Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories make appeal to council tenants

Politics / Mon 22nd Apr 2024 at 06:41am

Dear editor, 

IT has never been more important for the over 9,000 tenants of Harlow Council to vote in these elections because the results will determine the future of their homes. 

Under Harlow Labour, there was a backlog of repairs on council houses of over 5,000. Harlow Conservatives have cleared that backlog.

Under Harlow Labour, the standard wait time for a repair to be carried out was over 270 days (9 months). Harlow Conservatives have cut that to under 30 days. 

Under Harlow Labour, London Councils were allowed to dump their people here. Harlow Conservatives have ensured Harlow homes for Harlow people – which Harlow Labour opposed. 

Under Harlow Labour, there was no maintenance or proactive interaction from the council. Harlow Conservatives have introduced a specialist stock condition survey of every property and an annual inspection of every council home to improve maintenance and better support tenants. 

Harlow Conservatives are investing £120 million this year into council housing. Harlow Labour voted against this investment. 

I call on every single council tenant in Harlow, if you want to improve the home you live in and get better housing services from the council, if you want Harlow homes to be for Harlow people, you must vote for the local conservatives in these council elections. 

The future of your home depends on it and I have seen first hand the progress the Harlow Conservatives are making to fix council housing. 

Please, vote for your local conservative candidates on Thursday 2nd May. 

Kind regards, 

David Carter
Harlow Co

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45 Comments for Letter to Editor: Harlow Tories make appeal to council tenants:

2024-04-22 06:58:20

Please stop this desperate" divide and rule "nonsense and DO NOT tell me how i "must"vote.

2024-04-22 07:27:50

Resident - they should no tell you how to vote of course, but they make a good point the conservatives, however much they are despised at the national level (they deserve it) have actually been pretty good in Harlow. They have taken action when labour have just sat around talking. Labour remind me of the group in life of Brian who just talk and never do any action.

2024-04-22 07:34:39

I’d be interested in hearing the views of actual council tenants regarding the backlog of repairs being “cleared”. Is that really the case? I think not. And of course, it’s important to point out that other local councils, including Tory run ones, are still placing their homeless in Harlow.

gary roberts
2024-04-22 07:40:20

As a council tenant of nearly forty-one years, it is a really poor show of a political party to hold out a begging bowl to tenants. Especially when the bowl is empty. The rights of tenants' in Harlow have been disappearing for at least twenty years. My tenancy agreement back in 1983 was not "empty" compared to today's version that I received recently. And the removal of band 4 applicants on the housing needs register is not right. I also believe the Right to Buy should be removed in line with Scotland and Wales in an effort to save council homes being cut from the register. Will it happen? No.

Ian Tarran
2024-04-22 07:46:28

My mother in law, a council tennant, suffered a breakdown of her heating last Friday. She phoned the council office on Friday and they sent someone to repair her heating the same day. Excellent service, well done Harlow Council.

Dan McIntyre
2024-04-22 07:56:38

All the labour councillors I have contacted in the past have had issues resolved in hours. In addition our roof was leaking damaging the bathroom and bedrooms and the official route via the council was slow and completed to a sub standard. 5 years later it’s still incomplete

Theresa Walters
2024-04-22 08:03:00

The lack of canvassing from all parties leads me to believe we only have paper candidates. Surely our local candidates should be looking after the residents in their area. If they can't be bothered to canvas they won't bother with anything.My question is What am i voting for?

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-22 10:07:24

Yet more misleading information from the Tories. The facts are as follows. Of the 5000 jobs, over 500 were found to either have been done already or were duplicates of others. In 2021/22 the council carried out 29,691 jobs on council homes. In 2022/23 they only carried out 27, 290. This second figure was the lowest for at least 6 years apart from 2020/21 when Covid hit. It was of course Tory legislation which allowed office blocks to be converted to flats. Labour were at fault locally by not taking steps soon enough to stop a lot of the conversions. It should be noted that the Tories whilst on opposition raised no concerns, how could they it was their governments policy. The Harlow Alliance Party have continually raised the issue of the councils failure to maintain the external fabric of it's houses, we believe this led to the regular inspection mentioned in the article, this will enable the council to begin a programme of maintenance, Whether the Tories or Labour win control of the council next week, if Harlow Alliance Party candidates win seats on the council next week, residents can be assured that they will scrutinise every detail published, to ensure that residents are actually getting the best service possible.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-22 10:18:04

Theresa, I am sorry to say that in this day and age when politicians are being threatened and abused daily both on the internet and in person, many candidates feel concerned about cold calling at homes. The Harlow Alliance Party have a website at www,harlowallianceparty.org where our policies and past work in communities can be found and leaflets will be delivered to every home. We have also held a stall at a number of the local shopping centres, even then we have been approached by a very small number of abusive residents, who I must say soon calm down when we explain we are not from either the Tory or Labour Party!

