Letter to Editor: Reality bites for Harlow Conservatives
Politics / Mon 14th Mar 2022 am31 06:05am
IT looks like reality is beginning to shine some light on the exaggerated claims made by the Harlow Conservatives.
They claimed Public Health England (UKHSA) is moving to the Town. In fact, the whole project is currently under government review, with no final decision having been taken.
They claimed that we are going to get a “new integrated high tech health care campus to replace the ageing Princess Alexandra Hospital” when in fact the Treasury has still not been agreed the funding, and a site has not been yet been agreed let alone purchased.
At a Harlow Council Cabinet meeting on the 27th January they claimed that they were certain they were going to be able to purchase land in Parnell Road, having spent who knows what on consultant’s fees, only to be subsequently substantially outbid.
They claimed to be investing in the “best Town Centre in Essex” only for the Essex County Council Conservatives to recently announce (10th March) that they are withdrawing a promised £1.68 MILLION from the 2023/24 Capital programme for the Town Centre Redevelopment. This is on top of the failure of the local Harlow Conservatives to secure £20 MILLION from the Government’s Levelling up fund for the Town Centre.
And finally, we have Rod Stewart – shaming Essex County Council – and the local Conservative County Councillors about the state of our roads. County Councillors who claimed that Harlow “was getting its fair share of County funding for road repairs” from a County Council that recently cut its road maintenance budget by £648,000.
Cllr Tony Edwards
When the lies start at the top and get repeated all the way down. Finally the truth about the conservatives is being exposed.
All this one upmanship. Heres the truth . You are all RUBBISH.
Bit rich coming from the Labour Party that wasted over £ 1.3 million on consultants on projects like the old Lister house, the monorail and others. Any body with an IQ moderately higher than the average Labour councillor knows that all decisions regarding the Public Health England and the timing for the new hospital are not decided or influenced by Harlow Council. The same goes for the potholes, which were as bad under 10 years of Labour administration. These are managed by Essex County Council; not Harlow. It is indeed laughable that the example he gives relating to Rod Stewart isn’t even in Harlow! It is in Epping Forest District. Doesn’t Cllr Edwards even know where Harlow’s boundaries are. As for town centre regeneration, the less said by the party that wasted £ millions leaving the northern end of the Town Centre like a bad night in Kabul, the better. Labour’s answer is always to increase council tax to pay for its incompetence.
Just shows that two wrongs do not make a right. The fact is that Tony Edwards' Party wasted millions of pounds on projects that did not come to fruition (such as the Lister House site scheme) or did little to regenerate the town (such as Market Square), but on the other hand all we have seen from the Tories so far is some shrub beds in Broadwalk and trashing the Stort Valley. As for the hospital and Public Health England which our MP apparently worked so hard to get, Tony Edwards is right, the former will not be fully open until 2030 and the latter is already 6 years in the making and there are doubts about it's future. Both Parties have begun their election campaigns in earnest, the Harlow Alliance Party will begin shortly with a positive campaign for the towns future.
Harlow council of whichever persuasion have never taken responsibility for most things requiring replacing, repairing, they have to be shamed into doing so. ECC have failed to reply to my concerns about Katherine's Way, the only road in Harlow that is the national speed limit (60mph) there is 10s of homes backing onto the road where speed, noise, pollution is a major issue. THEY JUST CANT BE BOTHERED and I pay nearly £2000pa for what? I will say in their defence that a New hospital, PHE site etc is not the decision of any Council, it's a National government decision.
To be fair, the new administration has only been in office for 10 months, during most of which we have had the Covid Pandemic and now a global crisis resulting from the Ukraine crisis which has accelerated fuel and food inflation. Nevertheless, they have succeeded in delivering on the promise to cut tax. Labour increased tax every year. The new council inherited an environmental disaster with no grounds maintenance being done by HTS as the Labour council allowed staff to remain at home when they could have worked safely outdoors cutting grass, verges and hedges, etc. They are now starting to get a number of potholes filled. Also they have announced a much needed council house building plan, which Labour never had. I would also take issue with Nicolas Taylor regarding the Stort and the Gilston project. This was always a Labour plan that they supported since 2017 and included in their 2020 Town Plan. This was not an initiative of the present Conservative administration
Mary, the Tories always preferred to see development to the North of the town and as a direct consequence of this new transport links were always on the cards. This could only mean one thing, trashing the Stort valley because that is the cheapest option. There are no roads from the development leading North, I wonder why? The Tory Councillors all voted in favour of the Planning Application. Tory Councils across the whole South East of England are now challenging the number of homes the Government have set them to be built in their area, Hertsmere and Basildon have thrown out their own Local Plan. It is a shame that our Councillors and those at our neighbouring Councils have not done the same. It is all about housing greed not housing need.
