Letter to Editor: Taking Pride in Harlow

Your Say / Fri 19th Apr 2024 at 10:47am

Dear Sir,

Taking Pride in Harlow

OVER the last few months a great deal of noise has been made by the Leader of the Council about how he takes pride in Harlow and what he has been doing to restore that pride.

A lot has been claimed and said about replacing street signs etc, all good stuff, but what he fails to understand is that throwing public money at a problem just distracts from the real root causes and all that happens is that perception changes but only for a very short time before we end up at square one again. 

How many people in the town actually noticed the new estate signs? Not that many I would suggest. What Mr Swords repeatedly fails to realise is that there are many aspects to the problems facing the town fuelling the perception that the town is run down, unloved and generally looking its age. 

There have been some major improvements in the town and its image mostly due to the excellent work done by Councillor Purse and her team on environment, a very good start to changing the perceived view of the town. I do hope that she will be allowed to continue leading on this important issue without being micromanaged.

Councillor Perrin’s project to offer our roundabouts to local business’s as advertising sites has finally come to fruition and is making a real difference

Another important element is the unacceptable scourge of flyposting and unauthorised advertising across Harlow including the persistent erection of estate agent boards (which should only be erected outside the property itself and no where else).

Advertising posters and banners attached to lamp posts and railings just make the place look a mess as do the many A boards scattered around the road verges. Despite my pressing officers and the administration to adopt a hard line against those responsible there has never been a penalty notice or prosecution issued, something that would have followed up on the written warnings and press releases issued by the council over the last few years.

As anyone should know you need to fix the problems BEFORE you apply the cosmetic fixes.

Other new towns are successfully combatting the problem of flyposting, Stevenage being a prime example of what can be done, I sincerely hope that we will have a leadership after May 2nd that will work hard to rejuvenate our town, currently I doubt we will.

Kind regards

Nick Churchill

Brockles Mead

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16 Comments for Letter to Editor: Taking Pride in Harlow:

2024-04-19 11:17:12

The pavements desperately need doing as well they're terrible. Some places are so badly uneven that they fill with water everytime there's rain making places, near the rugby club for one, impassable. They're trip hazards and make it difficult for prams, pushchair and mobility scooters. I agree that everything that's been done has been superficial and on top of that all the highly touted regeneration has simply been demolition. I feel we are being totally disregarded by so called leaders and authorities, and the rot has well and truly set in. We're becoming a third world country, dirty, uncared for, no access to decent healthcare and 'leaders' who seem to have absolutely no interest in sorting things out for those who aren't wealthy enough to buy their way out of this mess. None of the current crop of politicians deserve our vote .

David Forman
2024-04-19 11:39:50

A very good letter from Nick Churchill that makes commonsense points. I have been in Stevenage three times in the last month and can confirm Nick is correct in that flyposting and unauthorised advertising is not a problem there. Also, my Freedom of Information request, replied to by council planning officer Elizabeth Beighton on 3rd April, confirms non enforcement of unauthorised advertising. The reply stated: "Planning Services has not undertaken any enforcement or issued any fixed penalty notices with regard to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 Schedule 3, Part 1, Class 3A." The council's reply has been supplied to YourHarlow's editor.

2024-04-19 11:51:45

The roundabout advertising making a real difference? Not sure I can agree with that part, the roundabout into Old Harlow is sponsored but still covered in moss, and has broken signs and lights etc, where has the money to maintain it gone? Probs get told it’s an Essex highway issue so why then is Harlow actively pimping the roundabout out if not to maintain them with the funds? I would be very disappointed if I paid to sponsor a roundabout and it still looked in such a sorry state.

2024-04-19 12:24:14

At the hustings meeting last night, NIcholas Taylor of Harlow Alliance Party raised the point that there were evictions for non payment of rent but non for anti social behaviour. I suggest if HAP are standing in your ward you should vote them to provide an alternative perspective and a pain in the backside to the whomever is running the council. If not, pester your new councillors.

2024-04-19 14:07:23

Makes me laugh replaced all the signs literally stood in rushes mead when they did there’s couldn’t tell the difference from the old one to the new one what a waste of money 😡😡

Ross Young
2024-04-19 14:44:18

Are you saying that a 'McDonalds open 24 hours' sign on a roundabout makes you tingle with pride, but the new estate signs leave you cold?

Bruce Downey
2024-04-19 14:57:00

Yes, I have noticed the new sign where I live..and I thank the council for doing so, the other one was manky.

2024-04-19 15:29:20

What a well written letter.Thank you Mr Churchill.I lived in Brockles Mead for years and though i never voted for you remember you as a genuine hardworking tory councillor who genuinely cared about residents and their issues .Wishing you a very happy retirement.

Matthew Gillman
2024-04-19 17:32:30

I like the new street signs. I'd also like to see signs added to each roundabout with its name shown.

2024-04-19 20:35:07

All fur coat and no knickers. New signs don't hide catastrophic decisions on the green environment and transport. A prime example is the Tory failure to recognise the gridlock congestion and environmental damage that'll be done to the Stort Valley, our local nature reserve, when the raised road called the Eastern Crossing is built and most of the A414 traffic diverted through the east of town.

2024-04-19 22:15:49

I noticed the signs, they replaced an old school sign at St Johns Walk in the old town, a lovely old sign that fit very well into the area by the church, with a glaring blue and white monstrosity that was also smaller, leaving an tatty outline on the wall. Pride? Cleaning up this town is clearing litter to me is more important than new signs, there is so much litter everywhere, that and trimming the greenery that's getting rather large again!

2024-04-20 15:49:44

I am sick of reading about restore pride. The recent cutting of the bushes has now exposed all the beer cans and rubbish that have been thrown in the bushes over a period of time,you would think that the council workers would have litter picked all this rubbish once they had cut the bushes back. Prob to do with health and safety.lol.you will never ever restore pride in Harlow,stop being so silly. The town has to many people living here now and they have no respect for our once great town.Dan swords is very naive.

2024-04-22 16:28:38

Cheryl, I would suggest that you aim your comments at the people who chuck beer cans and litter into the bushes rather than the people who are trying to clean it up. It is a few residents who have the biggest impact on the look and feel of the town and unless we call them out when we see them doing it, they will not change.

2024-04-25 19:42:28

The neat and tidy policy results in everything being cut back regardless. This is environmentally and ecologically damaging. Trees, green verges and hedges that block paths and reduce sightlines however are frequently not cut back, whereas those that are essential for biodiversity, wildlife and reducing pollution & overheating during heat waves get cut down, hacked back and decimated. A more refined and considered approach is needed.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-27 16:56:54

Having walked around many housing estates in the last week, I can say I have never seen the grass so long on many of the council's green spaces. So much for taking pride in the town!

2024-04-29 16:56:05

We all moan about litter , I pick up all.litter I can see from my front window and further up the road as well I would suggest instead of moaning if we all.picked some litter up , because the louts that drop it won't, we would have a much tidier town.

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