Local researcher to represent Harlow at New Town Conference in Scotland
Communities / Tue 14th Nov 2023 at 07:59am
LOCAL researcher and teacher, Jake Shepherd, will be representing Harlow at the New Towns All-Party Parliamentary Group’s Conference on Friday the 17th of November, in East Kilbride, Glasgow.
Jake’s appearance follows from a successful virtual guest lecture at the University of Liverpool in 2021 as well as featuring in the Town and Country Planning Association’s (TCPA’s) virtual study tour of Harlow in 2020.
Promoting the Conference, the TCPA said: “The New Towns programme remains the most ambitious urbanism initiative ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. The programme sought to provide jobs and affordable homes in healthy, balanced and thriving communities. The 32 New Towns delivered through the New Towns Act today provide homes for over 2.8 million people.
They represent some of the fastest growing and most successful, but also some of the most deprived communities in the UK. Do key issues of housing, green infrastructure, stewardship, public art and land ownership mean their growth and renewal could put New Towns back at the heart of exemplar development?
Meanwhile, cross-party interest in the role of New Towns in tackling the housing crisis continues to be high on the political agenda. What transferable lessons can we learn from the New Towns programme to inform the creation of a new generation of ambitious places?
Mr Shepherd said: “The Conference is an important event and opportunity, occurring only every few years, to put Harlow on the map”.
Jake Shepherd has long campaigned on issues of social inequality, particularly in education, and gave a TEDxYouth@Harlow Talk at Passmores Academy in 2018 on the links between Harlow’s geography and local participation rates in higher education.
As a Trustee of Parndon Mill, Jake is also keen to promote Harlow’s cultural heritage and celebrate the town’s very own ‘Hub of Creativity’ at the Conference, which is UK’s largest meeting of New Towns.
Jake’s presentation will be touching on three broad themes, which will then be discussed amongst a panel consisting of John Laverick, CEO of Warrington & Co. (representing Warrington), Emma Street & Victor Nicholls, from Henley Business School (representing Bracknell) and Katy Lock, Director of Communities (representing the TCPA):
Jake runs an online blog (Re)Telling the New Town Story, which captures his research, engagement and reflections around all things Harlow New Town related, and followed from his undergraduate research in 2019.
Jake might celebrate the creation of Harlow, but we understand he supports hggt pfp that, as it rolls out, will destroy and further accelerate the decline in the quality of life that began about 35 or 40 years ago. Hggt pfp will overload the town with traffic, flood water, people, air pollution whilst moving PAH out of the town centre several km into Epping and destroying the ecology of our unique chalk stream, the River Stort. In promoting hggt Jake seems to have forgotten his geography, science and history lessons, towns have an optimum size: especially the new towns built after ww2 because they were specifically designed to be fit for purpose: to provide jobs and a good quality of environment, life and housing. Infilling, building high density hi rise flats and tacking massive estates around the perimeter whilst pushing more and more traffic through and into the east side will be catastrophic.
Perhaps Jake could provide your Harlow with a copy of his presentation. I'm sure if he stands for Election for Labour again his potential residents may like to know where he stands on these issues before they decide whether or not to give him their vote! Furthermore, since he has his colours firmly stapled to the Labour mast, shouldn't this conference be seeking the views of other parties in Harlow so they get something other than the rose tinted view? Mark Gough - Reform UK