Letter to Editor: Look at Labour’s spending plans in run up to local elections in Harlow

General / Thu 28th Mar 2024 at 09:16am

Dear Editor,

IF any resident wishes to see the Harlow Labour record of “spending their money wisely” and running the council finances, they do not have to look far. Until 2021, they ran Harlow Council and increased Harlow Council Tax by 14% in less than 10 years.

Indeed, in the preceding four years, they actually lost £3.5 million. Some people will say this money could have spent on more council housing. Actually, that was the only thing on which it could be spent. But in the four years they had to spend the money they could not organise a single house to be built – not a single brick was laid. As a result, they lost all £3.5 million for failing to spend any of it, money which had been sitting in the bank.

Just to compound matters, Harlow Labour then spent another £1.13 million on schemes which were abandoned because they were so incompetent. £1.13 million wasted on projects that never happened.

That is almost £5 million that Harlow Labour just threw away, compared with the over 100 council homes Harlow Conservatives are on site and building with no aborted costs and hundreds more homes to be built over the next four years.

Yet Harlow Labour claim your money will be safe in their hands. The only thing Labour are good at is spending, and wasting, other peoples’ money.

Don’t let that happen again in Harlow.

Vote Harlow Conservative on 2 May.

Yours faithfully

Simon Carter (Cllr)

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19 Comments for Letter to Editor: Look at Labour’s spending plans in run up to local elections in Harlow:

2024-03-28 09:37:16

Ah, the irony. A tory saying labour waste money, barefaced cheek after the last 14 years of tory and as a country we have nothing to show for it! Where has all our money gone? Certainly not in our education, NHS, roads, care.. but straight into rich tory pockets. If you look at the real truth, our money is not safe under tory hands, not at all and at least under labour we have a functioning NHS (which we all need).. historically better at point of use under Labour. For example, they brought in min waiting times, the tories got rid of them because they were not being met under their time of leadership. Tories cut training places for docs, got rid of bursaries for nurses, radiographers, midwives, despite the BMA telling them it will cause a massive shortfall in staff in the future - tories ignored them and now we've a massive shortfall in staff! We are in more debt now than ever before, way more than last time under Labour, even after the cons brought in 'austerity' to save money - of which by the way austerity never works, tried and tested. Time you lot were gone for a very very long time.

2024-03-28 10:01:40

Trace, this article is about the administration of Harlow Council, not the National Government. In May we are voting for who is best to run Harlow Council, not Westminster. It is vitally important we do not mix apples with oranges. Whatever any of us may think about the national situation, the contrast between what the Conservatives have achieved in Harlow in the past 3 years versus Labour's decade of waste and failure is stark. Harlow Labour could not even meet their obligation in February to present an alternative budget and actually voted to scrap the Council Tax Support Scheme for our most vulnerable residents. You will see from other posts on YH that they are the only party refusing to participate in public hustings to present their local plans. You might well ask why? Maybe because they don't have any plans or ideas for Harlow!

2024-03-28 10:06:05

Paul, am not stupid, thanks. I know the difference and I have seen Harlow go into decline for a long long time, under both parties. Enough tories thanks, be it national or local. They've had enough time to get things right.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-03-28 10:14:38

I am not here to defend Labour of course but there is always more to the story that Simon alludes to. As far as the Harlow Alliance Party are concerned, what the local conservatives intend to spend tens of millions of pounds on in the Town Centre is a far bigger waste of money which will do nothing to improve the welfare and life chances for residents who already live in the town. Millions of pounds on a new bus station, when we have such a poor bus service, millions of pounds on creating a live music venue and improvements to the Playhouse, neither any good if you cannot afford to go either establishment, hundreds of thousands of pounds on new paving, seating and trees, huge sums on a "sustainable transport corridor" which will only be of use to those living outside of the town. This money is a once in a lifetime chance to improve the town, both Labour and the Conservatives will waste it. Given the chance I hope residents will vote for Harlow Alliance next Month. Nicholas Taylor, HAP candidate in the Great Parndon Ward.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-03-28 10:39:02

In response to Paul, I would add that the local Tories are desperate to distance themselves from the Government in Westminster who it seems are likely to be swept away by Labour and yet the Tory candidate in the Great Parndon Ward is a Tory adviser to the Government!

Kim Oconnor
2024-03-28 10:53:26

Trace, you are absolutely right. Except you left out all the cuts to lecture s in Harlow college, and schools.. cuts to very good teachers. Tens of millions of pounds going into regeneration, while every thing else is broken, our NHS, our dentist, our services broken. But we will bring thousands more people here, because of this regeneration, putting more and more pressure on our services. You could not make it up.. where s this council foresight into the future There's one thing in doing town up, there's another when ,things are broken, what would the people of this town choose.. this comes from the government, its the government who controls the money, its this government who gave this money for regeneration. And it choose s to regenerate a town where services are broken . I know which one I'd fix first. But no we will bring in thousands more people, to buy the rabbit hutches there building, because its lining there own pockets, I dread to think what will happen, we have been promised the new hospital for so long now , it's a distant memory to most, all there do is parm us of to different places for treatment, clogging up there system to. Moving us around like cattle. Its a joke .. fix what's broken first. And just to Add even with this new regeneration, we see things being knocked down, but not much going up.. I'm still waiting to hear where money to buy burnt mill flats back came from, was it cash or a loan.? Which should of been secured in the first place.. I'm still waiting to hear why sycamore flats, with all this councils survey s, done on them , why problems weren't sorted or found in survey, who's really at thought hear.. and where the people are going to be placed.? Theses people need to know, don't leave them in limbo.. Harlow council need to ask themselves why people don't turn up for hustings, because you don't really hear us, you don't see us.. .. As the fight to save the river stort valley has proved, 7,000 signatures against this destruction protest, consultation s, after consultation s, all to no avail...Harlow council did not stand up for this town...

