Letter to Editor: Leader of Harlow Tories: Today, we go further. We promise to demolish Terminus House. 

News / Fri 26th Apr 2024 at 08:47am

Dear Editor,

HARLOW Conservatives promised to rebuild our town centre. After decades of failed promises and wasted money from the old Harlow Labour Council, we are delivering.

In just two years, your local Harlow Conservatives have secured hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, obtained planning permission, appointed contractors, gone from being the smallest landowners to the biggest and started construction on several projects. 

Today, we go further. We promise to demolish Terminus House. 

Terminus House has blighted our town centre for too long. The old Harlow Labour Council let London Councils dump their residents there. They allowed the area to become a no-go zone with rampant crime and antisocial behaviour.

Terminus House has been the postcard image of our town’s decade of decline under Harlow’s old Labour Council.

And we will not wait. Harlow has waited long enough.

If you vote for your local Harlow Conservatives to continue running Harlow Council next Thursday, we promise that the work to demolish Terminus House and redevelop the site will start within one year.

It’s a promise we’ll keep. We pledged to freeze council tax every year and we have. We promised to stop Newham Council and keep Harlow homes for Harlow people and we did. We promised to improve your council services and we’ve been shortlisted for the ‘Most Improved Council in England’.

Construction work is already underway to transform our bus station and Terminus Street and it will continue into Broad Walk, Market Square and the Playhouse Quarter in the coming days and weeks. 

Demolishing Terminus House is the next step in our plan to rebuild our whole town centre with new high-end shops, bars, restaurants, nightlife, live music, a market and much more.

Let’s work together to finish the job so we can feel proud of our town centre once again.

Please vote for your Local Conservatives to run Harlow Council on Thursday 2nd May.


Dan Swords

Leader of Harlow Conservatives 

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69 Comments for Letter to Editor: Leader of Harlow Tories: Today, we go further. We promise to demolish Terminus House. :

2024-04-26 08:56:25

We're not in Kansas any more.

2024-04-26 08:56:48

Who owns terminus house? Are some apartments in it not privately own I am sure I saw some for sale? going for compulsory purchase

2024-04-26 09:04:22

Where will the people in Terminus House be put. Harlow homes for Harlow people. Is it April 1st again. Sounds like you aren't a man with a plan.

2024-04-26 09:04:28

Another highly expensive pledge. They also ignore the fact that permitted development brought in by the conservative government and voted for by our own MP allowed the conversion and “dumping” which led to the antisocial behaviour.

View from Afar
2024-04-26 09:07:36

Dan, Your quote from above regarding Labour.“They allowed the area to become a no-go zone with rampant crime and antisocial behaviour.” How long have the Conservatives been in power in Harlow? So why haven’t you done anything about it? Blatant electioneering just a week before voting

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-26 09:18:19

Thay skipped over that bit, DP. What's the promises next week a new hospital. 😄. What's being knocked down next, people will say,, we're come back when it's finished. 😄 🤣

gary roberts
2024-04-26 09:27:41

Desperation? Nonsense? BS? Lies? Pathetic? The Conservatives are showing all the signs of the above questions a week out from the local elections. I suspect they are feeling the heat on the doorstep from residents' who are struggling to deal with more pressing problems. And you now know from previous letters to this organ from the Conservatives they are worried sick of defeat. Rightly so!

2024-04-26 09:28:17

Owner seems to be Caridon Properties. Companies house is a good read. Interesting people involved in all sorts. A new company set up is https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/15405184/filing-history . Same Directors as Caridon, also involved in Templefields House. So are we talking compulsory purchase then?

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-26 09:45:05

I wonder if yourharlow can fact check this claim? Do the owners want to sell? What about all the tenants of these flats, where would that go? The Council (us) saddled with more debt?

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-26 09:50:04

Just to add,, you have planned for this to be knocked down,, ,have you given any thought to where your going to place theses people Dan swords.??. Or is it a bit like sycamore s, there coming down,and no thought s to people living there. Is this another case of no foresight.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-26 09:51:18

Snap, Mr Taylor.

Jamie W
2024-04-26 10:08:41

Dan Swords. He tells a good story.

Julie Taylor
2024-04-26 10:23:10

I’m just looking at the registered land assets for HDC 2023, readily available online. Terminus House does not appear. How then is it possible to demolish a building owned by Caridon Property?

Mr Grumpy
2024-04-26 10:41:31

I am very offended that the Tories believe me, and many others, to be so stupid as to believe their "promises". It goes to show just how much contempt political parties have for voters just before elections. I for one WILL NOT be voting either blue or red !!

2024-04-26 11:02:25

He must be getting desperate now! How genuine is this "promise"? Can he actually do what he says he wants to do?? Probably not. Another empty promise from a party that is (hopefully) on its way out. PS - Mr Swords - any news on when we are getting the new hospital?? No? Thought not!

Phillip J Fry
2024-04-26 11:10:26

Goodness me this announcement smacks of massive desperation and reeks of asking "older" tory voters the things they want most - M&S back in the town and getting rid of terminus hose. Doesn't really solve the councils problem as arent there a number of harlow residents living there so are they fast tracked to one of the new flats down by the station

Terry Knight
2024-04-26 11:14:00

What about demolishing the old Odeon Cinema?

2024-04-26 12:09:33

Sounds like Dan’s getting a bit Desperate.Another serving of cow pie

Anthony W
2024-04-26 12:37:09

Desperate to get that wrecking gear out again! Dan Dan the bulldozer man. You can't just keep knocking buildings down and claiming you are regenerating the place. The town centre looks like a bomb site and it has done for several years now. It's clear something has gone wrong somewhere down the line with Strawberry Star, you'd get more respect if you sorted that issue ASAP rather than creating another potential mess.

