Harlow Labour leader: UK Health Security Agency: Another Tory promise just like the hospital……….

General / Wed 28th Feb 2024 at 07:10pm

THE Labour parliamentary candidate for Harlow has responded to the NAO report regarding the proposed move of the UK Health Security Agency to Harlow.

Chris Vince said: “The recent report into the costs of the UK Health Security agency (UKHSA) campus proposed for Harlow doesn’t make good reading for anyone who wants to see our town grow in terms of opportunity and investment.

When, under the last Labour administration, plans to bring Public Health England (PHE) to Harlow were finalised it was part of a bold vision for the future of our town, one which meant young people in Harlow could have access to some of the top jobs in the world.

Sadly, this government’s decision to disband PHE and replace it with the UKHSA seems to be in part the reason for soaring costs and delays. I visited the site in the Pinnacles last year and know there are many who are invested in the project but that progress is extremely slow.

Harlow’s current Conservative MP has, along with his friends in the council administration, made much of the proposed UKHSA Campus but that, along with the new hospital he keeps promising, now seem even more out of reach. It’s like they’ve all given up.

I strongly urge the Treasury and Department for Health to work collaboratively with the UKHSA to ensure that the vision for a high-tech scientific campus in Harlow is realised. Ultimately we want young people in our town to be able to aspire to and attain some of these ground breaking jobs without needing to leave Harlow.

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22 Comments for Harlow Labour leader: UK Health Security Agency: Another Tory promise just like the hospital……….:

2024-02-28 20:42:38

Chris Vince . How can I have confidence in you and your party , when you have no budget , and vote against what the Labour Party had in their budget 11 years ago. Amateur.

2024-02-28 21:54:37

Eddie, fair point but there is another Amateur in the equation.. and that is very clearly as our current MP. ! Goodness help Harlow!!!

James Leppard
2024-02-28 22:17:43

Chris Vince and his colleagues, not only presented no alternative budget, no plan and no proposals, they unanimously voted against the Council Tax Support Scheme that benefits our 6,000 most vulnerable residents. They are lazy , incompetent and completely unsuited to run Harlow Council. However, If they think otherwise, let's have a public hustings ahead of the Council elections where the leaders of all parties can present their and plans for Harlow (not the UK or the world, but just the town we can influence) and face the public. Are you up for that Mr Vince? It will be an opportunity for residents to see the mettle of their prospective Parliamentary candidate.

2024-02-28 22:19:14

Chris is right. Young people need hope and a reason to stay in Harlow. Good to see he is on top of this and calling for real investment.

2024-02-28 22:21:56

No one with a brain would follow any investment recommendation by Chris Vince! You would have to remove the strait jacket before they could dig the cheque!! 😂

2024-02-28 23:03:51

And yet, and yet … the issue here is the total and utter failure of investment and concomitant opportunity cost as a result of this government’s indecision and our MP’s lack of fight and influence for the town… as I’ve said elsewhere on this topic this is in addition to the non-existent new Hospital, the utter utter debacle of the SFG school.. all on Mr Halfon’s sorry watch… If not Mr Vince then anyone… anyone … Our Town deserves better and to reward Mr Halfons catalogue of incompetence and misdirection in these important issues with another term should be out of the question… vote Ethel the Aardvark if you must, but my goodness things have to change

2024-02-28 23:04:02

The comments of both Alexis are a bit off the mark. However, given all the polemic regarding the Budget, which is perhaps the main issue in the Council calendar, the idea of a public hustings ahead of the May elections is a good one. Residents should have the opportunity to question and scrutinise the various party leaders as their concrete plans for Harlow.

Bob Thatcher
2024-02-28 23:37:21

Trouble is, UKHSA already has top flight campuses in Wiltshire and North London. It employs hundreds of British and international experienced and highly qualified scientists with PhDs and the like. The idea that the government would shut thoae sites down in favour of a site in an industrial estate and start up again by employing disenfranchised local school leavers is a pipe dream.

David Forman
2024-02-29 03:00:26

Mr Thatcher has a point about staff already at Porton Down in Wiltshire. The NAO report in paragraph 1.11 on page 16 says: "PHE recognised that there were significant risks related to the relocation of its existing workforce but said that these had been identified and mitigation strategies were being developed." If you lived near Salisbury, Harlow does not appear too enticing. I remember the chairman of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries telling me at a parliamentary select committee following Brexit the difficulties they had in relocating staff just 25 miles down the road.

2024-02-29 05:47:07

Chris Vince says: "I strongly urge the Treasury and Department for Health to work collaboratively with the UKHSA to ensure that the vision for a high-tech scientific campus in Harlow is realised." This coming from the Guy who can't even present an alternative budget for Harlow is now telling the Treasury and Dept of Health how to fund UKHSA. He has to be a comedian surely. He has zero credibility. A waste of space.

