Harlow Labour “The cat is out the bag – The Tories will not lower your council tax bill”

News / Sun 16th Jan 2022 pm31 02:00pm

CONSERVATIVE controlled Essex County Council has announced this week that they will be raising their proportion of Council Tax by 5% this year. Interestingly, the only time in recent history that Essex County Council has frozen the level of Council Tax that they charge was last year, when the Conservatives were up for re-election says Harlow Labour leader, cllr Chris Vince.

Cllr Vince said: “The increase in Council Tax comes at a time where we are paying more at the pump for petrol, and we are going to see a rise in the number of homes having to choose between soaring energy costs and inflation, despite the promise by Johnson and Vote Leave that we could cut VAT on fuel after Brexit.

But it doesn’t end there. The Conservative Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has already hinted he will once again be increasing his proportion of Council Tax by the maximum he can, whatever Harlow District Council do, residents of Harlow will find their bills increasing, despite being promised the opposite last year.

One of the most frustrating things when Labour were in power at Harlow District Council (HDC) was explaining to the public what responsibilities fall with HDC and Essex County Council (ECC), and the proportion of your tax money which goes to each. When people on the doorstep spoke about the huge craters in the road and cycle tracks (which they still do), it was always awkward to explain that this was a County Council responsibility.

The only positive about the fact that we lost power in Harlow is that the Conservatives now have nowhere to hide.  They are in power at all levels of government therefore have responsibility for everything.  This means that when your Council Tax goes up next year, which it will, it will be clear that this is down to the Conservatives. 

Now some readers might point out that Harlow District Conservative Councillors cannot be blamed for the actions of their Conservative Councillors on Essex County Council.  However, all four County Councillors who represent Harlow, also sit on Harlow District Council. In fact, the chair of Essex County Council is a Conservative Harlow District Council Councillor. The upcoming Council Tax rises have their fingerprints all over them.

So will your increase in Council Tax mean that Harlow’s roads get fixed, that our streetlights will get repaired?  Somehow, I doubt it.

“However, there is another way.  Labour won’t make gimmicky election pledges which are, in truth, irresponsible.  We’ll be honest about how we would spend your money and we will always do what we can to represent our residents’ interests.  Sadly the Conservatives of Essex, much like those having parties in Downing Street while the rest of us were in lockdown, only serve themselves.”

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8 Comments for Harlow Labour “The cat is out the bag – The Tories will not lower your council tax bill”:

David Forman
2022-01-16 14:18:53

Maybe, we should wait to see what Harlow District Council announces regarding council tax. In any event, given the pandemic and the soaring costs of social care it is unsurprising that Essex County Council is raising it's precept by 5%. I don't believe we need another article on this topic any time soon as we have had two from Cllr Vince in just a few weeks.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-01-16 14:37:51

If only your comments in the last paragraph were true Cllr Vince. The Harlow Alliance Party was set up in 2018 mainly because the Labour Party when in control of the Council made little if any attempt to consult with residents about their interests, taking a 'we know best' attitude. Your Parties actions when creating the Local Plan were specifically designed to ensure that residents were not properly consulted, you spent over a quarter of a million pounds on resurfacing Market Square, only to spend another huge sum chopping much of it up again, you failed to stop office conversions as quickly as you could have, you created the Harlow and Gilston Garden town without any consultation with residents. With a track record like that who would be surprised if you take another pounding at the elections next May, despite what has gone on in Downing Street and the lack of a true Council Tax reduction.

2022-01-16 14:42:46

" the promise by Johnson and Vote Leave that we could cut VAT on fuel after Brexit." Just incase anyone has forgotten: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/tories-argued-vat-cuts-brexit-dividend-voting-against-them-1394690 George Eustice, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Boris Johnson, Penny Mordaunt, Dominic Raab, Iain Duncan Smith, Desmond Swayne, Theresa Villiers and John Whittingdale were amongst the signatories to a pledge abolish VAT on household energy bill. Earlier this week they voted against abolishing VAT on household energy bills. They lied. Chris Grayling said this would be paid for by would be paid for by savings from the UK’s contributions to the EU budget. He lied. RH failed to vote to reduce household energy bills. And this Tory administration has already failed to keep their pledge. They said they would reduce Council Tax bills immediately. Not after a year. Not after their next announcement. But immediately.

2022-01-16 23:31:44

It would seem that politicians on all levels say what needs to be said to win a vote. The electorate seem willing to swallow what ever the promise of the day happens to be. Truth is the promises are hollow, and lack any real substance. Nothing ever gets done, unless it is a vanity project to show they are doing something that only papers over the huge cracks in the towns infrastructure, but otherwise we pay more for less regardless of what party is in charge.

2022-01-17 07:45:15

Harlow Conservatives and those at county and national level have been proven to lie repeatedly. It endemic and comes from the top, they care not for people only theirselves.

2022-01-17 09:11:28

Cllr Vince, have you asked your leader about his beer drinking meeting, You talk about maintaining services in Harlow, 10 years in control your party let the Potholes increase, litter increase, no tree maintenance, little Council house maintenance, you let Terminus house be developed into unsuitable homes, let’s not talk about annual market square gravy train, Credit to you for showing us how to waste council tax money,

Connie Sosa
2022-01-17 10:20:03

Harlow Labour spent 10 years administration of the Council and did what: 1. Hiked council tax every year; 2. Built zero social housing, and actually lost funding through their inaction and I incompetence; 3. Allowed much of the town centre to become a no-go area. 4. Created HTS to maintain the environment and housing . Just look at the state of the town to see how much they wasted. 5. They signed Harlow up for the Harlow Gilston Garden Town project in 2017 including the Stort crossing without any public consultation. 6. When threatened with losing more funding because they had built no social houses, they rushed and bought houses on the private market that cost Harlow taxpayers 3 times the cost of actually building new houses. They are completely unfit to run the town.

Pauline S
2022-01-17 13:31:09

What a shame so many politicians either lie or twist the truth - no wonder the public don't (gererally) bother to vote. Personally I might consider the Harlow Alliance Party to be better than the "more popular" ones. The public want change, but who can be trusted? We need a complete change with more honest actions by both word and deed.

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