Harlow Tories and Labour have bitter clash over cost of living

News / Sat 5th Nov 2022 at 11:12am

IF ever there was an hour that showed the wide gulf between Conservatives and Labour in Harlow then it was their disagreement over the wording of a cost of living motion on Thursday night.

Harlow Labour leader, Cllr Chris Vince tabled the motion (see below).

However, the Conservatives tabled a number of amendments.

There followed a number of bitter exchanges. However, the Tories won out as they had a majority of councillors.

Proposed by Councillor Chris Vince and seconded by Councillor Tony Edwards:

“This Council recognises the impact high inflation, particularly of food and fuel prices, is and will continue to have on the people of Harlow.

This Council notes:

                      i)        The strong strategic lead other councils across the country are providing in practically addressing fuel and food poverty issues;

                     ii)        That Harlow has some of the most deprived wards in Essex;

                   iii)        That the cost-of-living crisis is also hitting the wider Harlow community particularly hard, with people worried as to how they will pay their food, fuel, rent or mortgage bills; and

                   iv)        That winter is weeks away.

This Council will:

                      i)        By use of its own resources and through working closely with others, ensure that easily accessible places are available where people can be warm and get advice and support this winter;

                     ii)        Ensure that all residents are aware of what support is available by the end November; and

                   iii)        Write to the Rt. Hon. Robert Halfon MP, and the appropriate Secretary of State to request any additional government funding required to enable the Council to fund “warm spaces” and address fuel and poverty issues strategically and practically within the Town.”

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6 Comments for Harlow Tories and Labour have bitter clash over cost of living:

2022-11-05 15:55:52

Might be better to raise the Council tax for the wealthy wards and use the funds to cut it for the rest. Additional funding from central government would be good, might help if the winter fuel allowance was withdrawn via the tax system for all households that have significantly higher than average incomes and used to help disadvantaged children and elderly kept fed and warm.

2022-11-05 17:45:27

Novoman it would be better to reduce council tax for all and cut the waste in public sector. For a start fire the new temp CEO who will make >100K for 6 months work. Next up stop all councillors allowances, if they love it so much they can do without the payment. The review council spending only that which is a statutory duty and required by law should be allowed. As such the play house, pets corner etc should go, along with all the other nice to have. Did you know the head of the play house gets £50K per year. They should not be funded by taxation, instead enable people to voluntarily donate to them. It is time to cut the greed of the state and politicians.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-06 10:16:36

What a miserable place it would be if councils took a leaf out of Adams book. No theatre, no Pets Corner and a host of other what is known as discretionary services. Somebody has to lead the Council and they need paying whether an officer or Councillors. Cutting both would mean a reduction of about £4 per year in the Council tax. What this article demonstrates once again is the divide between the two Parties which of course starts at Westminster. What we need is more common sense and unity within the Council chamber, both sides working for the benefit of us residents.

2022-11-06 10:48:54

Nicholas, Someone has to pay for it and that £4 all adds up and to those on the bread line so to speak it does make a difference. The reality is discretionary services are forcing poorest to pay taxes to fund them, there should be NO discretionary services. Life would be no worse it would be just asking those people who want to support those facilities to support them and not expecting them to be subsidized by those most disadvantaged in society.

2022-11-06 13:47:37

Yea tax the rich to feed the poor. Its not like rich people have worked for it or paid any taxes. And when the rich give up and go away or become poor we can eat each other instead. Truly my mind boggles at some peoples attitudes. If you are paying 20% tax then you are really paying 42% tax and that is before you try to buy anything. If you pay 40% tax you actually paying 62% tax. I saw a report the other day( I have not fact checked it yet) that said 47-48% of gdp is collected in tax against a historical background of 35-37%. It seems to me we are slowly slipping into communism by stealth. I don’t see how raising taxes more is going to help. Surely we need to have a closer look on how it is spent. We have had over 30 years of raising taxes and spending more, but getting less. Breaking point is not far away, and the poor will always suffer the most when it happens, and that will be dreadfull. It seems that most politicians are unaware of the danger or simply don’t care.

Nicholas Taylor
2022-11-06 17:15:13

The fact is Adam that most of any council tax that is paid goes on statutory services not discretionary ones. Harlow has seen cutbacks since the early 1990's. In your scenario Harlow would not have a town park or pets corner, Parndon Wood Nature reserve, playgrounds or play areas, all places where families can go for free, irrespective of how wealthy they are.

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