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Ward by Ward: Church Langley: Will it remain a Tory stronghold?

Elections / Fri 22nd Apr 2022 at 09:13am

IN some ways, we thought we would start at a relatively easy one to predict.

We use the word “relatively” as this may be a local election where national issues may impinge upon matters more than usual.

Church Langley has been solidly Conservative since 2001, when it became a ward.

It has (and continues to have) benefited from having strong representation from councillors who have embedded themselves in the ward.

This May, councillor Nicky Purse is defending the seat she won in a by-election last year after the passing of much lived and respected Tony Hall.

Councillor Purse has been one of the most impressive performers over the past year.

She has moved, seamlessly from being a local community champion to a local councillor as well as a portfolio holder for the environment.

Of course, there are many who will say there is a fundamental contradiction between being a portfolio holder for the environment and then voting for a highway across the Stort.

Perhaps that is where the Green candidate can come in?

The Greens have ten candidates including Bengeman White in Church Langley. We will catch up with him soon. It will be interesting to see what dent the Greens may make in Church Langley. With the national picture being what it is, there may be a number of Tories who may vote elsewhere or stay at home.

Labour also have a keen young candidate in Edward Ray. Labour need to encourage and more importantly keep enthusiastic young candidates. Too many come and go.

YH Prediction: Tory Hold but with reduced majority. Reduced to under 400.

Local Elections 2016

Local Elections 2021

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17 Comments for Ward by Ward: Church Langley: Will it remain a Tory stronghold?:

Connie
2022-04-22 09:25:59

Nicky Purse is a first rate councillor. She is a true champion of her ward and the town. I know her well.

AB
2022-04-22 09:55:59

Destroyer of the Story Valley, 'anti-environment portfolio holder' would be a more appropriate title.

Connie
2022-04-22 10:58:44

AB, what you might fail to understand is that the entire HGGT project , including the Stort Crossing was adopted by the previous Labour administration in their December 2020 Harlow Development Plan. By ignoring what had become a material document could have exposed Harlow taxpayers to a very expensive judicial review which would have certainly been a lost cause. I think your criticism is grossly unfair and misplaced.

Nostradamus
2022-04-22 10:59:08

Give Nicky some credit, she is an energetic Councillor who could make a difference, unfortunately it's a pity that she is a Conservative and follows the party line: build, build, build, a rubbish transport strategy, profit and more profit at the expense of the environment and habitat,(eg Stort river Valley destruction of, creation of tidy bowling green monocultures) and at the cost of the quality of life in Harlow. All whilst voting for changes that will benefit East Herts and Epping and Essex Councils. (Conservative) whilst sending congestion, flood water, sewage discharges and noise into Harlow.!!

Connie
2022-04-22 13:24:54

Nostradamus, I think it is almost certain that the entire HGGT area (including what is currently Harlow) will become a single administrative authority with the relevant boundary adjustments. It is no secret that current policies are towards larger unitary authorities, so change is likely and all talk of EFDC and East Herts DC will be irrelevant. A single authority makes sense.

Neil
2022-04-22 13:39:02

Connie, I look forward to a boundary change that makes Harlow part of East Herts, but I'm not sure that they would want us?

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-22 15:13:02

Connie, I am afraid that does not make any sense. You clearly have not worked in Local Government. I have worked at Harlow and Epping and they are like chalk and cheese both in terms of policy and practice. Clearly Harlow and it's residents would be a small cog in a much larger wheel if three Councils merged. Councillors from Chigwell through to Hertford would be in the majority, dictating the future of our town. It's bad enough that Essex County Council look at Harlow as the poor relation, even worse in an authority such as you seem to want. As for HGGT why on earth do you think the other two Councils would agree to a change in boundary, they will be receiving millions of pounds in Council tax and business rates payments. This change needs to take place before a brick is laid so that Councillors in Harlow decide on the fate of the Green Belt around our town.

Connie
2022-04-22 16:11:16

Mr Taylor, it is not what I want or what you want. It is administrative expediency. Happened when the GLC was created and numerous other conurbations. Already, last year in Lincolnshire, three district authorities effectively ‘merged’ sharing a common set of council officers, generating huge savings and efficiency gains for procurement. Why are we different in this region. Makes sense. It will happen. Harlow is too small. We are already increasing our constituency size taking parts of Epping District because we cannot justify a seat based on the population of Harlow alone.

