Harlow Tories…a lot of empty words says Labour candidate
Politics / Thu 20th Jan 2022 am31 08:14am
From Harlow Labour candidate for Bush Fair, Kay Morrison
Listen to how these words sound.
Don’t they sound delightful? Can you hear a hollow ring, though? Unfortunately, they’re only words, intended to mislead.
Affordable housing? Only 6 of 35 houses to be built at Purford Green will be affordable, intensely disappointing to families who’re waiting for a home they can afford.
Levelling up? Have the Conservatives noticed the current cost of living? Inflation is spiralling upwards from 5%. National Insurance is increasing. Many Harlow residents have to decide between food and heat.
People in Harlow are struggling like never before. Meanwhile, tory chums have benefited from the pandemic. They’re levelling up all right! The rich get richer and Downing Street throws parties.
Everyone’s Essex? Well, it is …. but some are a whole lot comfier than others.
Perhaps we can draw Kay’s attention to the Budget announced yesterday: - A £55 reduction on Council Tax bills from Harlow Council this year - Planned Council Tax freezes until 2025 - taken with the reduction this year residents will pay £67 less to Harlow Council than was previously planned equating to a £2.1 million tax cut in total rather than a £600,000 tax increases planned by Labour - £26 million towards building new council homes for Harlow families - £122 million 5-year programme to improve existing council houses and flats - £63 million 5-year programme to improve council-owned facilities across the town - £6.4 million to enhance the town’s landscaping and environment - No cuts to services, but more investment to improve council services for residents - More funding for popular community services including Harlow Playhouse, Pets’ Corner and Harlow Museum - New Estate Renewal Fund to restore pride in our estates and neighbourhoods - A new combined planning and regeneration department to provide focus on delivering town centre and wider regeneration - Car parking charges frozen in all Council-owned car parks Conservatives = a £2.1 million tax cut Labour = Council Tax up every year and planned £600k tax increases
Well said Dan, I think that this lady is a prime candidate for the Foot in Mouth team (F I M)
Despite being politically dressed, I think you'll find that the council civil servants are just as stale and need a refresh. Not one council officer I've dealt with could really say they handled the matter for a loval born and bread individual as "working together for Harlow". The council and their attitude of we're the council you listen to us and do what we say, despite providing a poor service is really the problem. The political party in charge is merely just the puppet like a punch and Judy show. The poor performance is hidden below the curtain away from answering or facing the people. None of the partys make any change, they just shout at different volumes about different thinks that pull the heart strings of their followers to make them sound like they are doing something.
I would to go to a council meeting to see how this is going to affect Harlow is there a public gallery to see what is Happening.
Kay Morrison and her broken record of vacuous platitudes. Remember this the person, who as a Labour candidate was twice roundly rejected within a matter of months by the discerning voters, first of Netteswell and then a few months later of Mark Hall whinging about the Stort crossing, which was proposed and then approved by her own previous Labour administration in their December 2020 Harlow Development Plan! Wake up Kay. Think before you speak yet more nonsense.
Chris, That is a nice summing up and just what i found when dealing with local candidates or any of the council services.
So the current council has found a magic money tree or have they? Where is this tree? And will this tree keep providing until 2025? It is a magician who can provide entertaining through tricks but who is the magician on the council who can cut council tax while also delivering professionally needed services to residents'? Surely its January not May: so where are those magical councillors promising much and delivering nothing of substance: I will find out on the 3rd February!
Thanks for your responses: I'm pleased to find you're paying attention to some things at least ... even if one comment shows worrying signs of verbal diahorrea. Maybe you could deal with the substance of my contribution, though, rather than simply shouting me down. Could you try that? It's worth a go, even now.
Dear Connie, I take slight offence at your comment about "whinging" about the proposed Stort Crossing. I take heart that Local politicians are taking notice that 6000 local residents have signed a petition to object to this proposed devastating scar on our landscape and that they are prepared to stand up for the will of the people.
Neil Warner-Baker, I understand your point. My comment was on the stark hypocrisy and deceit of Kay Morrison who was falsely giving the impression of opposition on the doorstep in the Mark Hall by-election regarding this issue, when everybody knows that it was the last Labour Administration that signed up for the Harlow Gilston Garden Town project in 2017 and who set it in stone for planning law purposes with the Harlow Development Plan approved in December 2020. That Plan actually show a map with the bridge clearly set out.
The comment made by Kay Morrison is entitled: “Harlow Tories…”. Yet, the subject to which she refers relates to Essex County Council, not Harlow. Merely, suggest she gets her facts right, unless that is too much to ask.
The Council agenda next week runs to over 370 pages, in which there is very little detail of what the Tories actually intend to do. In this respect I have to say that Kay is right. Affordable housing .... well we know what that really means. Levelling Up .... what does that mean, with who, with what, how will it be measured? Garden community .... sorry we mean seven housing estates, not villages. Everyone's Essex .... what the heck does this mean? Everyone must be hoping for a better Harlow (although we may all have our own ideas as to what that means), the trouble is, some nine months since taking control of the Council there is little or no evidence of this, just officers writing hundreds of pages of waffle. In the meantime the Tory controlled County Council are still failing to keep up with filing in pot holes, road signs and barriers remain damaged for years, all leading to the feeling of a town which is on a downward spiral
James - Harlow Tories are Essex County Council Tories. All four Essex County Councillors sit on Harlow Council too. Connie - there is no need to speak of people like this. I guess Be Kind passed you by. It is possible for people to think differently within a party - just look at David Davis and Boris Johnson. Dan - the lowering of council tax in Harlow will eat into the council’s reserves, so should a pandemic or anything happening as such in the future, they will be less able to lend support. The perceived reduction from HDC will be cancelled out by increases from Conservative controlled Essex County Council and the Conservative Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. The increase in the cost of living will be felt by everyone, whether at the petrol pump, in heating bills or road tax. Thank you to Kay and Nick Taylor for speaking up.
