Letter to Editor: From a new hospital to the UK Health Agency…..The Tory promises that don’t stack up

Politics / Sun 17th Mar 2024 at 09:15am

Dear Editor,

MAHATMA Ghandi said that, “What will destroy us is politics without principle”. 

Indeed, more recently the Nolan Principles of Public Life set out in 1995 by John Major’s Government included Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership. So why do the Harlow Conservatives appear to be incapable of abiding by these principles in their publications and statements which they make in Your Harlow or in the leaflets they are distributing throughout the Town?

In a leaflet currently being distributed they claim to be securing investment in our town. “Welcoming the UK Health Security Agency to Harlow as well as our New Hospital making our town a public health superpower”. When they know that neither of these projects is secure.

The business plan for Harlow Hospital still has to be approved by the Treasury, the planning permission still has to be approved and the land for the new hospital still has to be purchased. 

And only this week we are told in Your Harlow that despite £400 million pounds having already been spent, the Treasury have not agreed to the necessary funding for the Health Security Agency to move to the site at the Pinnacles. Due to delays the costs have now risen to over £2 Billion pounds! And having previously been told that staff would be in the building by 2023 we are now being told, even if the additional cost are agreed it will be 2036 before it becomes fully operational. 

The leader of the Council – claims that millions of pounds of private money has been secured to improve the Town Centre when he knows that whilst planning permission may have been granted to build hundreds of flats (no social housing by the way) – the developer has yet to secure the funding to proceed with the development and we may well have to endure yet years more of dereliction.

Meanwhile our Conservative MP tries to pull the wool over our eyes with regard to education funding, claiming it is at a record level, but as Luke Sibetia (Research Fellow at the Insitute of Fiscal Studies) points out ”If the government wanted compensate schools for the 5% loss in the purchasing power of school budgets since 2009–10, it would require a total of £3.2 billion in extra funding. And the website https://schoolcuts.org.uk reports that: “After 14 years of chronic Government cuts, 70% of schools in England have less funding in real terms than in 2010“.

All this and numerous other examples of spin, over exaggerated rhetoric and deliberately misleading statements mean that regrettably it is impossible to trust a word they are saying on anything without fact checking the claims first.


John Solomon

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10 Comments for Letter to Editor: From a new hospital to the UK Health Agency…..The Tory promises that don’t stack up:

2024-03-17 10:28:10

Thank you for this. We have been promised the new hospital for a long time and I am fed up with the lies. You only need to speak to school staff to know that it’s chronically underfunded. It would be good to have mr Halfon’s response

Nicholas Taylor
2024-03-17 12:27:20

John, you can add to the list of misleading Conservative claims 1) The statements made before recent local elections that only the Conservatives can stop the developments to the south and south west of Harlow which are in the EFDC area when of course no-one in Harlow can now. 2) The recent claim when deleting 2500 applicants from Band 4 on the Housing Register that no-one had been housed from that band in the last 5 years and yet the fact is over 60 have been housed in the last three years alone. 3) Trumpeting that the average turn round time to get vacant council homes re-let had been reduced from 60 days to 20, when in fact apart from during the covid period, it had during the previous decade 2010 to 2020 on average been 16 days. All smoke and mirrors that go as far as Westminster, it is no wonder that nationally over 60 Conservatives MP's are throwing in the towel and not going to stand for election later this year.

Stephen Archer
2024-03-17 22:41:13

Sadly the Conservatives have so screwed up that the country can no longer afford the wonderful infrastructure projects and investment that they promised.

2024-03-17 23:15:07

The Conservative party have lied about Taxation levels, Lied about the new hospital, lied about the UKHSA move to the pinnacles, lied about controlling immigration levels, lied about school funding. They installed an unelected leader. They quite clearly have become compliance about being in government, the big issue is Labour are a worse alternative and should never be trusted, a vote for Reform party could lead to a labour government, something needs to change, and it needs to be made clear fast or we will sleepwalk into more trouble than we are currently in

David Forman
2024-03-18 03:06:01

I will be asking further questions about governance matters in April, all of which are directly related to the Nolan Principles. For those interested, here is the link to the very first report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life that introduced The Seven Principles of Public Life. The description of each of the seven principles is page 14 of https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/336919/1stInquiryReport.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiO1umn6fyEAxUJVUEAHdufCtUQFnoECBIQAQ&usg=AOvVaw15dOxIO5Yzl-KCayX1qxTw

Kim Oconnor
2024-03-18 09:20:40

Very true. And comments..

2024-03-18 14:37:37

I am sure they will learn from their mistakes lol

Nogin the nog
2024-03-23 12:43:13

We need a new hospital it is falling down.which Halfon and boris johnson promised ASP

2024-03-23 17:29:14

I except a new hospital is desperately needed, but it will only be as good as the staff working in it.

2024-03-23 17:30:35

And of course if there is enough staff to make it work

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