Harlow Council set to agree new three year plan to “make Harlow the best town in the country”
News / Fri 26th Nov 2021 am30 08:05am
A NEW three-year plan for Harlow Council is set to be agreed in the coming days, which aims to “make Harlow the best town in the country to raise your family and to send your children to school; the best place to start a business; the best place to live and to be.”
The aim to “make Harlow the best town in the country” is all part of the Council’s new corporate strategy being proposed by the Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Russell Perrin, at next Thursday’s (2 December) Cabinet meeting. The new strategy will provide the overall direction for the Council’s day-to-day work and decision making.
The recently appointed leader is proposing a bold new vision and set of ambitions for the Council, including to: regenerate and transform Harlow’s estates and town centre, restore pride in the streets and estates, radically improve council services whilst providing value for money for council taxpayers, and support all residents and businesses now and in the future as the town recovers from the pandemic.
The strategy focuses on four key themes: economic growth, social cohesion, safeguarding the environment and being an efficient council. Within the strategy are the ambitions and work priorities which will be delivered by the council’s seven cabinet members.
Introducing his Council’s new plan, Councillor Russell Perrin, said: “Harlow has been a great place for many people to live and work over the past 75 years. If Harlow is to continue being a great place to live and work, if it is to continue to be a place of enterprise and innovation, if it is to continue as a green and pleasant place in our country’s landscape, then it will require the administration I lead to drive its regeneration and renewal.
“This plan shifts our efforts in regenerating our town from low to high gear. It allows us to get on with the job of making Harlow the best town in the country and extending opportunity and prosperity to everyone in our town.
“This is not just another document designed to gather dust, but a clear statement of intent that this Council, working with local enterprise, charities, volunteer groups, partner organisations and all of our people, will truly transform Harlow.”
As well as getting on with the job of rebuilding and transforming Harlow, Councillor Perrin knows very well that day-to-day the council must be an efficient organisation and one that delivers for its residents and businesses. He added: “This council will be the main driver in making Harlow an even better place to be, but, above all else we will be a council that is there to serve the people and businesses of this town. That is what our plan seeks to do and that is what we will deliver.”
If agreed the final corporate strategy will go to a Full Council meeting early next year for approval. The council is also currently consulting residents and businesses on a separate plan – the draft Town Plan – which covers a number of issues vital to Harlow’s future and asks how the Town should grow and develop over the next 26 years.
They've got their work cut out. Should start with nukeing the Town Centre and completely rebuilding with a road running through the centre so that it has some life, like Hertford, Ware, Hoddesdon and Stortford. Then they should fix the roads, stop the Gilston Garden village being built. Also need to greatly improve public transport and sort out the traffic chaos that exists around the out-of-town commercial shopping areas along Edinburgh Way. To name but a few of the many things that need covering in any future plans.
It was a great place to live when I moved from London in the early 70's , now it's a terrible town. What has changed, who allowed this to happen? There are much better places to live then Harlow.
Sounds as though an ambitious positive but difficult challenge is going to be set. Dont' forget all this is proposed while the local election campaign promise back in May to "immediately cut Council Tax" still is to be delivered!
Great news, what’s not to like. Onwards & upwards 🚀 🌤
We have heard comparable statements to this previously. Can he do it, is he strong enough to carry it through? Might the necessary staff required be up to the standard needed? It would be good if he (and they) succeed - only time will prove.
Looks like another "We know best" deal from the politicians. Where was the extensive consultation process? Things generally change for the worse in the name of progress, like wasting 900 million on pinch points development of the A414, like Gilden Way, like the 2020 development plan, like hggt pfp, like flower pots in the Market Square, like closing The Square, like the Eastern Crossing, like not bothering to sort a lack of Council houses, like congestion "transport" corridors, like hi rise buildings, like trashing the Stort Valley, like burning money for fireworks and not bothering to even make a charity collection, like demolishing the ski slope, like replacing the sports centre with an unaffordable LeisureZone, Council after Council red and blue have degraded this town and now the Conservatives want to make it a mini city: overpriced housing, congested and an extension of London. Why, nothing to do with jobs, there's plenty arriving because of the business and science parks and public health England, it's all to line the pockets of property developers, friends of the Conservative party. Regeneration means different things to different people most of us like the spirit Gibbard plan, that's why we came to a low rise Garden town that fits the landscape that's green. Whilst this decimation goes on we see is smaller ways that the Cllrs with these bright ideas on election couldn't deliver on getting the bin collections sorted, didn't immediately cut Council tax and haven't learned any lessons. They do not listen. Wasting money Re paving the Market Square isn't what we the electorate wanted it was the recreation of a thriving market, building a smaller hospital on the edge of town with unbelievably a farm on the roof wasn't wanted a well equipped and staffed functioning PAH could have been built on the current site by better use of the land using a multi storey car park could have been started immediately etc etc . Undo the past damage and stop the new that will permanently degrade the town and make an ultra green town development plan on the shoulders of the Gibbard plan is what we need. One last thought if the town centre is to be regenerated by building more homes and arts and entertainment centres won't these conflict. The residents will complain about the noise and late night revellers and the entertainment sectors will be shut down!!!
Is Russell related to Reginald? As pointed out by novoman these plans, a dreadful tory illusion of what residents want and not on an extensive detailed consultation nor on any understanding of what's degrading the environment are reminiscent of the irrational decisions made by Reginald. Would be funny if it weren't so serious.
