Conservative leader believes “Harlow homes for Harlow people” is the difference between themselves and Labour

Politics / Thu 11th Apr 2024 at 07:07am

THE LEADER of the Harlow Conservatives has pointed to the issue of “Harlow homes for Harlow people” as an illustration of the difference between themselves and Labour.

Councillor Dan Swords said: “Just before Christmas, it was reported that Newham Council was going to buy the brand new 172-apartment development next to the train station in order to house their homeless people. We said we would stop them and we have because we believe in Harlow homes for Harlow people.

After three months of tireless work, we didn’t just stop Newham Council buying this development, but we went further by buying the development ourselves to ensure that all 172 apartments are available for Harlow people.

When Harlow Labour ran the council, Terminus House, Astra House, Redstone House, Shield House and many more buildings in Harlow were turned into dumping grounds for London Councils. 

“They had the power to stop all of these conversions and they chose instead to allow London Councils to dump their people in our town. If you don’t believe this, then ask why it is that since Harlow Conservatives have been running the council that none of these conversions have happened? The answer: because Harlow Council always had the power to stop it from happening, Harlow Labour chose not to use them and to allow it instead. Where as, Harlow Conservatives have exercised those powers and stopped it from ever happening again.

It is clear to see – when Harlow Labour run the council and London Councils come knocking, they allow them to dump their people in Harlow. When Harlow Conservatives run the council and London Councils come knocking, we stand up for our town and stop them.

That shows the clear difference between Harlow Conservatives and Harlow Labour running the council.

We have also overhauled the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy to ensure that Harlow’s council homes truly are for Harlow people in the biggest shakeup of council housing in decades. Harlow Labour opposed the changes.

The Harlow Conservatives have made 16 dramatic changes to the way the Council allocates homes to ensure it is local residents born and bred in Harlow that have priority on Harlow homes and that it is Harlow people most in need that access our housing – not people outside of Harlow as Harlow Labour wanted to continue.

Harlow Labour let London Councils to dump their residents in Harlow. Harlow Conservatives believe in Harlow homes for Harlow people. 

“Who would you rather run the council? Vote for the local Harlow Conservatives to continue running Harlow Council and standing up for our town. 

“The future of Harlow depends on your vote”.

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29 Comments for Conservative leader believes “Harlow homes for Harlow people” is the difference between themselves and Labour:

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-11 07:58:34

Not strictly true is it.. we have been a dumping ground for years and you well now it.. Its only now , because there was an uproar from the public ,you decided to buy or get theses flats by loan.. were thay cash bought or a loan.. why has this information not been released yet, Under the information of freedom act.

2024-04-11 08:10:27

Dan, you haven't given us the full story re the Burnt Mill flats. You knew all about these because you were pictured with your spade back around June yet it wasn't until just before Christmas that you found out that Newham council was going to buy them. What were you doing in those missing 6 months? And, what was the cost, do we not have a right to know, you happily told us that we paid £21million for the Harvey Centre.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-11 08:18:28

Voteforme. Spot on.

2024-04-11 09:13:14

Is there an election looming. Strange how good news seems to come out of the woodwork but all the grubby stuff stays hidden

2024-04-11 10:38:28

Hold on one moment - it was the Tory Government’s policy that allowed office blocks to be turned into housing without planning permission. Thats why many buildings in Harlow have been converted to housing, including Terminus House. This is why other councils are able to place their homeless people in other areas like Harlow. And many of the buildings converted are sub-standard which means there not fit for human habitation anyway. This man needs to stop peddling false information!

2024-04-11 10:59:11

Conservatives have removed band 4 after deciding people were in there because social housing was a lifestyle choice not a need. People are in that band because they can't afford private rent or be able to get a mortgage, it's not a lifestyle choice. Harlow is a deprived area with poor opportunities for well paid employment. Removal of this band is depriving harlow residents who have been waiting the longest for housing. Shameful claim, utterly shameful. These people should be reassessed for need and placed on relevant bands. Look beyond the wild claims being made and see what is really happening

2024-04-11 11:01:28

And well said Mike, exactly

Billy Edwards
2024-04-11 11:13:25

This is such great news for Harlow. Labour grossly neglected the town, built no houses and allowed London boroughs to just jump their people here. Just look at the state of the area around Terminus House. It is a disgrace. Harlow Labour are like a freak circus of Barnum & Bailey. Complete incompetents who allows our town centre to become a third world slum full of druggies and built no council houses! Anyone voting for them should join the circus. Stick with the council that is delivering and has Harlow's back.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-11 11:24:54

Both Mike and Voteforme are spot on with their comments. Cllr Swords is again trying to re-write history and fool residents into voting CONservative. During the first decade of the 2000's not enough homes were being built and the Conservative government thought it would be a good idea to allow vacant office blocks to be converted into flats to boost housing construction numbers. In principle it was no bad idea and did work in some locations. However greedy property developers soon saw a fast buck by converting these blocks into as many flats as possible, hence tiny little rabbit hutch size flats which only the most desperate would want to move in to. The Labour Party locally played it's part in the awful situation we now face because it could have acted years sooner by issuing action to stop such conversions in the town. It should be noted that the local conservative group, inept as usual made no bones about the situation, how could they as it was their governments legislation. These homes were quickly occupied by residents from other areas. They were not DUMPED here, the simple fact is there are no homes to be had where they live. I would again point out, which Cllr Swords ignores, that Conservative Councils also used these flats in Harlow, indeed Epping Forest DC have used a hotel in Harlow for many years to house homeless families. All of this was of course before Cllr Swords' time, but he is a member of the Party which has caused all this heartache. There are simply not enough truly affordable homes, building thousands of £500k homes in and around Harlow does not help anyone on a low income. As for the flats at Burnt Mil, more on that tomorrow.

