Ward by Ward: Mark Hall: Labour aim to make their mark

Elections / Tue 16th Apr 2024 at 07:28pm

THIS ward has had a habit of being a bit rebellious.

IN 2014, UKIP won two seats here. In 2021, the Tories took a seat on the night they dramatically took the council. The incumbent Matt Saggers has now decided to jump to Great Parndon.

But the Harlow voter has always had a habit of coming back to Labour here.

By Feb 2015, they won back the seat in a by-election. In 2022 and 2023 Lainie Shears and Aiden O’Dell won the seats they are defending on May 2nd.

This year, they are joined by first timer Michael Houlihan. Michael is a union man and has been involved and supported a number of community based projects. This is the obvious next step and all this may well come at the right time for him.

Interesting, if Labour take the council, you can see exactly where all three would fit into their team.

If the Conservatives lose, then it will be sad to see Simon Carter go. He has been a stalwart councillor for many many years.

His attention to detail has been admirable. We think we will miss those cabinet meetings when he is pointing to item 232.4 and questioning the budgeting for this that and the other!

The Greens have three candidates here and will be hoping that they can build on 176 votes last time.

This is very much an election where they have a chance to ask voters to give one of their votes to them.

Remember, there are three votes here and there is a chance of a bit of proportional representation style voting.

Julie Taylor is their strongest candidate. Julie has really kept the Greens in profile over the past few years. June is obviously committed to the community and the council and indeed has great Green credentials.

YH Prediction: Labour Gain

Mark Hall

Simon Carter (Conservative)

Fahreday Purse (Conservative)

John Purse (Conservative)

Mark Gough (UKIP)

Michael Houlihan (Labour)

Aiden O’Dell (Labour)

Lanie Shears (Labour)

Ernesto Johnson (Green)

Paul King (Green)

Julie Taylor (Green)

Lesley Rideout (Liberal Democrats)

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24 Comments for Ward by Ward: Mark Hall: Labour aim to make their mark:

2024-04-16 20:26:14

I had a labour canvasser knock the other day. I asked him what the labour plans for our council tax, he said they didn't have access to the figures so couldn't say. Fair enough, except labour have been accusing the tories of spending the reserves. Surely, to make this statement they must have access to the numbers. Perhaps we will find out more on Thursday night.

Dan Swords
2024-04-16 20:58:30

“Boris” - it is a complete lie for Labour to say they don’t have access to the figures, they are ALL publicly available, indeed those same Labour councillors must have read all of them to vote against the Conservatives budget, it is a complete and utter lie to say they don’t have access to them. I think it is more likely that they don’t have a clue about what they would do which is why when the budget was voted on they did not present an alternative budget (which is custom in local government). Harlow Labour = no plan and no idea. Wouldn’t let them run a bath let alone a Council.

2024-04-16 22:12:36

Dan, this may be the first time you have responded to a comment, guess it suits your agenda. So if I were to ask how much we paid for the Burnt Mill flats......

2024-04-16 22:17:04

I thought Simon Carter was a church Langley Cllr and who are these purses? Not related to Nicky Purse please

Dan Swords
2024-04-16 23:32:40

“Boris” - all the commercial details relating to the Burnt Mill scheme will shortly been announced when the commercially sensitive period ends.

2024-04-17 04:34:54

Well said Boris in your last comment.Dan Swords,when does the "commercially sensitive"period end?

2024-04-17 05:29:09

Dan Swords,Kim O'conner has repeatedly asked about burnt mill flats and been ignored.Only now do you claim the issue is "commercially sensitive"If this is so why did you or James Leppard not explain this in the first place?No doubt you will "bury bad news"after the election when the publics attention is on something else.

2024-04-17 06:01:11

Dan, thankyou for replying

2024-04-17 06:25:45

Back in June the Burnt Mills project was quoted as a £50million investment. Not so commercially sensitive then perhaps.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-17 07:11:55

No doubt the commercially sensitive period will end just after the elections on May 2. I predict the rents will be at least £1000 per month. When I asked Dan about tenancies at the recent Full Council meeting he would not even say what sort of tenancy the 52 applicants from the Council's waiting list would be given. Whilst a good idea in principle to buy the flats, it will come at a huge cost to both the tenants and the Council.

James Leppard
2024-04-17 08:26:59

Nicholas Taylor, you are of course familiar with the financial engineering involved in this acquisition to make such assertions? No. Of course not. You are master of assumptions and guesstimates. I wish I were as sure about anything as you are about everything.

