this year that employed a consultant to look at the proposal to construct a metro and cycle way across the River Stort to complement the new road in reducing congestion on the roads. This proposal is only the first of many which will impact on residents in the town. We in the Harlow Alliance Party have been the only Party to raise objections, lets hope that the Green candidate, with the backing of a national Party can help get this message across.
Tenpin observation is well made. The former Labour Council has been totally engaged in this project from the start. Let’s not forget the famous (infamous) £100 million Harlow Metro (monorail)! If their extremist Momentum candidate starts ranting against the Gilston project, it will only show how hypocritical and dishonest they are, treating voters with utter contempt. Don’t forget that their candidate, Kay Morrison was utterly rejected by voters in Netteswell in the May elections. Since when has a Netteswell reject been good enough for the residents of Mark Hall? Don’t be fooled!
At least the Green candidate comes with clean hands, unlike Labour, who will ditch anything to get their grubby hands on a few votes. They were in power for almost 10 years. They have left the town in a state of neglect. Their ineptitude, dishonesty, mismanagement and incompetence are their hallmarks.
Anyone who's interested should visit the site: the maps/plans don't do it justice. I spent a few hours there today and now have more questions than answers. One important question: has an environmental impact been conducted? If not, why not? Incidentally, there are no woodpeckers or kingfishers in that area, unfortunately.
It was a pleasure to meet Jamie and Kay and to take them for a walk around the area. I was able to point out the dire consequences for the people of Harlow losing such an incredibly beautiful area. It’s the same route I took with my Conservative Ward and County Counsellors a few days ago. If the river crossing were to go ahead, it would be detrimental to a number of significant fauna and flora. Otters, water voles and red squirrels have been spotted, as well as rare bee orchids. The area provides an abundant habitat across the ecological chain where both predators and prey thrive. Moreover, the area is rich in archeology. Harlow Council recognises that and there are several information signs pointing this out. Arguably, this is one of the most important archaeological site in the South East of England. We also briefly discussed the Geology of the area, which sits on the Thames Basin above a huge pool of melted permafrost from the last ice age. It is unknown what the implications will be if it is disturbed. As important are the benefits to health (both physical and mental) and wellbeing. It’s the serenity that a riverside walk offers at no additional cost to the council. Instead the road introduces risk of antisocial behaviour, severe risk of flooding. Policing and maintenance will come at additional financial cost to the council. All we are asking, is that the Councillors revisit this application scrutinise the documentation under 3/19/1051/FUL fully and in good conscience, before planning permission is granted. We also want the counci to realise the absolute sense of urgency. The road is not in the best interests of the people of Harlow. It is not Gibberd’s plan.