Tory-run Harlow Council recommend more investment in priorities as council finances “remain strong”

News / Sat 2nd Dec 2023 at 10:33am

HARLOW Council continues to direct even more funding to deliver its priorities as it maintains a strong financial position claims Harlow Council.

The council’s latest financial performance report considered at Harlow’s Cabinet meeting last night (30 November) highlights that the council “continues to operate a strong financial position whilst investing more money into key priorities”. 

The report shows that for the second quarter of the financial year running spending in Harlow Council’s core running costs (General Fund budget) remains within budget. This is despite councils up and down the country facing difficult financial challenges and cutbacks due to reducing income and rising costs. 

A council spokesperson said: “The council, like all households, has faced significant rising costs of energy and insurance premiums. Despite this, the council continues to balance its books for the second quarter of the year. This has been achieved through small savings which don’t impact on service delivery, carefully management of budgets across the council and for the second quarter in a row better than expected income from the performance of the Harvey Centre and car park income is also starting to increase.

“This strong financial performance has enabled Cabinet to approved even more investment into restoring pride in Harlow with more money for replacing broken and worn street name signs as part of a town-wide programme and more money for rebuilding our town and securing investment into Harlow with £2 million allocated to Harlow Innovation Park to attract new investment from businesses who want to move to Harlow”.  

Councillor James Leppard, cabinet portfolio holder for finance and governance, added: 

“Through watching carefully how we spend every penny of our council taxpayers’ money and taking prudent financial decisions like receiving income from the Harvey Centre, for the second financial quarter running the council is forecast to operate well within budget for 2023 to 2024. Not only are we within budget, but we are also directing even more money to deliver our priorities like rebuilding our town, securing investment into Harlow, and restoring pride in Harlow. All this on top of our investments in fixing council housing and improving council services. 

“Earlier this year we froze our share of the Council Tax bill and invested record amounts into delivering our priorities all whilst maintaining a strong financial position and operating within budget. We can only do this because of our prudent and efficient management of your council tax.”

“We are well aware of the tough financial challenges that all councils will face next year and in future years, but our strong finances and prudent financial management means that we are better prepared than most other councils to get through those challenges.” 

The Cabinet’s discussion on the finance performance report can be watched at: https://harlow.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/827451/start_time/5121000?force_language_code=en_GB

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5 Comments for Tory-run Harlow Council recommend more investment in priorities as council finances “remain strong”:

Mr Andrew RYDE
2023-12-02 20:01:41

You need to get the shops backup and trading with rent they can afford to pay and still leave a good profit for them to invest in opening more shops and I don't mean more foreign traders we need to get shops like butchers green groceries etc like in the 70s when this town was a Great town with the market 4days a week untill someone started to charge shopkeepers to much rent

James Gamble
2023-12-03 01:17:13

Shops closed, Schools built one year and pull down the next, housing repairs taking months and sometimes years to be done, roads with deep potholes that damage our cars and workers being under paid for years. This is the legacy of the Conservative councils both County and District.

gary roberts
2023-12-03 10:51:42

Did I hear that Cllr. Vince say he supported the council buying the Harvey Centre shopping arcade? He will regret that next year when it becomes a financial edifice and burden around the necks of the electorate.

2023-12-03 18:16:17

I'd never vote again except for ukip, fed up to the back teeth of unfulfilled false promises, labour and tory.

2023-12-04 14:06:07

I would agree with Gary Roberts, stay well away from buying the harvey centre if your wish is retail. It is in it's final death knell as a shopping centre and the only benefit to owning it would be to sell the land and knock it down in about 3 years, I really do feel that's all the life it has in it. You could if you wanted to give the town centre a boost, for the month of December make all town centre parking free and allow a free month on rents to help the stores out.

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