Potter Street resident wants to see return of community services to area
Communities / Sun 6th Feb 2022 pm28 01:44pm
A HARLOW resident has questioned the leader of Harlow Council as to when they will see a return to many community services in Potter Street.
Gary Roberts, who has lived in the area for over thirty years asked the following questions on Thursday night. A film of him asking the questions and responses from the leader of Harlow Council are below.
Gary Roberts to Councillor Russell Perrin (Leader of the Council):
As I understand it the current council has pledged to regenerate the town with an increase in police officers and local council services, therefore please could you outline your plans to reintroduce neighbourhood policing, neighbourhood council offices and local NHS health services including a doctors’ surgery in Potter Street?
Reply from Councillor Russell Perrin (Leader of the Council):
Whilst, Harlow District Council does not have any direct responsibility for Health and Policing, the Council continues to have a proactive approach to engaging with its partners to improve the level of health care provision within our district and the number of police officers that serve our community.
This year, a further 200 officers will be recruited by Essex Police to help prevent crime, tackle violence and improve visible policing in our communities. The extra officers will take the total growth of the force since 2016 to over 900 officers, making it the largest it has ever been. This has meant over 20 more officers on Harlow streets so far.
In a recent visit to Harlow the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, met with the Deputy Leader of Harlow Council, Cllr Joel Charles, local police officers and the council’s community safety team to find out how they are tackling crime in the town.
As part of this partnership working Roger Hirst made a commitment to crime prevention and reducing anti-social behaviour, with more officers, more funding and more powers for the police.
Turning to the point in your question regarding local NHS services, the Council continues to work in partnership with the West Essex CCG to ensure that the delivery of local NHS services meets the needs of local residents. This week, in the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, it has been announced that Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital will not receive a
refurbishment or indeed receive a new building but that Harlow will receive a new integrated, high-tech healthcare campus to replace the ageing Princess Alexandra Hospital. This Council continues to work with its neighboring partners and the MP Robert Halfon to ensure that Harlow’s new health campus meets the needs of Harlow and surrounding districts.
Finally, on Osler House, I shared the local upset that the CCG decided to close Osler House surgery. However, the Council is working with local residents to deliver a new Potter Street Health and Community Hub. This hasbeen supported by the Council’s staff to get this over the line. I am informed refurbishment work will start soon on the site.
Since it's inception the Harlow Alliance Party's policies have included one that it would like to see the return of some council services placed in neighbourhood offices such as those that existed from 1950 to 2002, as alluded to in Gary Robert's question. Readers will note that once again, the Councillor responding to the question never answered this part of it. Our Council has has failed to adequately engage with residents at both officer and Councillor level for decades, leaving residents unaware of what is going on in the town, unable to get any answers to enquires made or give any input into the policy making decision process. We have said in the past that such services could for instance be provided in the towns local libraries, utilising some of the unused space and sharing the cost. These would provide a community hub for other services. It is a sad fact that since the doctors departed, the Council have failed to refurbish the premises .... not a good sign when it comes to the so called massive regeneration of the town that the Tories keep shouting about.
Why is it we no longer have a Chemist open at a weekend in Potter Street , and Church Langley Chemist is also closed ? How do you expect the older residents in Potter Street to cope? Lots do not drive or use the internet to find out which Chemists are open at a weekend.
Tesco pharmacy in Church Langley is open at weekends but there is no direct bus service from Potter Street. [Not that I use it!]
A revamped doctors surgery (or maybe a brand new one) in Potter Street would be most welcome. I travel over to Keats house in bush fair at present but as I get on in years I can see the value in a local doctor's serving the potter street community as a great help.I have the greatest sympathy for those that have to bus or taxi to their nearest doctor's this would be such a brilliant addition to the area.