New disability Taskforce announced to drive forward townwide improvements 

News / Sun 17th Sep 2023 at 08:35am

THE Leader of Harlow Council, Cllr Dan Swords, and Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, have today announced that a new council-backed Disability Taskforce will be established to drive forward townwide improvements and tackle persistent issues faced by disabled people in Harlow.

The announcement follows a Disability Charter that Mr Halfon presented to the Council last year calling on the council to take a number of specific actions. The Charter was supported by over 50 charities and groups across Harlow who represent and work with disabled people.

As a result, the council has taken robust action including: 

  • Stronger enforcement of illegal parking in blue badge spaces which has seen over 550 parking fines issued.
  • A full review of all council-owned car parks to improve signage, access and enforcement of blue badge parking.
  • A proactive approach to tackling A-boards and flyposting to support disabled residents.
  • A full audit of accessible toilets to ensure they are truly appropriate.

The new Taskforce will include cross-party councillors, Robert Halfon MP, representatives from charities and groups who work with disabled people and disabled residents with the first meeting set to take place in early October. The Leader of the Council has pledged to ensure the council “swiftly implements recommendations the Taskforce makes”.

Commenting on the announcement, Robert Halfon MP said: “I strongly welcome this announcement and the confirmation that this Taskforce will have real power to make change. As many residents know, I was born with a form of Cerebral Palsy and know first-hand many of the challenges with access for people with disabilities in Harlow.

“That’s why I took the Disability Charter to the Council last year, backed by over 50 local charities and disability groups and I welcome the action the council has taken to date, but now we must go further and ensure residents voices are truly heard and that we tackle these issues once and for all.”

Cllr Dan Swords, added: “Robert Halfon has led the charge to improve accessibility and tackle problems facing disabled residents with his Disability Charter. We have taken strong action to address some immediate problems but must go further to ensure long-standing challenges are tackled once and for all.

“This new Taskforce will include councillors from both parties and will have the full backing of the council and will be underway shortly. I know that councillors from both parties care deeply about these issues and that’s why we will be working together in this new Taskforce to deliver real change.”

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10 Comments for New disability Taskforce announced to drive forward townwide improvements :

Chris Lion
2023-09-17 08:54:06

Thank you Robert a true proactive member of parliament. This is a commendable start to a major problem. But one of the biggest issues is vehicles parking on pavements, this forces not only the disabled but all pedestrians onto the roads. When will Harlow council act to stop this.

View from Afar
2023-09-17 09:29:08

Agree with Chris Lion regarding parking on pavements, one area that needs to be looked at is the junction of Moorfield and Parringdon Road, people park on the pavement so they go go through their back gates. Another example of disabled spaces being taken by people who shouldn’t use them is Staple Tye but this may be under private ownership not the council.

Dan Gracr
2023-09-17 11:18:56

Fitzwilliam court needs to be looked at urgent all parking on yellow lines disabled people having to far away to walk yet no one comes up here are the council no interested

Catherine bilsland
2023-09-17 12:10:04

Potter street has also been a ongoing problem with people parking on the pavement with no consideration to the visually impaired wheelchair users and mothers with prams , it has been reported many times and pictures sent , I realise people who live in the properties need somewhere to park but not to the disadvantage to the needy

2023-09-17 17:22:56

🤞the brief will include non-council properties especially PAH where parking for people with disabilities is an ongoing and growing problem.

2023-09-17 18:47:04

Parking on pavements has got to stop. This is not acceptable for disabled people or anyone,this is just as wrong as it gets. Pavements are not for cars and vans,i just cannot believe how selfish some people are,to literally park all 4 wheels on the pavement and totaly blocking the pathway forcing pedestrians and people in wheelchairs etc into the road is just not on. Dan Swords why dont you travel around Harlow in the eveni gs and see the state of the cars and van situation in many of the housing estates. Parking on pavements has got to stop,it is so wrong that it cannot be allowed to continue.

David morton
2023-09-18 02:52:05

Cp, totally agree with you, very inconsiderate, people just park anywhere without any consideration for wheelchair users elderly and parents with pushchairs.

richard mays
2023-09-18 14:32:03

use parking wardens all over the town they will pay for themselves in parking fines

2023-09-18 20:18:46

When Harlow New Town was first built it was calculated that 1 family in 10 would own a car. My family lived in Perry Spring where there were only 2 cars owned. Now, 70 years on, we have new estates built with hardly any parking at all. Some families may even have 3 or 4 vehicles. Is this progress?

Jamie W
2023-09-19 07:04:43

Didn't Halfon once vote against disability benefit? Stange for a man who is actually disabled. Don't fall for his rubbish.

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