Harlow shortlisted for “most improved council” award

Harlow Council / Thu 22nd Feb 2024 at 08:31am

HARLOW Council has been shortlisted in the coveted Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards in the “Most Improved Council” category.

The council is up against three other councils in the final four – Bath & North East Somerset Council, Lichfield DC and Walsall MBC – and will find out whether it will win the prestigious award when the awards are presented in June.

The council has been shortlisted following the rapid progress it has made in turning around how it operates and delivers for residents since an independent Local Government Association peer challenge held in March 2023. 

The independent peer review team returned at the end of November 2023 and a feedback report was published a month later. The report (which can be read here) recognised that the council has moved a long way in short space of time, with statements such as:

“Nine months on from the corporate peer challenge, it is clear that there has been profound change achieved in many aspects of how the council operates and what it is delivering.”

“The five priorities for this year are clearly driving the organisation.”

“What is being delivered is making a tangible difference for residents.”

Councillor Dan Swords, Leader of Harlow Council, said:

“It’s brilliant to see Harlow Council’s name shortlisted for a national award and being recognised as one of the most improved councils in the country. It is an achievement that everyone involved in the council can be very proud of and we look forward to June when we will find out whether we have won the award, but even to be recognised as one of the four most improved councils of the year is a fantastic recognition. The progress that the peer review team witnessed when it returned late last year was remarkable and it was all down to the teamwork and the incredible efforts of council staff and councillors.

“We know that we have a long way to go to continuing improving the council, but over the past 10 months, we have worked tirelessly to deliver on our five priorities and transform the council and what it delivers for residents, and I am delighted that this has been recognised in this way.”

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13 Comments for Harlow shortlisted for “most improved council” award:

Kim Oconnor
2024-02-22 09:13:41

Dan swords, I put a new toilet system in my house, because all your team done was to replace the ball cock... That was last year..

2024-02-22 09:45:09

I suppose to be in the running for "most improved" you have to be pretty poor to start with. What isn't clear is if the "pretty poor" council was a tory or labour administration. Still, at least improvements are apparently being made which is better than nothing

2024-02-22 09:49:55

Credit where credit is due, the town does have work being done on it, not just like under labour and their student style ranting about the hated Tories

Bruce Downey
2024-02-22 10:07:41

Another cock and ball story..by you-know-who. 🔝

John Duggan
2024-02-22 10:14:24

The Conservatives only took control in May 2021, after almost a decade when Labour ran the town down leaving huge housing repair backlog, grass and hedge cutting not done regularly, constant council tax hikes and a town centre looking a war zone. They have done a great deal in just 2 years and 9 months, including the innovative town centre regeneration partnership with Hill group, got Essex to undertake a wide pothole repair programme (which Labour never managed), reformed HTS and greatly reduced the backlog, froze the HDC element of Council tax, got the roundabouts sponsored and maintained, started the biggest council house building programme in a generation. Yes there is much to do, but they are doing a lot better than Labour ever did or could do.

2024-02-22 10:48:41

Kim, Whilst i support your green credentials can you give it a rest about your toilet cistern as plenty of other council tenants have no doubt done little jobs to make life easier when the council should have done them.

Kim Oconnor
2024-02-22 11:23:13

Jarrett, I could write a list of what I've done in my council house, that council should of done, I've gutted my house, put in new kitchen, new bathroom, so yeah still need big jobs done ,and still waiting for guttering, double glazed window s, and a new roof, so lots of people can not do the big jobs, and im very aware that lots of people still waiting.. Aww don't you like my toilet story , shame.. its true though. 😄

2024-02-22 11:58:54

So John Duggan, at the time of the first report, March 2023, the tories had been in power for nearly 2 years. During this time they had a lot of political goings on. So, did their antics drag the performance down or has it taken some 30 months to sort out what labour had left

2024-02-22 12:10:37

Yes there have been improvements in the Yown and they were a long time coming. All the work done in what was our Market Square looks great, the biggest drawback unfortunately is the drunks and drug addicts that hang around there and openly do their drug deals on occasion.

2024-02-22 12:25:07

I know for me personally and for others that I have spoken to, it would be very beneficial to the Town to actually be able to go to the Civic Centre and see someone face to face to help sort out issues and problems. They are all still working from home and have never returned since Lockdown! It takes forever to try and sort things out either over the phone (voicemail) and email. I don't understand why this has been allowed to continue for so long. Our problem went on for 4 months back and forth waiting for phone calls to be returned and emails to be answered and eventually told because the situation had gone past their cut off dates we had to start all over again. The whole system is ridiculous and needs sorting out like now!

2024-02-22 23:56:42

Harlow Labour is a total shower. Couldn't run a bath, let alone a Council. A bunch of complete misfits. I would rather vote for a pork chop than these imbeciles.

2024-02-23 00:55:51

The sad truth is no matter if it's labour or conservatives. There really is no difference between them both. They all talk about what they are going to do but that's about it! They are a rare breed that surface mainly before an election, Making loads of empty promises. Nothing has ever changed. Each blames the other when in fact both parties are to blame for the state this town and country are in. Unfortunately good sense does not apply to them. How they have got away with it for all these many years is a disgrace and to the point where they don't give a dam about potholes, the homeless or the state of the country ...how could they ! This mess is what they have all created collectively over many many years!

2024-02-23 06:16:44

In the running for the most improved council WHY? This once really nice Town is now broken and useless nothing but a crime and drug infested sxxt hole one off the worst Town Centres around empty promises of improvement/ redevelopment millions secured for this and that housing projects being sold to other councils to house more of their problem people here, a new hospital to be built their eventually no doubt will be a new hospital built for Harlow Residents but it ain’t going to be actually in Harlow well done Tories for making this Town the sxxt hole it is today.

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