Letter to Editor: What would be Labour’s plan if they regained control of Harlow Council?

Your Say / Thu 21st Apr 2022 am30 09:16am

Dear Editor,

WHAT would be Labour’s plan if they regained control of Harlow Council?

Labour ran Harlow Council for the last decade and hiked council tax every year, delivered no progress on regeneration in the town centre and allowed our town to decline in general.

In what is now almost a year since the Conservatives took control, Labour vehemently opposed the Council tax cut, they opposed the plan for town centre regeneration and opposed just about everything the new administration has proposed.

Constructive opposition is essential to a democracy. However, It would seem however they have no viable plan. Of course, Harlow residents may vote based on the national issue, and as much as Harlow Labour focuses on current national issues, Harlow residents need to be aware that Harlow Council will have no bearing or influence on Westminster; Boris Johnson will still be Prime Minister and the Conservative Government will still be in place. 

A change in the administration of Harlow Council will only mean a return to a Harlow Labour Party that presided over a decade of decline to our town centre, a Harlow Labour Party with no plans or vision and whose sole policy, for sure, is to increase our Council Tax. 

We know this is their record. It is a truly scary prospect for the future of our town.

Jamie Henderson

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20 Comments for Letter to Editor: What would be Labour’s plan if they regained control of Harlow Council?:

Chris Chesham
2022-04-21 09:49:34

I wonder what labour would do then Against con that I am told have a plan for the town It’s easy to put up tax

Ted Compton
2022-04-21 10:38:16

I am a Labour voter in general elections and have been all my life, but as a Harlow resident, I am hugely (begrudgingly) impressed with our Conservative local council. I didn’t vote for them as I couldn’t bring myself to switch from Red to Blue, but now I am more aware of the difference between National and Local Government, I will be voting Conservative for Harlow Council. Labour in Harlow are inept, clueless and only concerned about diversion tactics using National issues, of which they actually have zero control over or say in.

Lil Sonwheels
2022-04-21 10:46:57

Why does Harlow Labour only focus on National issues, of which they have absolutely zero control of, but offer nothing for Harlow, which for the past 10 years they have had control of. Harlow Conservatives are not perfect, but by God, they are focussed, delivering on manifesto promises and improving Harlow. I am so disillusioned with Labour so will now reconsider where I vote. Torn between Greens or Conservatives.

2022-04-21 10:59:00

Let's face it red and blue are stuck in ruts and both are directly responsible for the damage being done and about to be done to the quality of life in the town, to the environment due to planning that vastly will increase traffic, devastate the environment, destroy the tranquility and wildlife ecology of the Stort river Valley and continue the decline and pollution of the rare chalk stream that is the river. Poor planning and short sightedness will result in the many benefits for East Herts and all of the problems such as congestion, flooding and sewage damage being thrown into Harlow. If neither of these two parties or their Councillors can't change and adopt new policies that improve the quality of life and the environment here then they should step aside.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-21 11:31:21

No fan of Labour or the Tories of course but lets look at some facts. 1) It turns out that the Tory house building boom over the next decade is almost exactly the same as Labour's Plan of December 2020. 2) The Tories Masterplan for the Town Centre is almost exactly the same as Labour's that is, thousands of flats with little room for any new large scale leisure and cultural facilities. 3) Both have supported the creation of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town and the trashing of the Stort Valley. 4) Both support building on Green Belt land and the destruction of food production facilities. 5) Both fail to adequately consult with residents. 6) Both throw insults at each other in the Council Chamber and elsewhere. This is why the main comment we have been receiving from residents is that there is no point in voting, they feel let down by both Parties. The Harlow Alliance Party (HAP) and the Green Party offer an alternative view for the future of the Town, HAP's is based on residents first, the environment second and ...... housebuilders about fifty eight!.

Dan Swords
2022-04-21 11:48:54

Dear Nich, For clarity, on your point about housebuilding - not one single scheme that Labour planned has been kept. We have changed every single housebuilding scheme to ensure they are well designed and net zero. On the town centre, again you are so badly misinformed. Labour never had a masterplan so I’m not sure how it could be the same, but I would encourage you to read the plan. You will see how wrong you are.

james nicholson
2022-04-21 12:33:54

Many people on here seem to be under the misapprehension that there are just red and blue to choose from, there are Green Party candidates in all wards apart from Greater Parndon, if you truly are bored of the same lies from both sides as per normal, then vote in the Green Party and give both sides a big kick in the ass they will not soon forget

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-21 12:48:14

Dear Dan, more smoke and mirrors I see. Is is a fact that most of the sites identified are the same as in the Local Plan of 2020, the number of homes on each site may have had to be re-jigged, some increased (Pollard Hatch) some decreased (Lister House) and low and behold, another site added (Arkwrights). At the end of the plan period the Council will still own hundreds fewer homes than it did in 2012. You will be building homes which in due course will be sold under the RTB and do nothing to solve the housing crisis. We on the other hand want every home that is built being exclusively for older residents, outside of the Right To Buy and freeing up larger homes for families. As for the town centre, well Labour put in bids to the Government, a new bus station, work in front of the Playhouse etc etc, all similar to the Masterplan. You try to fool residents into thinking there will be a whole raft of new shops, bars and cafes, the simple fact is, if you tot up the square metres of new space in your Plan, it is very similar to what is and will be demolished. Still the smallest theatre in the region, many high rise blocks and nothing to attract more visitors to the town. You can keep saying I am wrong, strange how the Conservatives in Basildon have been fighting against such developments in their Town Centre.

