Harlow Councillor in charge of potholes and roads decides to step down from role

Business / Tue 17th Jan 2023 at 09:00am

A SENIOR Harlow councillor in charge of the roads across the town has decided to step down.

Councillor Steve LeMay’s official title was portfolio holder for HTS, Properties and Facilities with special responsibility for the roads.

However, it seems that he has decided to call it a day.

After three days of asking the ruling Conservative group for a statement, a brief one was issued late on Monday night.

A spokesperson said: “Cllr LeMay has stepped down from his portfolio. A statement will follow and the leader of the council will answer questions in an interview this week”.

YH understands that he will sit on the back bench as a ward councillor for Great Parndon.

There were great hopes when councillor Le May was elected in May 2021. He came with decades of experience in business as the man behind companies such as Land Sheriffs.

And with his no-nonsense approach, there were great hopes he would help improve Harlow Council.

But YH understands that cllr LeMay became increasingly frustrated dealing with life in the public sector and local government.

But perhaps it was the extra responsibility of taking on the title of “roads tsar” which tipped councillor LeMay over the edge.

Many may conclude that he resigned in the weekend of National Pothole Day as he decided that (and other responsibilities) was, given the present circumstances, virtually an impossible task.

Critics may opine that the Conservative group in Harlow seem to be slowly falling apart.

They took over the council with high hopes in May 2021 and may well point to achievements such as kickstarting the regeneration of the town centre.

However, it just doesn’t look like a happy ship. In September 2021, the leader of Harlow Council, Andrew Johnson stood down (he is still chair of the council). In May 202, the deputy leader Joel Charles was demoted.

In November 2022, the portfolio holder for Housing, Simon Carter was sacked over the handling of the Five Acres housing repairs project and now this.

It was also perhaps significant that at a recent Cabinet meeting just four of the nine portfolio holders attended.

The Tories are expected to retain power at the May local elections. It would need Labour to gain Old Harlow, Church Langley and Great Parndon. However, all 33 councillors are up in May 2024 and many wonder whether they will have the appetite and the candidates to fight next year.

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18 Comments for Harlow Councillor in charge of potholes and roads decides to step down from role:

2023-01-17 09:22:42

Not surprising considering the condition of the roads in Harlow, now known as the "Harlow - Home of the Pothole". You can only surmise that he realises that he has failed to keep his promises, and concedes that the roads in the town are in a shocking state.

Tony Edwards
2023-01-17 09:38:01

AS a District Councillor Le May was passed a posioned chalice when he was offered the role of Harlow Portfilio Holder for roads. Harlow District Council are not responsible for roads they are an Essex County Council responsibilty.. This was nothing but a publicity stunt by the local Conservatives, pretending they were doing something while doing nothing. Letting the County Councillors,whose responsibility it is to lobby Essex on behalf of Harlow's residents, off the hook. In the mean time Harlows roads have got worse. You couldn't make it up@ So County Councillors Johnson,Hardware, Souter and Garnett what have you got to say about the state of the roads in Harlow and more to the point what are you going to do about it?

Luke Burton
2023-01-17 10:02:51

Useless. Enjoy the expenses and generous allowance, though.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-01-17 10:27:14

It is clear that like a number of the 'paper candidates' put up for election in May 2022, Cllr LeMay has found that working in Local Government is nothing like working in the private sector. Politics takes over from common sense in the former. I expect Cllr LeMay has found things deeply frustrating as a Councillor and found that his title meant nothing when it came to getting pot holes done or indeed trying to work with HTS. It must seem obvious to most people now that the pledges made by the Tories were nothing more than bluff to try and win seats on the Council. Cycle tracks, council homes and grounds maintenance are still in a poor state of repair, Market Square has still not been finished and not a single brick has been laid on a new home that was not already in Labour's house building programme. Many of us thought things could not be any worse than when Labour we in control, little did we know that it could.

2023-01-17 11:07:26

He was in the wrong role for years... did absolutely nothing and got paid for it

2023-01-17 11:16:03

Eddie Johnson, Michael Garnett, Clive Souter, Michael Hardware, Could you all tell us how much Money you all receive from Essex Council then the Electorate can decide if it’s value for money. As it says in the Harlow Times you can help with Transport, Roads, and Highways.

gary roberts
2023-01-17 12:06:10

Not forgetting the debacle of Osler House. Cllr. LeMay could have pushed to get the work completed but did nothing for the cause except allow the costs to double. His legacy..........

2023-01-17 12:13:40

I hope we get to hear a full statement from Cllr LeMay as to why he has stepped down. If it is frustration with local govt, we should all be saddened because it means we are all suffering the consequences

2023-01-17 12:14:48

Get Rod Stewart on the case. He will find it plain sailing!

2023-01-17 12:16:50

Guys you will not get any answer from The Essex Council band of brothers as they will fudge the answer they give as it suits them! This whole thing has to change and people need to get these people out of office at the next election! Its all about feathering their own nests until someone gets hurt with the state of the roads! Mr Garnet even said on camera that he sees no problem with the Junction at the end of Momples road and thats a complete disaster area crying out for a accident to happen

Tony Durcan
2023-01-17 12:21:45

There is a back story to ever decision.

2023-01-17 12:47:27

My question. Why was the depo for bitumen closed down? Was this a cost saving exercise?Why have no potholes that have been reported been fixed. So many comments have been made about damage to cars but still no explanation as to that is going on

2023-01-17 12:57:46

Even your Harlow has ex councilors as well as current councilors present! Just wait for the lights to be switched off at night again as it is planned by some one at Essex Council! Then you won’t see any potholes job done! And I believe that’s the plan!

2023-01-17 12:58:28

Even your Harlow has ex councilors as well as current councilors present! Just wait for the lights to be switched off at night again as it is planned by some one at Essex Council! Then you won’t see any potholes job done! And I believe that’s the plan!

2023-01-17 15:37:36

I thought Essex Council were responsible for the roads. When did that change?

2023-01-17 16:54:20

Steve they are but some Harlow Councillors sit as Essex Councillors and make decisions that affect us here in Harlow hence the roads and although these come under the Essex Council remit The buck stops at Highways guided by Essex Council!

2023-01-18 10:35:39

The real question for this is, we pay nearly 50% of gdp as tax compared to a historical average of 33%. So why is there no money to get things done? Where has the money gone? Our politicians want more tax rises, but if they can’t run the country on 50% of everything we earn as a nation, then something is seriously wrong!

The Moderator
2023-01-19 16:35:06

Lots of commentary on this subject across various stories. If the position is one of non-priority against cost of living, then https://www.essexhighways.org/how-we-prioritise-highway-issues should be taken down if it cannot be fuliled and (sadly) wait for the first corporate manslaughter claim. Source: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/corporate-manslaughter Corporations ‘Corporation’ is defined in section 25. It includes “any body corporate wherever incorporated”. This therefore includes limited companies, public limited companies (PLCs) and companies limited by guarantee, as well as limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Corporations sole (which are certain public offices held by individuals) are excluded. The term ‘corporation’ also includes public bodies which are incorporated by statute. Examples include NHS Foundation Trusts, county councils, district councils and (in Wales) unitary authorities.

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