Letter to Editor: Harlow Alliance Party response to council budget: “The failure of Labour opposition to present an alternative budget is unprecedented”

Politics / Tue 27th Feb 2024 at 10:48am

THE extraordinary scenes which took place in the Council chamber last week mirror much of what goes on in Parliament at Westminster, two sides of the political divide who rarely agree on anything. 

However, as many commentators have already said, the failure of the Labour opposition to present an alternative budget is unprecedented and one must wonder why that is when the local elections are due to take place in just a few weeks’ time.

Whilst the Harlow Alliance Party are happy to give credit for the way the Conservative administration has laid out it’s Medium-Term Financial Plan 24/25 to 27/28, it has several concerns. The Plan runs for over 120 pages, perhaps the most interesting of which are at pages 35 to 43 which show the key risks which could face the council and pages 52, 53 and 54. In its conclusion the report states that “The current forecast position is still very challenging, where significant gaps continue to be a concern in future years”.

With more and more councils becoming effectively bankrupt and the risks and challenges identified in the Financial Plan you might think the Conservatives would be more prudent. However, with an election just a few weeks away they will of course want to “big up” what they intend to do. But just as we have already seen, claims about the new hospital, Public Health England bringing thousands of jobs to the town and many other local issues, they are being trotted out to try and boost their election chances.

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9 Comments for Letter to Editor: Harlow Alliance Party response to council budget: “The failure of Labour opposition to present an alternative budget is unprecedented”:

Guy Flegman
2024-02-27 12:04:57

I think the real problem with councils are they have had funding stripped to the bone by successive central governments which has forced them to get involved in more risky ventures that they do not fully understand, to balance the books. When these ventures go wrong it has dire consequences for them because they have not understood the risk and hedged their positions.

Bruce Downey
2024-02-27 13:46:26

Oh dear. Judging by the image..it is Harlow (OAP) Alliance Party. 🏚️ It looks like sadly your days are numbered.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-27 14:39:00

Bruce, just another keyboard wind-up merchant without anything of interest to say.

2024-02-27 14:40:55

Bruce, As is the days of a Tory government!!

David Forman
2024-02-28 01:04:58

The Labour Party asked a really lame question about sponsorships. The Finance & Governance portfolio holder James Leppard had to point out the details were on page 33 of the report, which says: "The Medium Term Financial Plan does not currently incorporate further assumed income from this proposed expansion of the sponsorship activity but will in future iterations when the proposals are further developed, and sponsorships are in place." For the Labour luvvies who failed basic research the report can be found at: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/b6399/Supplementary%20Agenda%201%2022nd-Feb-2024%2019.30%20Council.pdf?T=9

Proud to be Grey
2024-02-28 07:11:18

Bruce, Thanks for your generous display of Ageism. I can only hope that on your way to becoming grey you pick up some wisdom along the way.

Richard Adams
2024-02-28 16:12:20

How insulting Bruce. At least Nich and his team have the gumption to offer an alternative to the two party politics that has dominated Harlow over the last 10 years or so. Many correspondents bemoan on these pages that all political parties are the same. Nich is offering an alternative that people can consider. Nich and his team have a depth of experience and common sense that some may say is lacking on our Council at the moment.

David Vincent
2024-02-29 03:44:58

HAP may be getting a few extra votes in Sumners and Kingsmoor ward as long as they promise not to have pre-Christmas social events at the taxpayers expense. I'm sure these sensible, mature people know how not to waste public money.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-29 11:26:11

David, I can promise you we won't be attending any events at the tax payers expense. In my day whilst working for HDC no gifts of any sort could be taken by officers, indeed even if offered they had to be placed on a register. Just why Councillors can take such offers of attending an event without paying for it themselves is beyond me. And of course HTS is a wholly owned company of HDC. Alan Leverett will be standing as the HAP candidate in Sumners and KIngsmoor, most recently helping residents in Sycamore Field try to get to the bottom of why their homes are going to be demolished.

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