Harlow Council set budget for the year
News / Fri 24th Feb 2023 am28 11:39am
HARLOW Council has set its budget for the year.
Film of the meeting is below.
Full statement and reactions to follow.
I'm not sure in answering my questions that the Councilor does know how important the number 9 bus is. It runs from Old Harlow to the Town centre pasing New Hall,Potter Street, Passmores school,through Nichols Field before rejoining 2nd avenue on its way into town. Those pupils who may be living in New Hall and the other areas it passes through use the number 9 bus to go to school either at Passmores or St Marks. It is also a lifeline for pensioners who want to travel into town. With an undecided time of when ECC may look into continuing it's provision is no answer at all!
Colin, I have today chased up Essex County Council to give me a timeline as to when the review will be concluded, and to advise me of the outcome as soon as it happens.
This Budget fulfils this administration’s pledge, made last year, to freeze the Harlow Element of Council Tax whilst most authorities in England are increasing theirs by 4.99% It includes additional investments in services like Pets Corner, The Playhouse, Harlow Museum, paddling pools and playgrounds. Most council charges have been frozen, including all Council car park charges. There is a £102 million programme over 5 years for council house repairs, tackling mould, etc and the large backlog of repairs inherited from the previous Labour administration. There is an additional £ 2 mn for roof repairs following the very successful emergency roof repair programme started last December under which 100 roofs have already been replaced. The biggest council house building programme in decades for £35 m to commence in August 2023. Continuation of the Town Centre and estates regeneration; the largest ever in this town. The years of Labour inaction and neglect are soon to become history.
Thank you Michael. Potter Street and the neighboring areas have been neglected for far to long and to lose the number 9 would make things even more difficult
Colin we know the issues and the neglect of our area in detail. What concerns me along with the proposed cutting of the No. 9 bus is that we have two local councillors with the opportunity and power to return the services our area needs now. But our area gained nothing in this budget. Not even the familiar warm words. I would respect them more if they just came out and said, "we were elected to serve the town, not our constituents" and then the electorate would have a clear voting choice in 2024, if not in May 2023. Could it be said that we as residents of Potter Street tried to get services restored and were let down by people who didn't understand the needs of the area: I suspect so sadly.
Gary, we are fighting for a location for the Hub, we se actively opposing the new commercial development on Potter Street on behalf of residents. We succeeded in having posts erected on Potter St to stop dangerous pavement parking blocking vision at the exit of Chapel Fields garages. We have surveyed and submitted reports on potholes in Potter St. Some of the issues you raise, such as Bus routes are beyond our powers of influence, but these have been taken up by County Councillors. I am sure all Potter St residents will benefit from the HDC element tax freeze and the car parking freeze throughout Harlow.
I am equally sure Potter Street Council tenants won't thank you for the 7% rise in their rents imposed by Council.
Tony, I can appreciate your point, but we are suffering 10% plus inflation. The average weekly council rent will be around £106 compared to a private sector equivalent of around £260. I know it is of limited comfort, but it is important to remember context.
If the last Labour administration had managed housing repairs properly from 2018 onwards, there would not be a backlog of 5587 jobs now. Nor would there be so many leaking roofs needing replacement. Inaction and inefficiency lead to a much greater bill down the line. Perhaps ousting Jon Clempner and other talented councillors brought unexpected consequences for the Momentum toy town revolutionaries.
I’m sure both the Tory and Labour councillors will agree that any budget setting was a challenge due to the continuous reduction in government funding. This was a survival budget with very little options available. Council is now relying on profits from the Harvey centre car park to fund the wages of the regeneration team… Pleased the labour pledge to keep the street light on has been maintained as well as no increase in parking fee in other council owned car parks. Sad that collection of green waste is costing more and hope due to the changes at the recycling centre we don’t have more fly tipping. Told there is no rush if you want to sponsor a Harlow roundabout but expect the local MP may be first. Wonder if he would dare to sponsor the roundabout by PAH.
It's good that Michael Hardware (one of four Conservative County councillors who are all also Harlow District Councillors) contacted Essex County Council. Will he tell Your Harlow if he gets a reply? There are other matters (like potholes & damaged road signs!) that they should be chasing E C C for. Do E C C even have a fair policy in place regarding when work takes place after being reported? Are his three colleagues doing anything to overcome our various problems?
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