Will Abella
2024-02-29 07:29:49

Wow! I am the Treasury and Department of Health are going to stop in their tracks because Chris Vince has 'strongly urged' them. Just meaningless hot air from Harlow's leading hot air specialist, Chris Vince. Why doesn't he put some effort into presenting Labour's plan for Harlow??? Just looks for any distraction. Totally idle!!

2024-02-29 07:55:04

I am a traditional old school Labour supporter but confess that the local Conservative council is working pretty effectively and is not being adequately challenged by the opposition. I am concerned about the standard of opposition presented by Labour. I think Harlow Labour Party needs a much abler and more focused leader and Parliamentary candidate. I note Mr Vince was unsuccessful applying for other constituencies, most recently Colchester. What sort of scrutiny was undertaken by the Harlow Labour Selection Committee and what about other candidates? All rather suspicious and lacking transparency. How can this concern be brought to the attention of the main Labour Party? Hopefully, something can be done before the General Election, although it is probably too late to make any changes ahead of the May local elections.

Tony Wiseman
2024-02-29 08:58:17

I know that has been suggested before but surely the answer to both the PHE and new Harlow hospital projects is to leave PHE where they currently are and redevelop the old Glaxo site site as the new Harlow Hospital!

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-29 11:05:10

Some of the commentators here clearly want to deflect from the issue raised in the article. No fan of Labour of course but Cllr Vince is right to point out the Tory Governments abject failure to get this project completed, bringing with it many opportunities for young people living locally to study and get well paid jobs. A line must now be drawn under this whole fiasco, the site should be used for a new hospital in Harlow, if that plan ever sees the light of day of course.

2024-02-29 11:13:15

Thinking about what happened in Wuhan to the Chinese government's equivalent of Porton Down might just be good that Harlow Porton won't happen. Best idea yet is to build new PAH on the old Galxo site, could start tomorrow

Alderman Durcan
2024-02-29 13:14:39

Great spin from the Tories but however you dress this up this is another broken promise.

peter henegan
2024-02-29 13:43:40

James Leppard, you didn't answer my simple question the other day, now you are calling for a public hustings, something I called for a week or so ago. So who are you calling to, surely as a cabinet position holder you can arrange such a meeting, you don't need to call to anyone. Just do it!!

2024-02-29 14:05:49

Tired of . I must agree

2024-02-29 14:19:23

It's a shame Nic Taylor and The Alliance party does does not have more power. He is a Harlow man who wants the best for Harlow . See you at the reunion Nic

James Leppard
2024-02-29 15:42:31

Dear Peter Henegan, I did ask you to email me to my Council email and then I will send the answer to the questions raised. With regard to a public hustings a Portfolio Holder cannot just ordain them. There are a number of organisational and logistical factors: venue, facilities, times, meeting format, will it be prepared questions, who will chair the meeting, etc. Furthermore, one needs to ascertain whether the individual Party leaders are interested and prepared to participate. I will be speaking to colleagues this evening to see if this could happen within the timeframes.

2024-03-01 21:15:33

The problem with moving the new hospital site to the old Smithkline / Glaxco site is: what does the hospital gain? How much more square footage on the site? Remember, the current hospital staff require around six hundred car parking spaces, many of the staff do not live anywhere near Harlow, plus parking for the public even if the fancy new Strategic Transport Corridors are built. We are told there will be a population of around 250,000 people in the Harlow immediate area. The hospital needs to expand to cope with the extra population, there was talk of it having specialist departments all of which will need additional public parking because the customers will not be local. The proposed new hospital site by junction 7a has been flooded for some time. They could dredge the brook and pump the water into Pincey brook, which feeds into The Stort. It is quite some distance and could be very costly to engineer. This might pose a problem, of whether the floodplain will be able to cope with two extra sources of excess water, especially as it would have to pass the Riverway industrial estate before it reaches the floodplain. It has flooded before at the industrial estate next to Riverside Court housing estate. One would be the new hospital site pump the other would be the Hertfordshire Latton crossing to the M11. It's basic science regarding water, displacement by building a structure on the floodplain will raise the level of water, it has to go somewhere. I know experts will be found to state they will plant more plants used to wet conditions, but as we all know, in the summer, the area is one of the dryest in the country, and the plants might die in the summer from drought conditions. Global warming is coming, winters will be wetter and summers will be hotter.

Mark Gough
2024-03-02 22:14:51

Cllr.Vince's problem is he is just an Opposition Politician who just attacks his Opponents who are in administration. He has no answers, no solutions, no policies and no alternatives. Much like his National Party. He never had any answers when I stood against him in Chelmsford in 2015, and still has no answers or alternatives now.

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