Labour’s Harlow Common councillor has change of heart over retirement

News / Sat 11th Feb 2023 at 11:07am

A FORMER leader of Harlow Council has had a change of heart over retiring as a councillor.

Last summer, Harlow Common councillor, Mark Wilkinson (Lab) announced that he would not be seeking re-election in May.

Many were disappointed as cllr Wilkinson was always a voice of reason and sense in the chamber.

Councillor Wilkinson said: “Having made a statement a few months ago stating that I intend to stand down at the local elections this year , following a lot of thought and having conversations with some local residents I have had a change of heart and therefore will put myself forward at this year’s elections. 

“I have had the honour of representing Harlow common ward for the last 21 years and I was hoping that I would leave the ward in good shape, but clearly the Conservative run council has let the ward down.

I was passionate about the plans for Osler House for example.  When I was in the administration this project was agreed and plans were put in place , then along came the Conservatives with lots of promises which has ended up with them putting a total halt to this much needed project.

Clearly events over the last few weeks with cabinet members either being sacked or simply resigning due to lack of confidence in their own leadership has left residents saying this is ‘a Conservative council in chaos’.  I feel that I want to carry on supporting residents in the ward and want to try and undo some of the wrongs that have come our way.

“However, I do not take residents votes for granted and will be out campaigning in the lead up to the election.  I hope residents of Harlow Common will continue to put their faith in me to represent them both in our community and in the council chamber”.

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14 Comments for Labour’s Harlow Common councillor has change of heart over retirement:

Stacy Seales
2023-02-11 15:38:01

Cllr Wilkinson , good luck and well wishes in the next election. Glad of your change of heart, hopefully look forward we continue working together. For clarity, the leadership under the conservatives administration has done far more effective good for the town in the last two years than the previous Labour administration did over decades. Ultimately the people of harlow deserve realistic action and not lip service from us all as surely it must be frustrating for them. To to be frank and best address your leadership statement- within in my party previously PM Johnson was an issue for member but voters across all parties understood and backed his vision hence his huge success as they was a plan. Voters and members in the labour administration then and now are extremely concern for the lack of good or strong leadership within your administration. They just do not have confidence or faith in those currently within your party or believe they are many with the right skill sets to make an impactful realistic change for the good of the country. Also most feel that some action taken without care of how ordinary people were affect seem clearly manipulative and reckless to have been allowed just to sway votes. For decades the people of Harlow were promised things which never came to fruition due to lack of inadequate skill set or the right leadership which left the town in decline and in a mess. The current conservative administration in a very short time has and will deliver with doubt to making Harlow great with it’s leadership team, as we all collectively have one vision and goal which is to make Harlow a great place to live in reality and not just words. The Labour administration over the years has done a lot of good for our country; however, it is evident that the labour administration makes promises without a plan which inevitably means no actions as history demonstrates especially as seen in harlow over the years. As one from the town you would agree change was needed and that change improvement can be recognised in the last two years if you were completely honest without a political view. It is no where near perfect but a starting point to build on. The current leadership at Harlow under a Conservative administration in the last two years had to deal with Covid, the war in Ukraine , retirement of the last chief executive and was able to appoint a new one with labour’s full backing and also achieve something great in making history by attempting to buying back asset to stabilising the economy for the people of Harlow, small step but a giant leap into the uprising of Harlow becoming a great town. It is paramount that the elected are meeting people’s day to day basic needs from the ground level and not just in the press releases tearing one other or debased arguments in chambers but getting the job done. There are people whom are isolated, living in terrible conditions , depressed, children without direction, families with challenging issues and people in need of support not reading “Tory this and that “ or empty promises. It will great to see councillor on door step helping people and not congregation in flock at picket lines or knocking on their doors to getting their vote only during elections. It will good to see campaign leaflet which says this is what we are achieving and set to achieve rather than hate message campaigns with jargon printed that does not help them meeting their needs or make their lives better. It will be great to be honest, give realistic support to projects/people rather than giving them false hopeful with projects which are not financially viable. It will great to see all party activist on whom comment on every post actual doing something realistic in involvement, meeting with those they need to hold accountable for the people of harlow rather than getting award trophy 🏆 of online complaints champions in manipulating words. If you are guilty then consider to think before you next type. There are always facts, opinions and then truths so even if the conservative administration were no longer in office it will be recorded and known we opened the path and did great things for Harlow in a very short time. One can only hope the next succeeding administration be capable to continue the process. Declaration : I am for the people of Harlow and making Britain Great in a United front. , As a business owner with many challenges, a mother of 5 children, one with a disability, irrespective of challenges I choose in continuing to work hard in fulfilling my aspirations in difficult circumstances, I believe in outcome not defeat I believe in effort and not entitlement I have believe it takes us individually to make a difference and not the someone else. I believe we must take ownership and be responsibility for outcome of our decisions making without blaming others. It is important to teach people to desire having the skill set needed or to learn how and be given the tools to catch their own fish rather than controlling them on rations of a fish a day for nothing. This is why I am member of conservative unionist party and this is why I believe in my great party. This is why I believe with a conservative administration Harlow has a chance. It takes understanding the process to vote and not just doing what your parents always did or because one gets something for nothing, as it will always be at the expense of others. Instead we must vote the party which will gives us the tool to be independent and become better whilst also demonstrating a strategic process to successful deliver a clear vision and plan in making Britain Great beginning with us at Harlow. Cllr Stacy Seales

Tony Durcan
2023-02-11 15:58:53

For goodness sake,what is the Tory councillor going on about.Why can’t the Tories just be gracious instead of using any excuse to lie to Harlow. Another pathetic attempt to promote rotten Tory dogma. Stopped reading it very quickly as completely rubbish Pleased that Mark is staying as a brilliant local councillor

Kay Morrison
2023-02-11 16:13:05

Well said, Tony. Mark has an exemplary track record as a committed local councillor who puts his constituents first. Such good news.

