Letter to Editor:”Harlow Labour will give residents back their voice

Elections / Tue 2nd May 2023 at 06:30am

Dear Editor,

“Harlow Labour will give residents back their voice.

COMMUNITY engagement in our town is one of the centre points of the Harlow Labour Party’s policy framework for the 2023 local elections and I have seen within Bush Fair the benefits of strong neighbourhood forums which have among other positive changes helped introduce a 20mph speed limit in Waterhouse Moor.

Add to this the vibrant community group in Potter Street giving a voice to those concerned about local health provision in Harlow Common and it’s clear that there is a much-needed, vital place for residents to feel they have an investment in their local areas.

But this for me is only part of the good work a residents forum can provide. Speaking with one voice groups such as these can then inform Harlow Council policy and keep the people of our town more in the loop with local decisions and planning applications and where to support, or indeed object, to such plans.

In doing this, we take our lead from the late Cllr Frances Mason, whose sterling work with our community we strive to honour.

For far too long the people of Harlow have felt cut adrift from important decisions that affect the areas in which they live. Harlow Labour is committed to setting up resident forums, using existing groups as a template and with the support of district councillors across the political spectrum, to give people back their voice.

Cllr Jodi Dunne, Labour and Co Operative candidate for Bush Fair.”

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14 Comments for Letter to Editor:”Harlow Labour will give residents back their voice:

Dan Swords
2023-05-02 07:17:41

In my two years as a councillor, Cllr Dunne has turned up to just two neighbourhood meetings that he references above and his contributions have been limited to say the least.

Kim Oconnor
2023-05-02 07:54:54

Conservatives don't want to see or hear the people.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-05-02 08:19:46

Its good to hear that the Labour Party and indeed some Conservative members are now taking the lead from the Harlow Alliance Party. From the outset when the Party was formed in January 2018 it has bemoaned the lack of engagement between the Council and residents. The Councils Community Engagement Strategy has been for most residents not been worth the paper it is written on and at best can only be considered a tick box when looking at Council services. As candidates from all the Parties have been out on the doorstep since Covid I think they have come to realise that residents who they have spoken to do want to become more informed and indeed involved in what is going on around them. Back in the 1990's and early 2000's Harlow Council was at the leading edge of resident consultation within local government and a return to such a time would serve both councillors and residents very well in the years to come. Nicholas Taylor, Leader of the Harlow Alliance Party.

David Forman
2023-05-02 09:14:59

The one thing that I can say about Cllr Dunne hand on heart is that he spends a lot of time on the doorstep listening to people's concerns. I also know from personal experience is Cllr Dunne is not afraid of getting his hands dirty and certainly not afraid of hard work.

gary roberts
2023-05-02 11:35:20

As a tenant who remembers the days of tenant and resident activism and was involved in the vast majority of it, I can say that the initial enthusiasm and commitment was good to see. However, it didn't last long sadly. The council wanted to take over any independent group that was proactively working for their area. In my area the residents' told the council to go away because it was working well but the council threatened to withhold financial support if it didn't have at least an input in the direction of the group. As a result the amount of resident' input declined and with it the groups either folded or carried on with one arm and leg cut off. The independent group I started is still active but needs more help and assistance from its residents to survive. Would the council help without interfering again? A question for Mr. Dunne to answer I think.

Cllr Jodi Dunne
2023-05-02 13:17:12

Hello Gary I think the role of a Labour Council would be to encourage but not direct, to help with matters such as legalities, advice and contact with appropriate Council officers. To be a friend not a foe.

Darren Franklin
2023-05-02 15:27:57

Still had nothing this end (Bush Faird ward). No leaflets or "in person" knocks on the door. A vote for "none of the above" will apply. If they cannot be bothered, why should I!!

Tom Compton
2023-05-02 16:25:02

Harlow Labour has no plans. Just look at the state of the town they left it in after 10 years in power and did absolutely nothing! At least the Conservatives are starting to regenerate the town centre and not increasing taxes. Labour in Harlow are useless.

Alderman Durcan (Labour)
2023-05-02 18:24:47

Can I remind all that in the last 2 years the Tory run council has not laid one single brick. Not built a single council home and we have mass empty sites of nothing. The MP has lied about a new fully funded PAH The Tory county council is only now starting to repair some of the main roads and ignoring the rest. What changed simple it’s got worse

Tom Compton
2023-05-02 20:27:17

Mr Alderman Durcan, Can I remind you that in 10 years, your regeneration of the Town Centre comprised of a few concrete outdoor table tennis tables in Market Square! Am I not correct in thinking you were the Councillor responsible for regeneration? How many council houses did your last Labour administration actually BUILD and DELIVER whilst in administration? Please do not mention those you went and bought at 4 x the actual build cost as any idiot can spend other people’s money irresponsibly…Oh, of course, that is Labour’s basic proposition, wasting other people’s money.

Mark Gough
2023-05-02 22:12:18

This shows quite clearly why people are crying out for new options after Tory and Labour failures and lack of leadership. I have never seen either Locally or Nationally such a bunch of useless, faceless incompetents! No wonder people are looking for alternatives or not voting at all! Perhaps it really is time others than the two tired old Parties got a chance! Voting for the same two options that continually let you down and expecting something different is the definition of loonacy (someone brighter than me once said)..... perhaps it's time millions more of us took that phrase to heart, and acted on it! Mark Gough - Reform UK.

2023-05-03 06:24:07

You must be joking is it April fools day again To busy say that labour will fix everything like the NHS vote labour party in the local elections and we reduce the waiting times ect funny that it would be the central government that would reform and or increase financial support not Harlow council look at the mess you left behind Supporting eat Herts council in putting up gilston ect it will have a negative effect on Harlow you did nothing to improve the town just like the conservative party the only thing that they had do is stop Epping put a housing estate on the edge of Harlow that would have been a joke on travel in that part of Harlow you supported just waiting to see if you getting in and start with the 5 minutes town crap or ltn which do not work to reduce air pollution like blocking one side of the road instead of speed bumps

2023-05-03 10:48:01

Gary Roberts has a good point (although I do not always agree with him!). So does Mark Gough. We need a chage, even if it is within either main party. Both Labour and Conservative have not served Harlow well for more than a decade. AND why do all four ECC Conservative Councillors not act better in our interests?

David Vincent
2023-05-03 10:49:56

I expect the Reform Party will pull the same con as the Brexit Party did and bail out of the election race at the last minute and tell supporters to vote Conservative.

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