Ward by Ward: Sumners and Kingsmoor: Is this Labour’s best chance of winning a Tory seat?
Elections / Tue 2nd May 2023 at 11:16am
LAST but not least is the ward of Sumners and Kingsmoor.
For years, Labour have sort of fancied their chances but not really got close.
This year, they feel they just might have a chance. But it is just a chance. A majority of 289 from last year is still quite a gap to breach.
With that in mind, Labour may be looking to get the figure down to two figures and claim a moral victory.
Like many other parties, the number crunchers will look at the ward stats, the stats all across the town and then estimate their direction of travel as we head to a General Election in (May/June/Oct) 2024.
Having four candidates may be a factor as well. Will that be a factor?
YH Prediction: Conservative Hold
Anita Schultschik (Labour)
Anita is standing for the first time. Many now Anita from her role in education as well as a great singer songwriter.
You know where you stand with Anita. We interviewed the Swiss-born Anita as part of our Harlow is 75 interviews. Funnily enough, we thought of all the interviews across 75 nationalities, it was the woman from Switzerland who was most political!
Even if Anita doesn’t win this time, it will be really important that Anita gets another chance.
It was pouring down with rain, when we interviewed Anita, so we popped into The Herald Pub. Thank you to the management.
Alan Leverett (The Harlow Alliance Party)
We are starting to think: where would democracy in Harlow be without The Harlow Alliance Party.
Week in and week out, they are there, in council meetings, in the community and in the letters page of Your Harlow, holding the powers that be to account.
We interviewed Alan up on Hull Grove. Right on the border with Epping Forest District Council and the land earmarked for the development of well over a thousand homes.
We spoke to Alan about that issue and a number of other issues.
Dave Margetts (The Green Party)
THE Green Party have a knack of finding really interesting candidates. We understand they met Dave at a St Stephen’s Church quiz night and just invited him to their events.
Another candidate who is a real breath of fresh air. A Harlow man, through and through. Dave has been a top-flight referee in his time and when you speak to him, you get a sense of fair play.
Having said that, he did say that if he doesn’t win, he won’t be checking the result on VAR!
Again, we think Dave may be one of those Green candidates who is here for the long run.
Clive Souter (Conservative)
For the record, we e-mailed the Harlow Conservatives at the beginning of the campaign and offered interviews to all the candidates. We did not receive a reply.
As this piece makes reference to Epping Forest District Council, we e mailed the Epping Forest Conservatives, requesting an interview with their candidate on the other side of the border. We received no reply.
This is the first time in ten years, that this has occurred in Harlow. As we average over four million page views a year, we always think the interviews (in whatever form) are a good way of communicating to voters.
However, we are not alone. We have spoken to journalists across the country, who say there is a, how you say, under the radar approach from Conservatives this year.
No wonder the Tories are under the radar here in Harlow. the matter of pot holes comes up in almost every conversation you have with residents. Tory Councillors must surely be seriously embarrassed by the lack of road maintenance in Harlow, in particular Cllr Souter, County Councillor and Tory candidate in this ward. Borrowing £21 million to buy the Harvey Centre and spending millions of pounds on a new bus station are issues which have been raised on the doorstep, residents feel this is a huge waste of Council Tax payers money. And don't even mention Market Square! Lets hope residents take the opportunity to vote for an alternative candidate in Sumners and Kingsmoor.
The Conservative campaign takes voters for granted. Just one postcard delivered on Bank Holiday Monday. Both Labour and Harlow Alliance parties beat the Conservatives to the punch this year. Given how much money the Tories have for campaigning this year's effort is dire.
The above comments regarding the town centre show a complete misconception as to the basics for regeneration. Almost everybody agrees that regeneration of the town centre is a priority and was a major manifesto pledge of the Conservative administration. Under decades of Labour, the town centre was on the verge of terminal decline and Labour has never had clue about addressing, it other than putting concrete benches and open air table tennis in the market square. The key is property ownership. Harlow Council owned virtually no land there. This administration set a ring-fenced planning map to ensure no new developments could take place that were inconsistent with the regeneration plan. Secondly, they set about acquiring strategic properties, including the self-financing Harvey Centre. The third is arranging a development partner to undertake the work jointly as was done very successfully in Bracknell (another new town set up around the same time as Harlow) and is being done in Basildon. Under this administration, Harlow has the best possible chance of redeveloping and revitalising its town centre, which is fundamental for the local economy. Regeneration is too important to be left to Labour, who failed the town for a generation and have no grasp of what is entailed.