Sandra Meridale
2024-04-22 11:06:06

I’m a council tenant still waiting repairs that go back 2 years and have paid others to carry out repairs as it was taking so long. Can’t see any improvement from my side!!

2024-04-22 11:44:59

Take a look at the majority of the comments on YourHarlows facebook post about this. It seems the Tory’s claim that the backlog of council house repairs has been cleared couldn’t be further from the truth!

Nogin the nog
2024-04-22 12:33:13

I am a council house tenant it is true if you have a problem with the heating it is done quickly especially if your over sixty but for eny thing else it takes ages my daughter has had temporary roof in hookfield for 2 years?

2024-04-22 12:45:53

Ian Tarran and Nogin the nog. I was explaining this to the leader of the Liberals at the hustings. He said people were being left with no hot water for long periods , which was totally untrue. I hope he reads your posts and apologies.

Mrs Black
2024-04-22 13:18:35

In answer to MIKE wanting to hear from residents about repairs. The last few years seemed to be one thing after another for repairs both big and small. On two occasions the council came out that day and all of my other repairs have been done in less than two weeks. They even highlighted potential other problems and had someone else come round to investigate and that issue is now being dealt with and I'm nobody special, just another council tenant. I can honestly say when we had a Labour council things took months or not at all to the point that I paid someone to come in and fix the problem that the Labour Council said was still on their list and don't worry, we will get to you. They never did!

Lost my hope.
2024-04-22 14:01:21

My elderly neighbor has been phoning and going in to the council regularly for months and they still have not mended her roof. The council have put up scaffolding twice!!! and then taken it down without doing the job and she still has water cascading down her wall. When I told her that the council said it had dealt with the backlog of repairs she had renewed hope thinking that now they would finally make her house watertight but no, and they wonder why people are getting sicker.

Harlow resident
2024-04-22 17:55:44

Oh please. I don't for one minute believe that tories are going to help the working class. Let's not pretend the ultimate aim is to make the rich richer. Its all desperate propaganda and data manipulation.

Jeff sullivan
2024-04-22 18:09:32

We all know how labour treats its own people by allowing people from another council to jump the thd housing list before it's own people. So to me not even on the council housing list we need to take care of the community that we have and maybe build on the bond we have before it gets devalued by outside councils that don't appreciate that harlow enjoys! your choice x

Homeless in Harlow
2024-04-22 19:22:00

Well nobody in Harlow's housing department will do anything to help me find a place to live, I've been homeless for just over 1 year, I'm 65 years young and I'm according to Harlow housing not a priority case, I've lived in Harlow for 64 out of 65 years but that doesn't help, all these nice new flats that the council have just purchased by the station I bet none of them will be for me, end of moan 😄😄

2024-04-22 19:32:39

I still have an outstanding repair which was reported years ago. If you want my vote you need to knock on my door and talk to me. Why do you not do this anymore??

M. Joseph
2024-04-22 20:31:44

I've lived In Harlow all of my adult life, & can honestly say that Labour ran this town into the ground. This is not about what is good for the country, its what is good for the town. Loads of councils around the country have gone bankrupt, the Conservatives here have kept their heads above water & kept our council tax the same for 3 years. They are trying to regenerate the town, even though it seems to be taking ages. I've been in temporary accommodation for nearly 5 years now, myself and my husband are disabled and the place we are in has no adaptations for our needs, but I still feel lucky to be where we are, compared to some of the other places we could of been put. In a nut shell, although I don't agree with some of their policies, and there is still much more that needs to be dealt with, like more places for youngsters to go, rather than roaming the streets causing trouble. Harlow used to be such a lovely town, it just needs the love and community that it used to have. So for this election I will still be voting Conservative, and hope that they continue to try and improve the town. This is my own personal opinion, and I ask that people respect it as that, with no nasty responses. I will not be dragged into politics, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Clark Renney
2024-04-22 22:16:51

M. Joseph commented that: 'Harlow used to be such a lovely town, it just needs the love and community that it used to have.' I would not presume to debate that sentiment, but the reason Harlow was a lovely town was due largely to many years of a Labour run Council. It was Conservatives who sold of much of our town, and our nation's Council housing stock. Nationwide some 40% of those former Council homes are in the hands of private Landlords. I keep hearing talk of 'regeneration', but all I see are things torn down, boarded up shops, and roads where potholes make them virtually impassable. My Wife is a Harlow girl born and bred, we have lived together, and raised our family here since 1986. Yes, Harlow was a lovely town, and she can be again. But do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Conservatives have any interest beyond themselves. I shall be voting Labour, because Harlow is my town, and I want her led by a Council committed to the this town and to Harlow people. Join me in voting Labour on May 2...