Focussing on just one point, I suspect that the £67 ANNUAL saving in Harlow council tax will be taken up by ONE MONTH's increase in winter energy costs. And that is before the increases expected from ECC.
As a representative of the Green Party of Harlow I wanted to add some points. Firstly, whilst Kay has been my opponent in the Mark Hall by election, I agree with her statement in many ways. The conservatives have plans that will save Harlow residents a few pounds for the year in council tax but with the increase in national insurance its all taken back and as Kay mentioned with inflation spiralling out of debt, increased cost of living and sky high fuel prices, the people of Harlow will struggle more than ever. Regardless what Harlow Labour's involvement was when the stort crossing development was signed off, Kay Morrison marched beside me in opposition at the protest and she doesn't deserve to be shouted down in the comments section for supporting everyone who has campaign against the proposal. As Nicholas said, these homes are not affordable at all, I believe they will likely bring a new wealthier class to Harlow rather than residents that are already living and working here and need the support. And we see almost nothing in terms of road and cycle path repairs which is governed by Essex County Council but what are our councillors doing to get Harlow on the front line of priorities? I would like to note that the Conservative controlled Essex Council did manage to get Mark Hall roads repaired whilst the by election was happening but seemed to stop shortly after?
Sounds like good news in a period of rising inflation. Well done Cllr Russell Perrin!
It is not that complicated: affordable housing is defined by reference to any given local market. Therefore, what would be deemed ‘affordable’ in Hampstead would totally different to what would ‘affordable’ in Braintree. It is based on each market, which logical. The average house price in Harlow is reported by Rightmove to £335,000. Is that expensive? Well, not compared with Hertford, Epping or Bishop’s Stortford, which all share similar strategic advantages to Harlow on the London to Cambridge Corridor. Harlow’s plan to regenerate will attract new businesses offering well paid jobs. They will demand good housing and services, all of which will bring more prosperity for the town. Social housing is vital but should be for those in genuine need. How many council houses in Harlow are occupied by a single person with extra bedrooms not in use? How many people with household income of over £50,000 are renting council homes stopping those in genuine need from having access? The whole system needs to be scrutinised and reformed.
I’m glad “garden community” is noted as a term designed to obfuscate. It’s greenwash, and it means “housing developments”. It is a term intended to close down arguments about abuses of the environment, and this is what the Harlow & Gilston “Garden Town” certainly is. What we have here is a land grab of precious green belt and useful farmland by a property developer, for a willing audience of council representatives concerned only with solving some short term problems, and seemingly not concerned about the wider ones, such as the ongoing collapse of biodiversity.
I am afraid you are wrong on a number of levels Connie. Firstly, most of the homes proposed are not in Harlow, let alone Essex so with a postal address of say Epping or Gilston they will attract higher prices than the average price you quote for a home in Harlow. The arguments you lay out are exactly what was said when Church Langley was proposed, also described as a village before development took place. You comments about Council housing are totally misplaced. The Tory Government supported my our MP just a few short years ago wanted to get changes made about council house occupancy, these soon fell by the wayside when the consequences were spelled out. Those with an income of more than £41k cannot go on the councils waiting list, you need a much bigger income than this to buy one of the houses being built locally. This a national problem fuelled by bad legislation, bad planning, indeed a broken housing market where a home is seen as an investment rather than a home and housebuilders need to ensure they have a long term land bank to satisfy share holders.
Nicholas Taylor, builders would not build houses if there was no demand. People are buying these properties, just look at Newhall, Burnt Mill and Gilden Way. If we insist on developers building too many affordable homes, then builders will not build here and build where there are less restrictions. Harlow is very constrained within its borders and has a high population density and very little land left for residential building. We also all wish to preserve our green areas, understandably. The Harlow Gilston project will inevitably lead to boundary changes or become part of a larger unitary authority. Harlow already expanded its territory in the past to the M11. The status quo will not persist.
The last major build of council houses in Harlow was at Hull Grove in the late 1980's. The revenue from council house Right to Buy sales was not used to build replacements, plus the lavish discounts to tenants prevented a like for like new build anyway. New Labour (Keir Starmer is the new version) under Blair & Brown did nothing to counter the 1.7million council homes sold by Thatcher/Major's governments. Incidentally, it was the New Labour forerunner, led by Hugh Gaitskell, that proposed a Right to Buy in the 1959 general election. The '59 Labour manifesto says: "Every tenant, however, will have a chance first to buy from the Council the house he lives in." Kay Morrison, as a leftwing Momentum member, is fully aware that a Labour government led by Kier Starmer will not solve the housing crisis, just as previous 'New Labour' leaders Gaitskell and Blair failed to do (Gaitskell lost the 1959 general election and then sought to remove Clause IV of Labour's Constitution, which Tony Blair managed to do 35 years later).
David's comment gives an insight of why there is a housing crisis. The fact is, that having spent years as the opposition Party in Westminster in the 1990's saying that if they came into power they would allow councils to build more homes, one of the first things Blair did when coming to power in 1997 was to say to Councils that they could only use the Right to Buy receipts they had built up over many years to build new homes if they were debt free. Harlow like most authorities spent all their receipt pot clearing their debt leaving little if anything to build new homes. In the 13 Labour years that followed on average only 500 council homes were built each year across the whole country.