Connie
2022-04-22 16:52:20

Mr Taylor, in any enlarged authority, representation would be based on population, so Harlow would have proportionately the same representation. For example, using your example, Chigwell has a population of around 12,500 whereas Harlow has around 85000 so how could Chigwell form the majority? The argument is totally flawed. Why shouldn’t we collaborate more closely with neighbouring authorities similar to that in Lincolnshire? It could generate considerable mutual benefits.

Eleanor Rogers
2022-04-22 17:08:18

I am voting Green. Those who oppose the Tories need a credible alternative. Labour was in charge for a decade and were inept. They still have the same clueless, out of touch, Momentum candidates. They do not serve any purpose. The only true change is to vote for the Green Party.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-22 17:33:22

As I said Connie, you clearly have not worked in a Local Authority. Far from being flawed, I have been there and seen it in 1978 when the Harlow Development Corporation was wound up and services taken over by Harlow Council. Mergers occur where all Parties agree to it. Tentative steps were taken some years ago, they fell at the first hurdle because of the reasons I have alluded to. To make it clear for you, what I said was, that Councillors in EFDC and East Herts would outnumber those in Harlow so Councillors who live as far away as Chigwell and Hertford would be able to collectively dictate what happens in Harlow. As for procurement, there has already been an Essex HUB where Authorities can purchase things and Councils share Legal and HR facilities but that is very different from merging policy and procedures, if only for political differences.

Connie
2022-04-22 19:56:17

Dear Nicholas, one could equally argue that Harlow councillors could outnumber the others. I fail to see the issue. Representation will be proportionate to population. Harlow, Epping, Hertford, whatever are just people wanting efficient and value for money services. However, that misses the essential point. If a single authority is created, they are all members of the same body with responsibilities shared for the entire district. I find your approach very narrow and parochial. The well being of all residents is the common objective. How do you explain what has happened with the three Lincolnshire authorities? There is not a Labour or Conservative or any other Party way of cutting the grass or fixing things; just an efficient way.

Connie
2022-04-22 22:02:50

Nicholas, we are off topic. Harlow is now a Tory seat and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-22 22:24:10

Just to conclude Connie, local government is like no other business, because politics is involved. Every aspect of work including grass cutting is political because politicians make decision on how much money is spent on each area of work, so for instance when deciding on how much money should be spent on cutting the grass, they will take into account how often it can be cut for that amount of money. The priorities set by each District can be very different, in Lincolnshire they will have come to an understanding. EFDC does not have a theatre or Pets Corner, would councillors from miles away want to continue to subsidise such facilities? Getting back to the subject, such decision making is what upsets many residents and Councillors get the stick for it. It is a thankless task, whatever their politics, I always in my work supported the hard work they put in, for which they get very little thanks.

Connie
2022-04-23 06:20:41

Mr Taylor . Thanks. I was interested in one of your earlier comments regarding your experience of working in Epping and Harlow councils saying that interns of policy and practice ‘they were chalk and cheese.’ Be interested to know in what way and how this might impede collaboration between them. Surely, all councils have funding issues and greater efficiency savings would appeal to all.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-04-23 14:02:21

Well Connie that goes right off the issue raised in this article and I could give you a very long list. EFDC by and large never experienced funding issues like Harlow, simply because it does not support Discretionary Services in the way Harlow does. Pets Corner and The Playhouse would never have survived had Harlow merged with EFDC 20 years ago. Just a more practical example, when I joined EFDC in 2000 virtually every flat block had an entryphone system and gated bin cupboards, 22 years later and HDC can make no such claim. it's all about how big the financial cake should be, how it is cut up, what is given priority, at the heart of which lies politics, which of course no other type of business experiences. If it was not like that you would not need Councillors!

Christine Harris
2022-04-23 14:17:39

Nicky Purse is a great Councillor and I am sure the good residents of Church Langley will vote her back. She certainly has our family’s votes.

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