2024-04-23 05:23:38

I'm voting Harlow Alliance party,labour and green.Agree with everything you say Clark.Remembering the good old days of The Harlow Town Show(free entry) ,the thriving market and lovely labour MP Bill Rammell.Also when Harlow council used to plant colourful flowers on the roundabouts and the beautiful fish in the watergardens to make things nice for people.How lucky we were.Absolutely agree Harlow needs "the love and community that it used to have"Never get this under Dan Swords.Please God may he get kicked out.I love Harlow.

K lane
2024-04-23 06:30:41

Every time I have needed a repair it has been fast and efficient I get company’s ringing me to see if I want to go for compensation for repairs that have not been carried out by my council and every time I tell them sorry I definitely do not have any complaints, from my experience I could not have asked for more fantastic service!

Mrs eliza
2024-04-23 06:33:34

Reported issues of leak in my bedroom, water dripping onto my bed... Workmen came days later and went into the loft put his size 12 boot through the floor which happened to be the alley way to the garden which i share with next door and there is still plaster hanging off. Ive been waiting for the council to do asbestos check for a year.... All this just after recovering from cancer..... So no.. not all the back logs have been done and never will be.

Mr Clark
2024-04-23 08:31:30

There are some on here that need to read what was said and understand it. It was made clear there is up to 30 days back log of repairs, that will probably never change but it is no an unreasonable time for a repair. It is hower far better than the Nine months under the Labour party. If you have a repair that needs doing and you claiming it's well gone past the 30 days and not been done, then why don't you ask the council again rather than leave it and then moan about it six months later or when you can be bothered.

2024-04-23 09:38:14

Big thanks to HTS who do all the work day in day out under very difficult circumstances.Of course Dan Swords has never thanked them.I have called them out many times over the years for various repairs(nothing major)and they have always been professional,helpful and friendly.Girls on the phone are always professional,helpful and surprisingly knowledgeable about various jobs .Mr Clark,i don't understand your comment about repairs taking 9 months.I have lived in my flat nearly 11 years and never had to wait more than about 4 weeks for a repair either by HTS or their predecessors KIER.

2024-04-23 09:40:39

Must be joking my street door keeps getting stuck it wont open been going on for about 4 years now they come down but still the same and they say there will be a backlog under Labour

2024-04-23 12:16:59

It was definitely the Tories in power when I had to take legal action to get a roof put back onto my home which their operatives had partially removed MONTHS before. £1000s of legal costs for a job they knew needed doing as they told me when I moved in!!

John Bartleman
2024-04-23 17:29:29

I have been waiting 10 months to have a window done, and looks like it will be a year before I get it done. So where does this fit in with your 30 days ???

2024-04-23 17:30:45

@ M. Joseph, you nailed it. I've lived in Harlow all my life, and always seen it worse under Labour. They have held the town back from fulfilling itself.

2024-04-23 19:28:38

They still lying about clearing the backlog?!! Any public office that outright lies should be fined, a hell of a lot of money.

2024-04-23 19:38:00

Am not from Harlow, but had been here for work a couple times. It always looked tatty, well, for the last 25 years at least, run down and people just wearing tracks bottoms, ugh!! I remember there being some years between visits and I was pleasantly surprised to see the revamped Water Gardens. A little bit of Harlow town centre had been dragged up to date and it looked very smart, a massive improvement. This was Labour was it not? Happy to be corrected, but I was under the impression Harlow was Labour run for years until recently. So they must've done some things right for the town? Reading comments on here, I would be lead to believe nothing was done.

2024-04-23 21:34:29

Please someone on Harlow council how is Dan Swords getting away with saying repairs 100% cleared when YH facebook and YH comments full of residents waiting for outstanding repairs!Tenants are rightly expected to conform to their tenancy agreement but Harlow council is their landlord and has a legal duty to carry out repairs!!!

