Report shines light on dire health situation in Harlow

Lifestyle / Fri 22nd Oct 2021 at 09:24am

A REPORT on how Harlow can recover in a post-Covid world has revealed a number of the health and economic needs in the town.

The report was presented by the portfolio holder for community resilience, cllr Joel Charles.

Among the issues highlighted in the report were:

  • We had the lowest average employment income in England and Essex
  •   Our environment was the most densely populated in Essex
  •   The concentration of fine particles in our air quality was the third highest inEssex
  •   The density of fast food outlets was the second highest in Essex
  •   Childhood obesity at reception age was above Essex but similar to England
  •  Childhood obesity at Year 6 was the highest in Essex and higher than England
  •   The number of overweight and obese adults was higher than in Essex and England
  •   The percentage of people physically active was the third lowest in Essex
  •   The number of people eating five portions of fruit and vegetables daily was the lowest in Essex

Building a stronger community post-COVID

Cllr Joel Charles said: “The pandemic brought out the best in our community. Key workers, health and care professionals, faith groups, charities and volunteers all pulled together to provide support to the most vulnerable.

The countless acts of selflessness and courage to confront COVID-19 helped keep many people safe, but we must not forgot the tragedy endured by individuals and families who have lost loved ones.

That is why this Community Resilience Strategy is important. It acts as a master plan for the council to navigate the response to the social impact of the pandemic and offers a strategic vision to strengthen the ties that hold our community together. The council is acutely aware of the need to respond in earnest to capture the momentum achieved by the grassroots response.

This can be achieved by building a new social contract to enable our community to better support those who have been impacted the most whilst there has been a pause in normal life.

The health crisis has brought with it a renewed sense of purpose and ambition to build on our existing community network. Through the six pillars included as part of this strategy, the council will press ahead with a plan, working closely with individuals, community groups and sector partners to co-create the key elements that make up this vision document for a stronger community post-COVID.

It is the council’s determination that physical and mental wellbeing are continuing priorities by looking at ways to invest in our existing community services, boosting the capacity of faith and charitable groups, creating a new long-term vision to celebrate the arts and culture, and focus relentlessly of driving out anti-social behaviour. These areas of focus sit under the central commitments to deliver greater levels of inclusion and opportunity, so that everyone benefits from the recovery.

None of this can be achieved overnight. It will take time to embed the strategy and deliver the individual pillar actions, but it is a clear roadmap for how the council will focus on the recovery in the years ahead.

Enhancing the council’s ability to be responsive to community need is best served through increased levels of engagement, building a two-way conversation that identifies what the barriers are and how the town can work collectively to overcome them.

This strategy is only the first step forward – only by working together can we build a better connected town that helps people from all backgrounds to feel a greater sense of belonging and empowerment. Building a renewed sense of community purpose matters because it contributes towards delivering an inclusive recovery that tackles inequality and delivers social cohesion.

The recovery includes a six point plan

  •   Recovery from the pandemic cannot be achieved in isolation – we must all work together
  •   Embedding Social Inclusion into everything we do is key to ensuring nobody is left out or left behind regardless of ability, disability, origin or background
  •   Ensuring that everyone has opportunities to grow, learn, thrive and achieve is essential to levelling up communities and ensuring the best possible life chances for everyone

  •   Recognising the needs of local businesses, providing access to networks and collaborating to source investment opportunities for employers to expand their footprint in the town
  •   Strengthened and effective community engagement and consultation helps us better understand issues that affect our residents and businesses and be able to respond appropriately and effectively
  •   Redefining, promoting and embracing a shared sense of identity and purpose for the town will help us work together as one to recover from the pandemic and achieve our collective aims for the future

The full report can be found below.


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2 Comments for Report shines light on dire health situation in Harlow:

2021-10-23 11:47:44

What didn't help pre-Covid was the NHS selling off GP,s surgeries to private health companies like Osler House in Potter Street which was sold to a company in the US who then shut it down only giving one months notice to all who were registered and like me who was a patient there for 30 years were never aware that it was American owned.

Richard Adams
2021-10-24 09:50:34

What a shocking report! Fine words from the council and at least they have taken a first step to solving the problem by recognising there is a problem. But what is needed is action including: 1) Ensuring all the properties the council owns are properly insulated. 2) Stop developers building more and more unwanted poor quality housing in places that are not suitable. 3) Strongly resist building unnecessary housing on the outskirts of Harlow. 4)Place strict planning guidance on the number and position of takeaway food outlets in the Town. 5)Maintain the towns open spaces. 6) Support a local bus network. The above are just a few things that could be done I am sure better brains than mine could add to the list.

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