Harlow Labour leader: More questions than answers as Tory reshuffle complete

Politics / Wed 8th Feb 2023 at 11:50am

WITH THE Conservative cabinet reshuffle at Harlow Council now complete, Labour leader Chris Vince has offered his thoughts on the subject.

Cllr Vince said: “Cllr Perrin appears determined to limp on as leader of the Conservative group on Harlow Council despite a devastating vote of no confidence from his former deputy leader.  The announcement that he has been able to form a new cabinet leaves residents of Harlow with more questions than answers.

Firstly, why is there no deputy leader.  Is the Leader so omnipotent he doesn’t need one or is it that there are no members of the Conservative administration willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with their lame duck leader?  This will be a huge problem when Cllr Perrin decides to attend Conservative Party jollies in Cambridge rather than chair his own cabinet meetings, as he did in December of last year.

Secondly, we see Cllr Hardware, the County Councillor who thinks we should turn off Harlow’s street lights, taking the lead on the flagship regeneration brief. I recall Cllr Hardware already having a portfolio holder role for Strategic Growth which has now been merged with Regeneration. Will Cllr Hardware have the time to deliver on this hugely important portfolio alongside his trips to County Hall where he fails to fix our roads and lights? 

Deputy Leader isn’t the only role to be conveniently forgotten in this flat pack cabinet.  Cllr Perrin boldly told us that he would tackle the issue of Harlow’s pot holes, despite it being the responsibility of Essex County Council, yet the role of ‘special responsibility for roads’ has been quietly dropped just a couple of weeks after we were told immediate action was taking place. Perhaps it fell into a pothole and has been lost for eternity!

We may perhaps have had some reason to be optimistic about this new cabinet as the leader himself will be responsible for the vital service delivery partner HTS, but for that we would require faith in the leader’s ability to actually engage with stakeholders.  He may want to start by addressing the fact that we haven’t had a share holders sub committee meeting, the mechanism by which the council can scrutinise its local authority trading company, since March of last year, and the fact their ‘exciting new’ business plan has been shelved.

In reality this rearranging of the deckchairs on the titanic offers no confidence to the people of Harlow, no confidence to the council’s business partners and no confidence to council officers. 

“It’s time for Cllr Perrin to ‘exit stage left’ or right if he’d prefer.  Sadly it is the people of Harlow who will suffer from this continued Conservative made tragic drama of a Council of Chaos!”

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7 Comments for Harlow Labour leader: More questions than answers as Tory reshuffle complete:

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-08 13:17:20

Mr vince, what is your vision for Harlow.???

2023-02-08 13:55:49

He doesn't have one, probably because he's having nothing to do with Harlow at the next general election. Now it will be interesting to see who Labour do put forward for Harlow, until then there is very little we can know about what Labour want to do here. Will they go far left again or more centrist...who knows?! So for now, it's just easier to chuck in problems and commentate from the sidelines without any solutions.

The Moderator
2023-02-08 16:16:46

As a long term resident of Harlow and from a non-political position, an on-going degree of puzzlement that the business plan that is mentioned was shelved very shortly after its approval early 2022. Any business proposal that brought a 5 year plan forward (based on previous local authority performance measurement and commercial business development) with forward projections of £8.2M profit over the next period (both aspects are available to view via the public domain) would most likely be snapped up in the commercial world. Politically, with cross party sign off and by the Shareholder Sub-Committee, yet shelved shortly afterwards? There are 6 councillors (cross party) on the HTS Group Ltd board (again in the public domain), so fair to say governance is covered? Leaves the question of who is not acting in the interests of Harlow and it residents? Leave others to decide on this one!

2023-02-08 16:22:27

Chris, "more questions than answers" but you or your colleagues never answer the question about a labour party parliamentary candidate. Are you scared of how the Labour party central office may react if you told the truth ie they think Harlow is unwinnable. Time you grew some and put the people of Harlow first. I would love to consider voting labour but not for a bussed in candidate like Suzy Stride who then disappeared without trace (although I see she wants to become a cypriot pol;iticain

David Forman
2023-02-08 21:30:25

I assume cllr Chris Vince wants another Shareholder sub-committee meeting so he can stitch up the HTS workers yet again. He has already shafted them by agreeing to worse terms and conditions for the new HTS subsidiaries. Cllr Vince should appoint someone to the sub-committee who is prepared to thoroughly read the documents.

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-10 08:39:00

Conservatives are not very good at hearing residents. I asked a simple question. Mr vince , what is your vision for Harlow??. Last thing we need is some one that does the same. I think your a very nice man, but you must answer questions.

Mark Gough
2023-02-10 23:01:32

Kim Kim Kim.....the modern Labour Party doesn't answer questions! Firstly, cos they usually don't like them. Secondly, cos they don't have a policy for anything to tell you about. And of course thirdly, if they do have a policy, Starmer will flip flop on it and change his mind several times in the five minutes it took you to ask the question!

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