2024-04-17 11:30:25

Strange how we see comments from The Leader coming up to elections. Can he explain why Mark Hall is so run down. A bus driver and I had a conversation the other day on Our doomed #8 bus about how he sees so many HTS vans in church Langley but fewer elsewhere. Surely there isn't favouritism in some parts of the Town.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-17 14:40:41

James, Dan said last week that the Council had bought the flat block some weeks ago. The issue of rent income and the sort of tenancy being given must have formed part of the financial calculations undertaken when borrowing the money to buy the block. If the deal is done then there is no reason why the answer to both of my questions could not be put into the public domain. Your party fail time and time again to give answers to questions or try and dodge the facts, just as in the response to the question about the Sycamore Field flats. You still have not responded to the fact that I found your leader out when he spoke about the fact that no-one in band 4 had been housed in the last five years, when the councils' Harlow Times clearly states that over 50 applicants have been housed in the last two years. I am afraid you "local conservatives" just follow in the footsteps of your political masters at Westminster.

Steve Barnes
2024-04-17 14:54:16

My my James Leppard you are becoming sensitive and the comment column bully on the run up to the local elections. Nicholas Taylor, having not received direct answers to questions posed at Full Council, has not made an assertion or assumption, merely a prediction. With his vast experience in Local Authority Housing I'm sure it is ok for him to make a prediction now and then. This is because as yet, as you point out, nobody (except Dan Swords and his 'local conservatives') is familiar with the "financial engineering", your words, that has gone on in relation to the Burnt Mill flats development. It cannot be commercially sensitive to the Council as the Leader has already confirmed that the Council have owned the flats for several weeks. It can only therefore be commercially sensitive to the Developer who may have imposed conditions about this as part of the deal. Whatever, I predict that, Dan Swords' interpretation of the word shortly is far longer than most people would expect. Apologies to Undecided. Back to your comment about why Mark Hall is so run down.

2024-04-17 15:17:59

James Leppard..."financial engineering" . Whatever you call it, the council has financed the acquisition of these flats over whatever period, 50 years, I have no idea. What we do know is that it was done in a panic, panic usually means more cost as anyone who has called out an emergency plumber or locksmith can tell you, particularly as interest rates are at historical highs, and presumably the discounted rates available to councils also are at historically highs. I hope the figures will be presented sooner rather than later especially this must be one of the biggest investments made by our town, and that we will all be able to applaud.

Mark Gough
2024-04-17 16:57:32

I have to ask why no comments on the two single party candidates in this ward election! Both have solid Mark Hall connections. Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP

2024-04-17 17:30:04

Perhaps the Torys call themselves local , because they are fed up of explaining to non tories that they only deal with local problems, and not national problems that everyone keeps posting about. It is always the same people , BORING

2024-04-17 17:39:21

Mark . It maybe that voters think that you might struggle to get enough votes . But good luck to you

2024-04-17 18:08:47

Hi Mark ,TBH i have no idea who UKIP are.Further to Undecided's post 2024-04- what would you do to improve Mark Hall if elected?

2024-04-17 18:18:20

James Leppard further to the post by Chris 2024-04-16-22:17:04 please could you clarify.I too would like to know if the purse candidates are related to Nicky Purse.

Mark Gough
2024-04-17 20:47:59

Dear Eddie and Resident, I personally have lived in Mark Hall for 51 years, and have 8 years experience as a Councillor. UKIP stands for the UK Independence Party, the only Party in the History of Harlow to win a Local Election other than Labour/Tory as we did in 2014. We were created to get the UK out of the EU - which of course we did. The major issues I will tackle are parking in our estates, keeping Council tax low whilst providing value for money top quality services, housing - both Council and private, anti-social behaviour, and improving our environment. Please come along on Thursday and see what I have to say. Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP.

2024-04-17 22:48:33

Resident. I would be kicking the ar## of our local police force to tackle the drug issues that are evident everywhere in the area. The dealers are sticking 2 fingers up to them. How can they not see what the locals can. I would be messaging and phoning Essex c c everyday to get something done about the shocking state of our roads and question whether someone was getting a backhanded for signing off the pathetic work that has been carried out. I would make time to actually listen to what the residents needed and act where possible accordingly. Just a few suggestions but I am only a resident so my thoughts are worthless as most councillors don't give a damn

2024-04-18 05:48:58

Thank you Mark and Undecided.We need to kick this lot out and vote in people who really care about community and people .

Mark Gough
2024-04-20 15:12:53

It needs somebody to grow a pair, and take Essex CC to task. Let me tell you what I would do. We collect Council Tax on behalf of Essex CC. I would move a motion at Annual Council that we keep their money in our safe until they come to Harlow, fix our roads and potholes and provide us with the service we pay for! I reckon withholding millions of pounds might focus their minds a bit, what do you think? Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP

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