David Forman
2023-02-11 17:10:07

It will be good to see a trade unionist like Mark Wilkinson continue as a Labour councillor. A wise decision Mark.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-11 18:33:28

Blow me, I thought I had just read the worse public statement from a Councillor in the history of Harlow, but this post from Cllr Seales may even top that!

2023-02-11 18:54:56

Another effin' trade unionist who wants to sell us out to the CCP.

Stacy Seales
2023-02-11 21:56:01

Ms Taylor it’s good to know my statement of truth top all record on YH as apparently truth usual carries weight. Cllr Seales

Stacy Seales
2023-02-11 23:04:32

Cllr Durcan this Tory councillor speak only truth without compromise and they say the truth hurts but usually best. My comment was not directed at Cllr Wilkinson but the irony in the article to question Tory leadership when track record of Labour administration centrally and in harlow have to date not fulfilled the job in hand except empty promises, falsehood to help people without any action or a plan, except promoting a blame culture for everything. Failing to plan is planning to fail was the labour administration and lets not forget the flash of the past with an unnecessary war in Iran costing tax payer fortunes. Or perhaps question the previous Labour leadership failures of the Harlow town over decades to the ruin we now have under construction. Only under the same criticised Tory leadership and administration has excellence ,bravery and track record to successfully achieve the economic growth and development of Harlow town realistically be measured within a short time in office. We can go round in circle ⭕️ but Let’s call a spade a spade. The only reason I comment here is in defence to the respectful people of harlow who deserve better than whinging, empty promises, words without action , and activists who long term can not help them. With all respect let focus to making communities in harlow better for the people who elected us without all this negative attention seeking that does not benefit them in Tory this Tory that. The End

Luke Burton
2023-02-12 01:19:51

War in Iran? What planet are you on, Cllr Seales? Your various non-sensical outbursts tonight makes you come across as somebody under the influence of something. I'm saying this as somebody who used to vote Conservative - you're an embarrassment.

Kim Oconnor
2023-02-12 10:12:39

Dear oh dear, This council is doing what for community s, ?? I thousands of houses being built , how many are council, ??? I see you harp on and on, about wellbeing, and environment, but see it daily being ripped to shreads, by all theses housing estates , that most of Harlow people carnt afford. The waiting list in Harlow, over 5OOO people, but still you continue to build unaffordable housing, for people out side of Harlow, bringing more and more people here, with no infrastructure what so ever. Putting more and more pressure on hospital s, GP. .This regeneration is not, I say again for the people in Harlow, its to make you all huge profits. Regeneration does not fix my neighbours roof, regeneration, does not clear people Guttering, ect,ect, the lists go on, pot holes . Theses councils are all about greed, and when we do speak up, you don't want to see us or hear us. The river stort valley, you want to destroy in abundance, by connecting it all up to theses housing estates. The 6,000 signatures handed in ment nothing to you councils, the protest mean nothing to you councils. The public are the ones that keep you in your jobs, I'd remember that. We can see that public opions mean nought to you lot.

Sky Jacks
2023-02-12 10:59:21

Send this with new name: Luke Bruton, you are right, but hey: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ireland doesn’t matter man. War is bad, dude. Stacy is a peaceful, gentle person with flowers in her hair. Catch the vibes man.

Stacy Seales
2023-02-12 11:25:18

Thanks Mr Burton - Outburst ! Under the influence ??? My Only influence or outburst is making realistic impact, caring for people and economic growth of Harlow Town. I am not a confrontational individual or calculative like many on here and we all know it’s a typo / predictive text error using a minute handheld device without proof reading. I am in complete agreement people want their repairs sorted but first direct your question to the above leaders who on their watch did nothing regarding repairing and maintenance of Harlow Town over decades. Hopefully my colleagues ( across party) and I do this role because we care for people and whether in office or not I personally will always support those in need of help and development of Harlow Town. It is not a paid job for the time and personal involvement/ investment we put in. Normally is always best to not to say anything but I do as truth are sometimes necessary. If you have solution to rebuilding harlow then do something about it without complaint and negativity. Engage with people and support them without all the theatrical anti Tory propaganda.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-02-12 11:31:41

Stacy, I said your posts were the worse I have ever seen from a Councillor. If you want to deal with truths, what about the huge cuts in the funding of Councils in the last 13 years, the straightjacket placed on Councils which has prevented them from replacing council homes that have been sold, the lack of funding to schools, the crisis in the health service and social care system, more pot holes than ever before, mental health services at breaking point ... the list goes on and on. That's just at a national level. As for locally, well after almost two years in power not a single spade has been put in the ground, no sign of a new hospital and the former Public Health England move to Harlow mothballed. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party.

Luke Burton
2023-02-12 11:37:18

I've never read anything so unhinged before - until now. Look, who doesn't want economic growth and prosperity? Anyone that says they don't needs an MRI at PAH (if the hospital isn't collapsing), but this post is genuinely awful and does not put you, the local party, or the council cabinet in a good light.

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