Leader of Harlow Labour disappointed at failure of council to secure “levelling up” cash

News / Mon 1st Nov 2021 at 08:08am

THE leader of the Harlow Labour group has expressed his disappointment at the failure of the Tory-led administration to secure “levelling-up” funding from the government.

Cllr Chris Vince said: “It was disappointing to scroll through the list of local authorities across the country who have been successful in bidding for Levelling up fund monies and to see that Harlow was not amongst the list of over 100 successful applicants. Despite our town’s Conservative MP constantly talking about it in parliament we have once again been let down by his government.

“This funding, which was submitted under the new administration’s watch, would have brought much needed re-development to Playhouse square and Stone Cross Square.

It is ironic that when a funding bid was unsuccessful under the Labour administration the then party of opposition made a great deal about the fact. They have gone sadly quiet on this.

However, there is potential light at the end of the tunnel with a second funding tranche coming next Spring. My group and I will be doing what we can to support the administration and officers to ensure that Harlow is successful on this occasion.

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6 Comments for Leader of Harlow Labour disappointed at failure of council to secure “levelling up” cash:

2021-11-01 10:00:34

Before the Council and Cllrs begin wasting time and money of such plans they should go to the electorate to consult in great detail to fund out what we, the voters actually want. And once a short list of strategies has been identified actually go to the ballot box in a referendum or by resigning their seats and standing for re election. Reason: we have been assailed for decades with mixtures of crack pot, good, viable and non viable plans for projects that we weren't really informed about before elections that suddenly appear once a party is in power. Consultations are always totally inadequate, there needs to be a rule that any town development project must be voted upon or achieve 10,000 signatures to a supporting petition. Every means possible from leaflets in letterboxes, exhibitions in every ward, library and supermarket and online via Facebook groups and publications like Your Harlow should be used it would cost less than the money wasted on paying professional consultant companies that always tend to produce reports that say what the developers want to hear rather than the truth: take for example Gilden Way or Hggt pfp developments. Do we want a tube station, did we want a tram system, do we want high rise flats rather than low rise homes with gardens, do we really want PAH to be at the edge of town rather than near the bus station, did we want to lose the ski slope and would we like joined up good quality cycle tracks and a free or low cost frequent bus service with park and ride rather than have wasted about £900 million on road schemes over the years? The list goes on. The Party system as run by the major parties doesn't work because of the assumption that all that's in a manifesto is acceptable to the electorate, far from it. The system has failed to deliver homes, energy, a country ready for a pandemic (despite SARS), a good transport system, a modern education system and so the list goes on. Time for change. Perhaps our youngsters who have taken the lead on Climate change might lead the way because looking at the state of the town, country and planet older generations can hardly claim they've made a good job of things, the old philosophy of we know best, profit and power has benefited few at the cost of millions. Labour and Conservative parties have been as bad as one another they take the electorate for granted.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-11-01 11:54:04

Novoman ......Back in the 1990's the Council's Policy and Planning team produced a document called 'A guide to Good Consultation good Practice' which set out what staff needed to do and what residents could expect when a consultation exercise was conducted by the Council. I am afraid to say that this was binned in the early 2000's when the Neighbourhood Offices were closed, each of which had Area Committees, had close contact with Residents Associations and had meetings called Tenant Advisory Groups known as TAGS. These were amongst many examples of how Council staff and Councillors interacted with residents, maybe not always being able to agree with ideas and issues that came forward but they were at least more transparent in the way that policy was created than it is now. The Harlow Alliance Party was set up in early 2018 because of the lack of transparency in the Council decision making process and the 'we know best attitude' expressed by Councillors. The list of issues you highlight are just ones of many. It comes as no surprise that Harlow have not been granted any 'levelling up' monies, whilst we hope that they do if there is a second tranche, if you look at what at best are vague proposals, I think most residents will feel that it will be throwing good money after bad.

2021-11-01 12:14:56

"Be careful of what you wish for" , as my mum used to say. Much of the "levelling" agenda seems to be aimed at levelling up, pollution, profits for speculators, prices of housing, rents whilst levelling down the quality of life for most of the population. Too much old thinking and too little vision in the ruling class.

2021-11-01 15:55:32

Frankly I am pleased that we haven't won this money, yet, because until the hospital situation is sorted the future of the town centre is in limbo. Novoman makes some interesting points but the fact is most people don't care. Take the new river crossing as an example, plans were publicised well back including info available in the Harvey Centre but it has been only recently that a fuss has been kicked up '

Nicholas Taylor
2021-11-01 17:33:14

I would beg to differ Voteforme, from the comments we received when canvassing on the doorstep earlier this yet, the state of the town centre was the most common we heard about. The problem is, most people are not aware of what is being proposed for its 'regeneration', most people we speak to have never heard of yourharlow, they bemoan the loss of the Harlow Star and they have put faith in the pledge made by the Tories to stop the housing developments proposed by EFDC on the Green Belt surrounding our town.

David Forman
2021-11-21 05:50:55

The Tories have to keep their Red Wall seats, so no surprise to me, although the North got shafted with HS2. Never mind, Harlow Labour wanted to splash the cash with a monorail! How about a bus system that is frequent, reliable and cheap? No chance of that with privatised bus companies who can ditch routes if unprofitable. All the effort is focused on the Garden Town with loss of flood plain, wildlife habitat and disturbing an archeological site. Remember not so long ago both Harlow Labour and Tory councillors were salivating at the thought of developers making a killing in return for a few affordable homes, which the developers would have likely came back at a later stage to plead poverty and get the numbers reduced. Only now have councillors and public woken up to the terrible truth, which is better late than never.

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