Letter to Editor: When will the refurbishment of Market Square be finished?

Elections / Wed 22nd Jun 2022 am30 08:14am

SIR, It is now some 18 months since the surface area around one side of Market Square was dug up (again). Since then work has taken place in fits and starts to fit paving slabs (which I understand were sourced from Portugal). Some sort of flower or shrub beds have been created which to date have just been left filled with earth.

Many residents have asked why this work was undertaken, bearing in mind that over a quarter of a million pounds was spent less than four years ago when the area was last refurbished and when when will work be finished?

After 13 months in power, the Conservatives have made little progress in any meaningful way in regenerating the town centre. What for instance has happened to the announcement about the future of Occasia House that was supposed to have been made a couple of months ago?

In the meantime, it has to be said that the town centre is looking worse than ever, with no sign of any work taking place on sites where Planning Permission has been given

Perhaps Cllr Dan (we are going to make Harlow the best town in Britain) Swords can furnish residents with some answers?  


Nicholas Taylor is a candidate at the Bush Far By-Election.

Details of candidates are on our politics page.

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7 Comments for Letter to Editor: When will the refurbishment of Market Square be finished?:

Dave Summerville
2022-06-22 20:10:55

I, too, am concerned about the apparent lack of progress in Market Square--the current state it is in, and has been, for a long time gives a negative image to visitors, and I rarely see any work being done--some company is being paid for it, and needs to be chased up. Parts are uneven and dangerous to those who are disabled. Similarly the old Purford Green School site has been flattened, and just left for weeds to grow--another eyesore--whoever is responsible needs to get out of their comfortable seat and get things moving. The old YWCA site and Occasia House need sorting as well--my Tory visitor who asked for my vote in the local election , was telling me how much they had done locally--well they can start by addressing my concerns to prove it.

2022-06-23 12:05:25

Probably run out of money, or some sort of party political shenanigans.

Klara Bow
2022-06-23 15:32:00

Not only does the square look a mess but it is also hazardous for wheelchair users. The "dry riverbed' running through the middle, where the new paving doesn't meet the old is very difficult to navigate. There is a real chance of tipping over.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-06-24 19:18:31

Readers will note that to date no response has been forthcoming from Cllr Dan Swords.

David Forman
2022-06-25 20:33:18

I took a photo on May 30 of the flower bed nearest the NatWest Bank and it was full of weeds, looking similar to Nicholas Taylor's picture. So, three weeks has gone by and no change. It appears Harlow Tories are as good at landscaping as Boris Johnson is at telling the truth!

Nicholas Taylor
2022-06-25 21:39:21

David, the "flower beds" are bad enough but when you remember that we are the Sculpture Town it is a crying shame that one of them looks the way that it does, what on earth must visitors to this town think? It would take half an hour to get these barriers removed and the area tidied up, but no, our Councillor's and Council staff are to busy writing reports hundreds of pages long to be bothered to get things into good order. A trip to Hoddesdon gives an idea of how a good town centre should look like, which includes a thriving market,.

David Forman
2022-06-27 12:38:32

Dear Nicholas, as you worked for Harlow Council in the "good old days" you may remember councils having Clerk of Works to ensure projects were delivered to specifications. A recent Scrutiny Committee consultants report in relation to housing delivery recommended their reintroduction. I quote from paragraph 5.1: "that it would be advantageous for the Council to have their own Clerk of Works priced into the development costs." https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/s17731/Appendix%2520A%2520-%2520Consultants%2520Report.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjomYHA0M34AhUUSUEAHfEPByQQFnoECAQQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2-QEJfVf7TRaDPTLr55c6K

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