Alex Kyriacou
2024-03-28 18:29:52

Mr Carter. With respect, the last Labour administration left the council fully funded for 3 years. And again, with respect, this Tory council has overspent and has left a £10.8 million black hole in the council’s finances over the next 4 years

2024-03-28 19:01:28

Alex Kyriacou... Thankyou. I am so so tired of the barefaced cheek of Cons who think they can lie and run down other parties, while conveniently forgetting their own terrible record of the last 14 years. This childish 'bitching' is happening on a national level from the very top and trickles, sadly, to a local level. I have had enough. It's time people grew up and treated voters with respect.

2024-03-28 20:56:22

Kim O'connor. As a true green , you and your leader can put this forward at a hustings , but of course your leader has.not replied to this offer. Why is that

Cllr James Leppard
2024-03-28 22:00:18

Alex Kyriacou, the Labour allegation of a £ 10.8 m 'black hole' is an absolute nonsense as Harlow Labour will know, and it has been explained to them. As they have no plans or ideas they are distorting the facts to create a diversion to their own ineptitude. Let me explain: 1. The Council must, by law, present a balanced Budget, which has to be signed off by the Council's Finance Director and statutory Section 151 officer. This was done. 2. The Labour assertion relates to the Medium Term Financial Plan. This document invariably shows a 'shortfall'. The last Labour Medium Term Financial Plan showed a shortfall. Why? It is because known expenses and pressures can be identified and forecast, whereas revenue, such as the Government Annual funding settlement is only known towards the end of each financial year so it cannot be forecast. This also applies to New Homes Bonus revenue and to the council's collection account. Labour know this only too well, otherwise they would not have proposed a motion (which the Conservatives agreed) to request multi-year settlements. Harlow Labour are deliberately distorting the truth to conceal the fact that they have no plans whatsoever. It is beyond me to accuse them of outright lies; preferring to use Churchill's risposte that they are guilty of a "terminological inexactitude" that stresses the English language beyond its reasonable tolerance. A vote for Garlow Labour is a vote for a vacuum.

Cllr James Leppard
2024-03-28 22:05:52

Eddie, to be fair, the Greens have expressed their willingness to participate in hustings. They have written privately to each political party leader to that effect. Everybody awaits the reply of Chris Vince and Harlow Labour. No doubt they are preparing their Easter feast. I understand this year the main course is Chicken as somebody has pointed out. If a party cannot face a hustings, its leader should consider his position. That would be the decent course to follow.

Kim Oconnor
2024-03-29 09:33:53

At last James Leppard, you have caught up. With your last comment.

Tony Wiseman
2024-03-29 15:37:16

Kim Oconnor. You accuse Cllr Leppard of not answering your questions but In everything that you post on YH all you do is slag off other parties! What are the Greens planning for Harlow and how will they fund it? It is about time you and your leader put pen to paper to tell us what is in your manifesto!

Alex Kyriacou
2024-03-29 16:53:20

James mate, if you’re gonna say I’m wrong, it’s probably best not to contradict yourself in your own statement. One minute you say there’s no shortfall, and then you say there’s a shortfall. Which is it? It can’t be schrodinger’s black hole. So, which is it? Tory incompetency? Tory lies?

More Tory lies
2024-03-29 17:51:12

My Council Tax and service charge have increased every year under the tories as well, be it Harlow’s fault or the Tory run Essex County Council. An increase is an increase. We have all had enough of the tories nationally, county and locally

Alex Kyriacou
2024-03-29 20:11:45

James pal, remind me again - simply for the sake of clarity of course, which party has awarded the British public the highest tax burden in a generation? I don’t think it was Labour, was it James? Which party is taking more tax from workers and yet letting services crumble? I don’t think it’s Labour, is it James? Which party is raising taxes on a national and county level, yet expecting pats on the back for freezing at a district level? I don’t think it’s Labour, is it James? As someone you probably idealise once said - No. No. No. The blame is at your feet Mr Leppard. The blame is on the Tory Party. But go on, keep deflecting. The voters are watching.

Mark Gough
2024-03-30 02:01:29

As Chris Vince's UKIP Opponent in Chelmsford in 2015, I did three debates with him. He starts every answer with "as a teacher" and then waffles. Since I am UKIP Harlow Leader and will be at those Hustings, perhaps he is scared I will point that out again, or maybe he has nothing to say!

David Forman
2024-03-30 16:57:57

Councillors Carter and Leppard should know that Harlow Labour's last budget produced at the Council's Cabinet meeting on 21 January 2021 in relation to the Medium Term Financial Strategy it was agreed: "That the New Homes Bonus for 2021/22 totalling £1.079 million is contributed in full to the Discretionary Services Fund." So not using it for new housing! Although it is not mandatory to spend it on housing, given the chronic housing situation in Harlow it would have been prudent to do so, thus helping to reduce housing benefit. See paragraph 85, Recommendation E of Minutes of Cabinet 21/1/2021: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/g1278/Printed%20minutes%2021st-Jan-2021%2019.30%20Cabinet.pdf?T=1

James Leppard
2024-03-30 19:13:42

A number of comments have been censored. We seem be living by Putin or North Korean standards. Very sad. I thought YH had genuine democratic values.

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