Tony edwards who wasted money on plant pots and table tennis tables which the drunks laid on. Well done tony and your party.
Quite amazing comments from the apparent tory supporters. No denials re Cllr Edwards' comments, only rubbishing the former labour council. Does this mean that you know his accusations are accurate. How embarrassing is it for ECC to be shamed into promising to look into the potholes "Lee Scott, Cabinet Member for highways maintenance at Essex County Council said: "This was brought to my attention this morning, and I have asked for an officer report as quickly as possible. "I will endeavour to rectify it." Has he been on a different planet if he has only just become aware of the problem-mind you he does represent Chigwell which is much posher than Harlow (well, not my area!!)
Peter Henegan, you clearly didn’t read my comments above pointing out that most of what Cllr Edwards wrote about is not the responsibility of Harlow Council. He should know that himself! I drive through Chigwell regularly and can assure you that they also have many roads in a poor state of repair as does the whole county and much of the UK.
You need to read my article again Jamie. I referred to claims made by "Harlow Conservatives" and only referred directly to "Harlow Council" in paragraph 4. and their failure to secure £20 Million for the Town Centre regeneration which was dismissed at the time by the Conservative portfolio holder as a "small pot" of money. I also was clear when I was referring to the actions of the Conservative Essex County Council in paras 5 and 6. Maryj, for the record, the Red Pots were installed by the Conservatives when last in power at Harlow Council.
I don't really care who blames who red or blue: the result is that the town still has rubbish cycleways, a drugs problem, too few homes that anyone (particularly young adults) can afford, an environmentally important River Valley and amenity space about to be trashed, pot holes, increasing congestion and flooding and has lost so much that the list is so long there's not enough space here to record. Kathryns has gained... a monstrous warehouse. All a result of district, county and national inefficiencies and myopia currently being made worse by the political manipulation of the Conservative party. Nor Labour can excuse their lack of foresight. Politicians from both parties too busy toeing the party line to improve the quality of life here for residents and unable deliver a responsible budget and even basic services like getting the bins emptied on time and repairing pot holes.
Cllr Edwards, I appreciate your reply, even though I imagine the original intention was to obfuscate, I recognise your more candid and detailed response.
labour has trashed harlow when it was in power now its time for the tories to clean up their mess, FACT!!
Face the facts, they are all the same, take our money and piss it up the wall. All of the towns are the same you only have to look at Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. Where is our money seriously going, all anyone does is feed us Bullshit and nothing is followed through - we are all tired of this , ACTIONS ARE NEEDED NOT WORDS
Kevin, Stevenage Council are working through a 1 billion pound regeneration of its Town Centre, with new sport, leisure and cultural facilities being built. The Council have taken action to ensure that new buildings are no more than 6 storeys high and in the words of The Harlow Alliance Party they are 'Preserving our heritage, promoting our future'. Basildon recently threw out its earlier Plan which would have seen huge flat blocks within the Town Centre and 20,000 homes built on the Green Belt. Our Council meanwhile has a vision for the town centre which will turn the town into a city, high rise flat blocks for commuters, including one that will be 24 storeys high, no room left for new leisure or cultural facilities and of course in the meantime numerous areas left derelict and thousands of new homes being built on what is in effect Harlow's Green Belt. Add to this the trashing of the Stort Valley, these will all be the legacy of both the previous Labour Council as well as the present Tory Council.
I didn’t get bugger all off my council tax as promised this year. In fact it was more this year. I’ve heard others got some off, don’t know why you are persecuting single people in blocks of flats?