Harlow Council leader issues seasons greetings as he looks back on 2022 and forward to 2023
General / Sat 24th Dec 2022 at 10:56am
THE Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Russell Perrin, has released a Christmas and new year video message as he looks back at what the council has achieved in 2022 and what will be delivered in 2023.
The video has been published at
In the video the leader says:
Christmas is a timely reminder of what positive things can be achieved when people set aside their differences and come together in the spirit of friendship. And so, as I reflect upon the year that has passed, I remember how hundreds of you came together to support our friends in Ukraine through our community hub set up here in the Civic Centre.
Run by local volunteers and council staff, lorry load after lorry load of much needed supplies were delivered to our Ukrainian friends trapped in a living nightmare. I was moved to see the scale of generosity from many, who could scarcely afford to be so, donating much needed supplies to those suffering from Putin’s callous and brutal war.
Turning my attention to home, I remember fondly the many great community events that the council together, with you has hosted this year, such as the town’s firework display and for the first time the Women’s Cycle Tour.
A Cycle tour which not only saw competitors from around the world compete here in Harlow but also involved children from our local schools and members of community groups.
In a bittersweet turn of events we celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee only to come together later in the year to mourn her passing. We gave our support to our new King and wish both his Majesty and his family well.
Despite the joys and sorrows, we have experienced we cannot forget that for many 2023 has been and continues to be a tough year.
That is why your Council is making the Playhouse available this winter to anyone who needs support or a warm place to go.
Community groups are making warm spaces available and so are the local libraries.
Winter fuel payments have also been made to help support the most vulnerable in our community this winter.
When the cost-of-living crisis started to impact on bills earlier this year, we gave every household a council tax reduction of up to £50.
Alongside the government’s Council Tax energy rebate, most council taxpayers in Harlow received £200. This was the largest support given to residents through the Council Tax system anywhere in the UK.
Further help and support with the cost of living is available and you can find out more on our website – www.harlow.gov.uk
For too long we have seen a decline in the quality of our town’s housing stock. As a result of an in-depth review into housing repairs, a programme is underway to eradicate temporary roofing and permanently fix council tenants roofs.
Using local roofing companies, we are halfway through this programme, and we are on course to fix every roof by March.
We have also changed the way the Council responds to reports of damp and mould so that all reports of this kind are dealt with immediately and appropriately.
On housing my administration has gone even further with the largest Council home building programme in 30 years.
Schemes at Bushey Croft and The Hill in Old Harlow have now been completed.
New energy saving council homes in Arkwrights and The Woodleys are on the way, so too are new council bungalows in Tye Green and homes in Staple Tye.
These will be homes for Harlow families on the Housing Needs Register.
On the environment we are close to meeting our target of planting two thousand trees before March. We have just completed a successful pilot project trialling new working practices to restore pride in our green environment. This trial will be extended to the rest of the town in the New Year.
Regeneration too is finally happening in our town centre.
£23.7m of funding secured from the government will be used to start work on upgrading the bus station and improving Broad Walk early in the new year.
We have purchased the derelict Occasio House site. It will be demolished early in the New Year so we can deliver our plans for the regeneration of the Playhouse Quarter, delivering a music venue and improvements to the Playhouse.
Having worked closely with Strawberry Star, plans for the £46m major redevelopment of buildings and land in the town centre is now underway.
But there is more.
The recent purchase of the Harvey Centre by this Council, along with other acquisitions has taken us from being the smallest to one of the largest Landowners in the town centre. This puts us firmly in the driving seat when it comes shaping and regenerating our town centre and supporting the local economy.
The regeneration we are undertaking is the biggest regeneration scheme this town has ever witnessed. It is set to be a multi-million-pound project that will see Harlow become a regional destination for retail, leisure, art and culture.
On housing, the environment, the cost of living, regeneration and improving the lives of everyone who lives and works here, we are a council that is making a difference. We end this year on a positive footing, and we can look forward to delivering even more for you in 2023.
And so, I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
It is encouraging to see the development plans for Harlow town centre after years of deliberation, however we must not forget the community of Old Harlow which as a conservation area, should be the jewel in Harlow's crown. Unfortunately it is sad to see the deterioration of the town centre over the last 5 years, with pavements unfit to walk on and dangerous, a poor selection of shops and shop fronts which have fallen in to a state of poor repair and presentation. It appears the only thing being conserved is the decay of the town.
The whole Town has become a complete crap hole, roads are a joke, road signage is a joke with most lit bollards either not working, broken or in a lot of cases missing altogether, pavements covered with cars, housing estates are a disgrace, Town centre is like a war zone with gangs of youths and PAH cant cope but guess what we are building thousands of more houses because that makes it all better...