2022-04-21 14:24:19

Both main parties have let the town down. Their sequential spineless consent to the destruction of the Stort Valley is just the latest manifestation. The Alliance and Green parties are the way to go

Tony Edwards
2022-04-21 17:20:49

It is interesting that the photograph used shows Labour party members and others campaigning against the potential closure or reconfiguration of up to three libraries in Harlow and approximately 40 libraries across Essex. Which in case people have forgotten was a Conservative County Council proposal of approximately four years ago. Due to active and extensive campaigning by Save Our Libraries Essex in particular (which importantly included people of different and/or no political persuasion) - these proposals' were eventually defeated, it took over three years. So what have the local Harlow Labour Party ever done for you? Well in this case through working with others they forced a substantial re think and change of policy on potential Library closures.

Neil Warner-Baker
2022-04-21 17:26:54

I'm sure the majority of residents would share my opinion that we are sick to death with the in fighting between the major parties. It doesn't matter who you vote for.. the Council still get in. Harlow has changed out of recognition in the last 20 to 30 years but not in a good way. There has been a sell off of Council assets. What's left? We lost our swimming pool, ski slope, the paddlings pools, the playgrounds and playschemes and youth clubs, The Square. School playing fields have been sold off and built on, our cycle tracks are no longer cared for and we have crash barriers and heavy traffic passing our schools. Look around, there is little to be proud of any more..Out of towners know us from Panarama and the 6 o'clock news for slum housing in Temple and Terminus House. If our town is to have a pleasant future then we need to invest in our our future generations, we need to invest more in our HTS workforce so that they can tackle the urban decline in our neighbourhoods.We urgently need a decent bus service and school buses to reduce gridlock. But before anyone suggests..we are investing, we are regenerating...blah blah..No your not! Your playing into the hands of property developers.. who have been quietly acquiring property for a profit, running them down so they look tired. And for why? So that they can knock up some more at great profit..But what do we get? More Pound Shops, charity shops, fast food joints, urban sprawl and crime. If we are to build more Council housing, then do as Nicholas Taylor of the Harlow Alliance Party has so intelligently suggested, build for our aged population so that they can live out their lives in dignity and release much needed housing stock for families... Historians amongst you will know who said the great speech about caring.."From the cradle to the grave" what I do remember...is that it was the National Govt that we had during the 2nd World War, when politicians set aside their differences and planned for a better future, the NHS, Comprehensive Education and Garden Towns fit for hero's.. I'm nearly finished..but one more important detail.. Food security...Food Rationing continued after the war well into the 1950s as we couldn't depend on food imports..well that time may come again, through conflict in Ukraine, dealing with the EU after Brexit or the French blockading our Ports.. Thats why or politicians need to think again before developing on our Greenbelt farmland surrounding Harlow..they need to think again.and take lessons from our past.

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-21 18:07:15

I'm voting green. I'm fed up with all the lies they come out with. Conservatives, oh we are building hundreds and hundreds of council houses. No your not your building 99 council houses, up against thousands of unaffordable housing. Oh we care about the environment, yeah course you do, by trashing our river stort. Conservatives have lost a lot of votes over this one. You reap what you sow, as my old gran used to say. 6,000 signatures against this . You councils never wanted to hear us. The greens want to hear you, they want to listen to local peoples likes and dislike s. Local people for local issues.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-22 07:52:06

Bert, all that has happened in the Tories first year is that they have said they will try and find a development partner and as for the house building programme that is very similar to that of the previous Labour administration. The only tangible evidence of the latter is a few shrub boxes along Broadwalk and in respect of the former, the homes at Bushey Croft were started under Labour. Both Parties mirror each other in so many other ways, the destruction of the Green Belt around Harlow, in-filling open spaces in Harlow etc. Only the independent Parties in this election hold out any hope of an alternative future for Harlow.

Marie Compton
2022-04-22 08:47:37

I believe Labour’s plan can be summed up in three words: “Increase Council Tax”. That has been their template for a decade.

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-22 09:06:36

Dan swords, not one scheme a. You kept labour's plan to trash the river stort. And approved this monstrosity, with a 4 lane road going right across it, you could of stopped this, couldn't you. You've all ready lied about the hundreds and hundreds of council houses, which infact are only 99. Up against thousands of unaffordable, 5000 waiting for homes. Is this listening to public options, no, we are only hearing from you all now because elections are coming up. Your council has never wanted to hear public opinions frends of Latton Island will vouche for that. You have ignored important issues from the word go.

2022-04-22 17:17:11

It is interesting that nobody from Harlow Labour has even bothered to use this post to present their plan. Says it all really.

Pauline Fitzgerald
2022-04-23 09:52:34

The prospect of a return of a Harlow Momentum Labour Council is just too horrible to contemplate. We are well rid of them.

Marie Compton
2022-04-23 14:08:20

The essential point of this post is important. Local elections are not about the national government. Whatever, anyone thinks of Boris Johnson, that is a matter for his party and Parliament. The simple fact remains that a vote for Labour in the local elections will have no bearing nationally, but will be devastating locally, returning the same old Labour has beens, who presided over the decline of Harlow. We cannot indulge in such stupidity and vote for a party that has in no ideas or plans. Let’s not go ‘back to the future’! Harlow has an able Council. Let’s keep it.

Karen Findlater
2022-04-24 11:59:36

It is true, this election is clearly about who is best qualified to operate the local services provided by Harlow Council? Who is best to undertake regeneration of our town centre and estates? Who is best to keep Council Tax low? On all these and other priorities of residents, it is clearly not Harlow Labour with their track record of a decade of failure and waste.

David Forman
2022-04-28 01:50:02

Harlow Labour Party know a good equality policy, how to make a placard and write a catchy slogan. However, running a District Council requires business administration skills which they don't have. They had those skills in former leader Jon Clempner, but the Momentum halfwits thought they knew best in forcing him out. Look at the disaster that happened since Clempner was elbowed out in 2018. Don't let Harlow's Momentum dominated Labour Party have another go at fecking up our town.

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