2024-04-24 08:05:38

Repairs in 30 days??????? Platering is still 9 months. Ive had a repair done outside my front door, on the ceiling in the communual area a few times now. After 2 months the crack reappears worse than before. Its been around 6 months since i last reported it. Had yet another inspector visit, and was told categorically that nothing would be done regarding the subsidence, which is causing the issue. The reason: because it is to expensive!!! Now im no idiot when it comes to construction, despute not being a builder, but surely by leaving it longer it will cost far more thaan dealing with it now???? 18 yrs where i am and not once has the area had a facelift, yet 3 times joyners field flat blocks have had this done. When will the council start caring about staple tye area?????

2024-04-24 10:14:17

I have lived in a flat for over thirty years now . over the last ten years (at least) my neighbours and I have been subjected to all manor of horrors inside the confines of the building. Drug taking /dealing , having a county line gang as a neighbour for four years is an experience I still have nightmares about . Add to this, numerous incidents of invasion of strangers looking to , and sometimes finding stuff to steal. These incidents can occur at any time night or day , and up till now nobody has been hurt so we have been lucky . A couple of years ago I , I submitted sufficient video evidence to be told by the housing officer that we should have a Security Door fitted to the entrance of the flats. After being lied to over a period of ten months , I was eventually informed that they had made a mistake , they thought we were talking about a different address?!! and this now would not take place . I have even tried to submit the same body of evidence to the Community Safety Team . Unfortunately, this proved impossible until somebody is actually injured (or worse) in an incident. This is their idea of "Crime Prevention" ? ???? Apparently.

2024-04-24 17:58:54

DJ - Am sorry, that's awful and no way to live every day. Will keep fingers crossed you get what you all need.

2024-04-25 07:54:35

Trace . Thank you for your sentiment and comment . To be fair, I have been communicating with Councillor David Carter for over two years about this issue and keeping him informed of the latest incidents. On numerous occasions he has sympathised with us and "shared our concerns" which is kind of him , but of little comfort to my neighbour who at 10.30pm last Sunday felt it necessary to wait for an hour outside the block in her car because of a group of weed smoking youths milling about about the main lobbby. She didn't feel safe enough to enter the lobby until they eventually moved on. Councillor David Carter has raised this issue at various meetings but to no avail. The decision to do nothing is made by officials "in the shadows" and is beyond his control. Let's hope for the best eh?

2024-04-25 18:43:24

I totally agree with the comments made by M Joseph, all I ask is all residents voting on the 02nd May just think on how the different councils had actually worked for you as a Harlow resident over the years, and ask yourself, which party you feel was more beneficial for our town, and who you believe has this towns heart closer to theirs, and who you feel going forward will actually get this town the regeneration it needs and deserves, these things take time Rome wasn’t built in a day, one things for sure, it’s not labour.

2024-04-25 18:44:19

Trace , totally agree with you concerning the lies. Only one thing to add to that. Angela Rayner!!!!!!!!

2024-04-27 23:42:15

Eddie, hell yeah, and that Baroness Malone woman with the PPE contract and the millions... and many many other MP scandals and lies (350million boris bus, partygate lies,claiming taxpayers money unfairly on 2nd homes etc).. ok, not the same league as Rayners 1.5k before being an MP (which is still under investigation) but still you carry on. It is the best you have I presume?

2024-04-27 23:58:17

DJ, surely you have the right to live safely in your own homes, the council should be helping. Not listening to you and your neighbours or helping is negletful. Again, am very sorry. I have moved 7 times and Harlow Council are by far the worst I have dealt with. If I were in your shoes, I would threaten to sue, that is what I did after a year where they ignored broken council property next door, which was exposing us to bad behaviour and crime. Had temporary solution put in place within a week and fixed a month later. Good luck with it all..

2024-04-28 17:20:12

Conservative compassion beautifully demonstrated here, in how Mr Carter describes people in need of homes being 'dumped' as if these individuals are all trash and a burden to Harlow. As if its a given none of these people will care to make any kind of positive contribution to their new home town. We need hospital staff, we need people to drive our buses and trains, we need more independent businesses in town, we need cleaners, we need mental health resourses. Talking about people like this is so dehumanising. I have never voted tory and never will. We've had 14 years of this party and the country has been to hell and back as a result.

2024-04-29 12:36:02

Trace that was 3years ago. I thought you were all about the here and now. Obviously only when it suits you I guess.

2024-04-30 07:48:53

Eddie, the investigation into the Baroness is still ongoing, it's very much here and now, as you well know, 200 million thereabouts isn't it? It still makes £1.5k pale into insignificance as you well know but yeah, you fixate on that because it's all you got. Nice try Eddie.

2024-04-30 07:53:57

One more thing - Rayner said she'd quit if found to have done something wrong - she has more integrity than most MP's and at least would do the decent thing. Much more than most of our corrupt politicians eh?

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