Debate on future of town exposes wide gulf between Tories and Labour in Harlow

News / Mon 18th Dec 2023 at 08:43am

A DEBATE on the future of the town exposed the wide gulf between the Conservatives and Labour in Harlow.

The Conservatives promoted the agenda item discussing the Corporate Plan as part of their vision for improving the town, from cleaning road signs to the major regeneration of the town centre.

The Labour group took the opportunity to refer to government cuts, the lack of progress in building a hospital, the Strawberry Star section of the town centre (West Gate), the UK Health Agency move plus many others.

This lead to a succession of Conservative councillors berating the “doomsters” of Labour, whilst Harlow Common councillor asserted that this exposed they lack of experience in business.

Click below for the council’s webcast and papers associated with agenda item.

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14 Comments for Debate on future of town exposes wide gulf between Tories and Labour in Harlow:

David Forman
2023-12-18 11:38:54

The Labour Party whilst in charge of Harlow council prior to May 2021 achieved a big fat zero in regenerating our town. They squandered the legacy of ousted council leader Jon Clempner, instead preferring to concentrate on a woke agenda. Labour even managed to waste £500,000+ on regeneration projects that failed to deliver anything. I wouldn't trust Harlow Labour Party to walk my dog, let alone allow them to make another balls-up of our council.

Alderman Durcan
2023-12-18 12:17:20

It was disappointing that the insult was not aimed at the Labour Party policy but to those Labour members who work in the public sector. We were advised that public sector workers don’t understand business. To be honest it was pathetic and an insult to all leaders and managers in this sector on the bases private is best and public is worse. Surely we should be working together. The councillor in question forgot the chair of the council is a well regarded NHS employee leader. Being a councillor is about care and compassion not just about spreadsheets. It about trying to have an honest conversation instead of pretending everything is wonderful. It about accepting you don’t know everything but to work hard improve the life’s of others. Sadly old fashion Tory reaction blame the public worker. No wonder no one trusts politicians when these type of insult flow freely from the Tories.

Cllr James Leppard
2023-12-18 12:46:10

Alderman Durcan, as is often the case, misses the point completely. There was no insult given nor intended; simply a factual statement that the Harlow Labour councillors have little understanding or appreciation of business and how to engage the private sector proactively. Their track record in administration highlights their shortcomings. Nobody in our administration would claim that there is a rivalry between public and private sectors: both are essential and the provision of quality public services is dependent on a robust, wealth generating private sector.The fact that Harlow Labour has no alternative strategy or policies and actually abstained from the vote is testimony to their complete lack of any plans. Tax and waste clearly continues to be their mantra.

2023-12-18 15:08:54

To be fair both parties have completely let the town go to rot and now we have the Conservatives attempting to claw un voters by cleaning road signs and claiming demolished buildings as redevelopment wins. It's just sad, stop the attempts at point scoring and focus on what really needs to be done for the town. And actually follow it through

Tracy George
2023-12-18 19:19:58

I agree with Resident. This petty in fighting is very tiresome and perhaps if both parties put that energy into actually doing something, this town and the residents may be better off. I have known Harlow for 20 years, lived here for 12. It has been run down and depressing town for all that time and apart from the water gardens, very little else has been done over they years. Stop bickering, get on with it.

Kim Oconnor
2023-12-18 19:37:11

I agree with Resident.

2023-12-18 21:34:38

It wasn't that long ago when Harlow Labour forced out one of the best leaders of the council (Jon Clempner) and several others due to its own internal fighting and the gulf within the labour party both locally and nationally is still as wide as ever.

2023-12-18 21:41:15

I have been in this town for over 50 years and Harlow is the town where i was born,i have always been proud to say that i was born in Harlow in the 1960s and i have always stood up for Harlow whenever anyone said anything bad about my hometown,but i actuslly cant stand it here anymore and it is Embarrassing what you lot have done to it. You dont have a clue what you are doing,the town is just 1 big car park,there are cars and vans parked absolutely everywhere and to just walk along the pavements nowadays is a nightmare. The pavements are a bloody death trap now because of the cars and big transits etc that think it is ok to park on the pavements. What the hell have you lot done to this once beautiful happy thriving town. If i could leave Harlow now,i would and i never ever thought i would say that. Restore pride,thats a joke surely??????

2023-12-18 22:11:13

"ME" your absolutely correct the council both Labour and conservative led also Essex Police have deliberately chosen to turn a blind eye to pavement parking, not only costing taxpayers thousands in repairs but also making many pavements obstacle courses for disabled and other vulnerable users.

2023-12-18 23:57:20

It was like watching two groups in try outs for clown school by playing, he said she said. This is why Harlow is rated as the second most dangerous town in Essex. (Source Crimerate). Why would you vote tory or labour as both have contributed to the current status. I don't know what the answer is but it has become incredibly clear, that neither labour or conservative know either.

2023-12-19 08:14:46

Perhaps your Harlow /LGA should remind the counsellors of the debate not hate campaigne. It's healthy to debate, but not be personal..

Bruce Downey
2023-12-19 15:47:03

Wide Gulf…………….Between….THEM &…..US.

Tony Edwards
2023-12-19 16:22:38

It is a shame this has been reported in this way as the debate was relatively balanced - It is important to remember that as an opposition we were debating the Conservative Administration's Corporate plan. It was not the time or place to present a Labour alternative - and even if we had it would not have been accepted by the Conservatives who currently have a majority on the Council . The Conservatives are however prone to Boris like boosterism - where everything is going well. The reality is different - Remember we were originally told by the Conservatives that the new hospital would be built by 2025 and that the PHE site in the Pinnacles would be occupied by 2023. We were also told that work would be starting on the Strawberry Star site by now . None of these things have happened and to cap it all we also have the catastrophe of the Sir Frederick Gibberd College. So yes, whilst there are some procedural approaches to be welcomed in the Corporate plan, the Council and the Town still face some significant problems. Here is hoping 2024 is a year when some progress will be made in addressing those problems.

2023-12-20 16:58:23

As long as they stop housing criminals from London I don’t care what they do.

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