Jokers Cons
2024-04-11 11:47:21

Harlow Cons., local Harlow Cons., local Cons. which party are you actually representing? Its getting silly now, just go by your true name of the party that funds you, the party that has ruined our country, the party that made and passed the policy that allowed office blocks to be turned into housing without planning permission. You cannot blame anyone else for "Terminus House, Astra House, Redstone House, Shield House and many more buildings" when it was your own party that made that legislation, as much as you want to try and deceive us and distance yourself from them, it isn't going to wash.

2024-04-11 12:14:06

And further to my previous comment - all councils, including Tory ones, are putting homeless people into other council areas. Tory councils are putting homeless people into Harlow properties now and have been for years. Is Dan Swords going to complain about that and try to stop them doing it too?? I think not!

John C
2024-04-11 12:36:01

What a great use of resources, local councils, and our very own "Local Cons." party having to waste time, energy, and our money to fight against their own party's policy! What a massive waste of resources! They are clearly a shamed of them as won't even run under their true name. Face it, your party caused these problems, and if you don't like them maybe stand as independent or create a new party rather than hiding being a cover name.

2024-04-11 12:42:43

What a great use of resources, local councils, and our very own "Local Cons." party having to waste time, energy, and our money to fight against their own party's policy! What a massive waste of resources! They are clearly embarrassed of them as won't even run under their true name. Face it, your party caused these problems, and if you don't like them maybe stand as independent or create a new party rather than hiding being a cover name.

2024-04-11 12:44:32

*behind a cover name.

Vote again
2024-04-11 12:45:33

behind a cover name.

2024-04-11 14:24:49

Harlow's "raison d'etre" was to take people from London, especially after bombing destroyed so many homes in the East End. This seems to have been lost on our politicians and many local people. so what is it now? The town has steadily grown, this can't all be from second and third generations so where have all the extra people come from. Of course, much of the growth has come from areas like Church Langley and New Hall, mostly, conservative voting, private areas-perhaps there is the clue-if you can afford to buy, you are welcome, if not please stay away.

2024-04-11 19:06:31

Voteforme, you are right that Harlow and about 5-6 other New Towns were set up after the war for displaced and slum dwelling Londoners. It was never equipped to absorb the Third World and those with no cultural affinity. You single out the Harlow neighbourhoods of Church Langley and Newhall in a derogatory manner; ask Harlow Police how many residents of these neighbourhoods have been arrested for assault, drug dealing, drunkenness, and other types of anti-social behaviour in the Town Centre and around the town. I live in Church Langley, it is a nice community and without loads of issues. Look forward to hearing back from you with official data.

Dan Long
2024-04-11 20:18:18

I have been saying this even before Robert Halfon did and before I was elected as a Ukip local councillor back in 2014..so stop trying to take the credit Dan swords.

2024-04-11 20:20:12

Whilst no expert, I guess we will unfortunately have to see the so called "proof in the pudding" times like this, it becomes playground, he\she said that etc, let's see

2024-04-11 21:45:26

Barry, for some reason you have turned my comment about buying/ renting into some sort of racist issue. FYI when I Iived in Church Langley a woman was murdered just a few hundred yards from my house. Harlow has always had a mix of people including lots of Irish (we wouldn't have a town without them). Most people are nice but there is a standing joke about CL locals saying they live in a village near Harlow or on the Epping borders so perhaps snobbish and nice

Eric Lester
2024-04-11 23:03:59

"Harlow homes for Harlow people" is a dogwhistle phrase intended to keep the racists happy.

Mark Gough
2024-04-11 23:47:44

Ok Dan "Church Langley Chicken Runner" Swords, answer me this. Why in 2017 when I wrote an email to the then Housing Minister, the sadly no longer with us James Brokenshire, inviting him to come and explain why we had all these office blocks converted into Housing for the overspill of London, bypassing the local planning authority, I ended up having a lengthy debate with one of his minions. In short, the Minister wouldn't be coming, and anyway what was the problem these people had to go somewhere! So Dan, whilst I applaud you stopping the sale of the new block to Newham, your party cannot claim against Labour on this. It was your Government that by passed Local Councils on this, and your Ministers who refused to come and justify it. Furthermore, you didn't give the Police any financial help with the 500% increase in crime in our town centre that it led to either! Mark Gough - Leader Harlow UKIP

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-12 09:17:29

Dan swords, are the burnt mill flats going to be, ,council rents,, or Market rents.. We're theses flats bought by cash or a loan..

2024-04-12 11:17:33

Kim, this information has been readily presented for a while, its is great that you comment but your comments would hold more validity if you fact checked before posting. Your comment about buses being bought by Harlow council falls into this category. I hope you find this as encouragement rather than disrespectful

2024-04-13 20:52:34

Voteforme: what buses ???

2024-04-14 22:03:57

Eric, well said. From Westminster to Harlow, the racist vote is all they have left.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-15 09:02:27

I hope enough people realise that the recent changes in council policy with regard to the housing waiting list will remain whoever wins control of the council on May 2. It can only be changed if a report is presented and enough councillors vote to do so. Only the Harlow Alliance Party are advocating even more changes, so that more applicants can be provided with a home.

Mark Lavender
2024-04-19 14:02:16

Eric Lester and Trace. As to your viewpoints I believe it more discriminating than on first observation. Social housing should not be strictly based on the narrow criteria being presented as a 'commonsense' approach to the subject. Each case that arises should be dealt with compassion, not thrown out because a local council's standpoint renders attempts even to get onto a housing list near on impossible. It makes the local system hard to 'game' when the rules to apply 'bake in' certain families as to where they can try to live. As Theresa May would endorse, 'a citizen of everywhere is a citizen of nowhere'

William Harris
2024-04-21 12:24:26

Where is the new Hospital

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