Harlow back in the 80s was a great place with MANY community events (Live music in the town park, Town Show, Fireworks, Play Barns, live music venues etc, etc), a thriving market square where you could get almost every thing you needed. Shops in the town centre were diverse and catered for pretty much everything you would need. Shopping hatches all around the town and LOTS of grass wedges. No more community events other than Fireworks and an occasional Bandstand event. Live music at The Square destroyed, shopping hatches turning into flats as are office space in the town centre (aka ghettos) and green wedges vanishing under bricks and mortar. Little Walk demolished and left as rubble, Gate House the same. As for the poor Odeon !!! We are told that the housing is needed for the "People of Harlow". What a lie that is. Just walk around the town centre and see how many different languages there are now !! Harlow is just a vague shadow of what it used to be. It is dying i'm afraid.
It's good to be aspirational. There was a consultation comments document in the free "Your Harlow" magazine recently. Hopefully the town centre will have more places to sit (comfortable furniture rather than modern art, please!). And more trees in The High, and flowers, would make it look nicer.
Does that include fixing the Potholes ???
Matthew the document was looking 26 years ahead not a three year plan being foisted on us. The thing is that the foundations laid by the 3 year plan already assumes that the tory Council's already well published vision of Harlow is what is appropriate, or needed or takes account of new technologies. These 3 year foundations will set mistakes in concrete as have been past mistakes, many of which have been identified by others who have responded to this tory announcement. As has been said Harlow had so much virtually all of which has been deconstructed by politicians.
Green and pleasant land, really. When all your doing is take take takings of our green and pleasant land. And leaving us with pockets of man made eares. Please leave our beautiful river stort alone. You talk of wellbeing, you talk of planting and saving our green belt, while failing to tell people what your truly doing with it. So I don't think you saying this green and pleasant land is the right thing to say.
As is often the case, Novoman hits many nails on the head. This document fails to give any insight as to how progress will be monitored or how success will be judge. Cllr Perrin states that Harlow will become the best town in the country and 'we will position Harlow as a regional centre for arts and culture' Well I would suggest we can all have our own views on what constitutes the former and the plan to create a centre for cultural around The Playhouse wont do the latter, simply because we have the smallest theatre in the region (400 seats) compared with Cliffs Pavilion at Southend with it's 1600 seats and no plan to build another one elsewhere in the town.
Think first & foremost is to tidy the whole of Harlow & not just the way in & out for so called important VISITORS.. it then may give people on estates an uplift.. it makes people feel brighter better & safer when we are seen plus our cars, children, pets etc. The upkeep of estates paths trees bushes grass all need attending to a great deal more, as they are being left for a whole year at a time, it would then encourage people to live here instead of seeing scruffy housing estates & are wanting to move.. how can we have pride of where we live if Harlow Council doesn't?...you need to bring Harlow Market back bigger & better open up affordable shops to draw people into Harlow.. more buses into town, instead of cutting them out as people then go back home... you waste far too much money on items that are ridiculously costly stupid & ugly & have no purpose to the public.. Harlow did use to be a nice town where people wanted to come & to be... But you most definitely need to get people wanting to do all of that before you get too big with ideas that will not work for Harlow... It needs to be a safer place to live before you put your big plans into action. You also need more manpower to HTS we may then get things done to our homes, but right now it's every job to who ever, one is Jack of all trades so to speak, the rest sit in their vans in car parks having all day breaks. If you haven't got the people believing in Harlow Council then you have got their trust or believe in your so called plans.
Think first & foremost is to tidy the whole of Harlow & not just the way in & out for so called important VISITORS.. it then may give people on estates an uplift.. it makes people feel brighter better & safer when we are seen plus our cars, children, pets etc. The upkeep of estates paths trees bushes grass all need attending to a great deal more, as they are being left for a whole year at a time, it would then encourage people to live here instead of seeing scruffy housing estates & are wanting to move.. how can we have pride of where we live if Harlow Council doesn't?...you need to bring Harlow Market back bigger & better open up affordable shops to draw people into Harlow.. more buses into town, instead of cutting them out as people then go back home... you waste far too much money on items that are ridiculously costly stupid & ugly & have no purpose to the public.. Harlow did use to be a nice town where people wanted to come & to be... But you most definitely need to get people wanting to do all of that before you get too big with ideas that will not work for Harlow... It needs to be a safer place to live before you put your big plans into action. You also need more manpower to HTS we may then get things done to our homes, but right now it's every job to who ever, one is Jack of all trades so to speak, the rest sit in their vans in car parks having all day breaks. If you haven't got the people believing in Harlow Council then you have not got their trust or believe in your so called plans.
Miss Pride makes a good point about about giving people pride on their estates. When the Harlow Alliance Party asked the Council about the external repair and painting of Council houses some months ago the response was that they had no record of such work prior to 2016 and had done very little since. The Council house next to mine has only had such work done once in 25 years, gutters leak and need painting as do areas of woodwork, garage door and ramp to the front entrance. Long gone are the days when this Council maintained the external fabric of it's biggest asset, it's homes. Because of the snails pace in getting more off street parking spaces built, garage blocks repaired and painted, paths and roads repaired, broken road signs removed or replaced and overgrown trees not being attended to, it is not just the Town Centre that needs to be addressed but a complete resetting of Council priorities. Council officers spend a huge amount of time writing hundreds, perhaps thousands of pages for Council agendas each month, it is time for less Yak and more do!