James, I can only repeat what people are saying on the doorstep, we do not need millions spent on a new bus station, give our existing one a regular coat of paint and a deep clean, without such work a new bus station will look as bad as the one we have now in a few years time. Creating a leisure quarter is all well and good for those that can afford the luxury of attending events, but take a step back and is this really levelling up, indeed levelling up to what? As as for a document which lays out the future of the town centre containing a dozen or more high rise flat blocks, well this is hardly in keeping with the mantra of a garden town. We all want the town regenerated, some of us do not share the vision your party has as to what it will look like.
Agree with your comments about Dave. A breath of fresh air & very passionate about this town. A very good listen
Very insightful interviews from all the candidates, I'd be interested on Anita's veiws on the Hggt development considering Labours latter mixed support.. I find it very revealing that the incumbent conservative cllr has reduced to be interviewed especially has he's been taking well over £15,000 in expenses each year for his various roles within the council...surely the electorate should be told what he has done for the people to deserve it!
Warner-Baker, if you managed to find out the Councillor’s allowances, it should not be beyond your wit to realise his allowances cover his two roles: one as a Harlow District Councillor and, second as an Essex County Councillor. It is hardly a princely sum when you consider the number of hours these roles require.
Sigh, there you go again..and James, no! 15 grand is not a trifling sum. And in contrast ...there is Alan Leverette, the Alliance candidate, who as the artice and interview shows.. spends much of his free time tirelessly pouring over documents, scrutinising the council...And actually bothered to take part in the planning process at the time when it mattered... to protect the people of this ward. Without the suggestion of personal gain...whereas Clive...has not defended his position and dispite pocketing large sums of money...Clearly did not defend his electorate! (As an aside...you mentioned "Wit" well I don't see anything funny in this...damned right insulting?!)
A bit amusing to see Cllr.Leppard talk about the ridiculous chess boards and table tennis tables in the Market Square, considering the current invisible and useless current Leader gave us massive red plant pots as his only real achievement! It's not the redevelopment and regeneration that people object to. It's the high cost overpriced materials and poor daft looking results! Mark Gough - Reform UK
It was interesting to watch the four clips. Dane Margetts (Green Party) came across as by far the most intellectual and passionate of the candidates. I particularly liked his view on the Sumners/Epping development, which the other candidates seemed to bemoan the increase in potholes or took a "not in my back garden stance". If people on a candidates passio and intergity Mr. Margetts should win easily. Let's hope people don't vote for part X because that's who they always voted for.
John M you obviously did not see the Harlow Alliance interview or followed the website to see we have been on the case of the building West of Sumners I. Green Belt land since 2017. Would you be a member of the Green Party by coincidence???
Could Cllr. Leppard name one achievement of Mr. Souter for the betterment of his constituents as a councillor in this town? Remember he has been a councillor for many years: Just one will do.
I wonder if residents have seen Cllr Souter in the Ward since the elections of May 2022? I am sorry to say that most of our Councillors keep a low profile until election time and evidence of any achievements are even less. All part of a the long term plan to keep residents in the dark about what is going on in the town. Closing of local offices, no public meetings within neighbourhoods, no use of council notice boards, officers working from home, closing of the cash office, lack of councillor surgeries, consultation exercises only on-line are all examples of 'the council' increasingly becoming out of touch with the electorate.
Dear Alan. You would be wrong to presume that and to tarnish us with the same brush you do other parties. We have a strict policy around members and candidates being fully transparent online. This is why you rarely see us commenting on posts. We are too focused on the work we do with our community and also on what we can bring to the table, to have time to engage with silly party squabbling and point scoring in the comments sections. As our leaflets say, we are doing politics differently and we believe our actions will speak louder than any words online. Dave has Charisma, cares a lot about Harlow residents and Harlow issues. Works extremely hard within the Green Party and his community and has done for some time now. I think that energy shines through in his interview and when he knocks on doors to speak to residents. Dave would be a fantastic councillor for the people of Sumners and Kingsmoor and I would urge people to give him a shot tomorrow when they arrive at the polling station. I expect you'll be seeing a lot more of Dave Margetts over the coming years. Best Regards, Jamie Gilbert (Co Chair and candidate for Mark Hall)