2024-04-26 12:51:17

Could we develop the sites that have already been knocked in the town like the Square and the Stow, and perhaps do something with the GSK site. This announcement concerns me, the cost of the Burnt Mills flats presumably still is , "commercially sensitive" yet here is Dan announcing the intention to knock down a site we don't even, that will surely push up the cost. Last night BBC Look East featured a single mum who seemed to be living in Terminus Street-where will she go (there was something strange about this as the time lines did not stack up, she had come from a refuge, where was she before). I accept the flats are tiny but can they not be expanded in size. I was planning to vote conservative (no HAP candidate) but this has made me think.

2024-04-26 12:56:38

The local connection time applied to the Harlow Council Housing Needs waiting list was 5 years; now 7. If Terminus House is still here in a few years, the now residents will be eligible for Harlow housing and then where will they go? Makes sense to me.

2024-04-26 14:25:53

All together now… “Desperate Dan, Desperate Dan. He’s the man without a well-thought-out plan!”

2024-04-26 14:26:26

Demolish Terminus House? When ? There's not a date on this. Sounds about as realistic as the PHE move into the old Glaxxo site, the "new" hospital that was promised by Dan Swords idol, Bojo. As others have said above, deal with the Odeon site first and show some brains to get Strawberry Star to actually do something on the various sites they own. Look at Lister House site, fenced and dug up, trees cut down and nothing happening there. The much vaunted Hill Group are doing nothing there. The site at the Stow that has been for sale for months if not years (with planning permission granted for development). Terminus House became "a symbol of the town's decline" because Tory Westminster Government permitted office buildings to be converted into utterly awful homes by money grabbing developers (and Tory donors) and made it almost impossible for local authorities to put restrictions in place to stop it. And now we see the legislation that would have prevented them and protected people in the private rental sector be watered down by the government in a vain attempt to appeal to voters. That is just what this is. If these things can actually be done then just get on with them and don't say "if you elect us we can start the work".

2024-04-26 14:28:00

It would be more convincing if you actually started on the promised projects already. The town is full of demolished sites waiting for the promised houses and no sign of anything starting. By holding this as a bribe to get votes is pretty low. If you genuinely cared about the town work would be starting already. .

2024-04-26 14:35:37

Well Dan, it seems your public (me included) are not convinced by this.

2024-04-26 14:59:17

Kim O'connor, how many times have you got to be told before it sinks in . The hospital has nothing to do with Harlow council. And everyone slagging the tories off . I hope you eat humble pie when all the promises are kept .

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-26 15:19:44

Thing is Eddie the claims about the hospital and the formerly named Public Health England move to Harlow appears on most of the election leaflets being pumped out by the Tories. The latest news is that a new hospital (not even in Harlow) will not open until 2034.By then there could be at least another 100,000 people living within it's catchment area. They also claim to have created thousands of highly skilled well paid jobs, when in fact a few new warehouses and a data centre do not create such jobs. What the town needs is a few independent councillors who will fact check whichever Party controls the council and does not bring Westminster based dogma into the council chamber in Harlow.

2024-04-26 15:25:13

Dan has now become a pain, come sunshine, snow, wind or rain, he loved a bulldozer, to knock all things over, but never to be built again!! .......... YAWN!!

Its poets day
2024-04-26 15:40:29

Next Thursday what will you do, think twice before voting blue, some they never attended, some have been suspended, and demolition is all they do!!!

2024-04-26 16:14:01

You all seem to forget . Labour were in for over 10 years and done sod all . What do you think they will do if they get in Harlow again. I will tell you for free. Sod all again.

2024-04-26 16:53:38

If I were the owners of Terminus House, I would be punching the air with glee! Now that this is effectively a manifesto promise, I expect the price of Terminus House has just doubled. Or tripled. And what will the result of this extortionate price increase? At best, as promised, it will be a very expensive pile of rubble. Would this be the most expensive pile of 1960's lead paint and asbestos mixed in with concrete ever? What a great way to promise to spend taxpayers money. Will all residents of Harlow get a lump of concrete each as recompense for wasting so much money? Maybe we can use it to fill in some of the potholes. Oh, and whatever happened about the lie that Terminus House was offered to the then Labour administration for £1? That lie usually gets wheeled out for an airing when there is an election.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-26 17:24:40

The Harlow Alliance Party has long been asking what would happen to this building if it was not occupied by homeless families. If the present owners have realised that having over 200 homeless families living together is to difficult to manage and were prepared to offer the freehold to the Council at a knock down price, it could be turned into a modern flat block for say 70 older residents, with a whole floor for recreational uses and space for users such as the Harlow U3A. 70 council houses would then become vacant for families to take up occupation. This is an ideal site for such a conversion, close to shops, bus station and leisure facilities in the town centre.

2024-04-26 17:39:12

This is all getting very silly.I feel sorry for the decent harlow tories.Desperate Dan.What's he going to do/say next?Imagine the carnage if he gets in.God knows what the next tory announcement in YH is going to be.Won't be anything left of Harlow rate he's going.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-26 17:55:09

The odeon site, is owned privately, last I heard,, and last I heard, he would not sell.. And I say good on him, nice to see developer's get knocked back.

2024-04-26 18:03:35

Kim,he is only holding out long term hoping the price he will get will be higher, ready built music venue going to ruin.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-26 18:09:27

So would you, wouldn't you, jarrett. Only what theses developer's are doing in this town. I'd like to think good shops would go down better, don't you think.

2024-04-26 18:38:46

Haha, it's just a load of balls! - Nice idea, but we all know it will never EVER happen. Do you think we're all that stupid to believe anything the conservatives have to say.

Kim Out - lost a Green Voter
2024-04-26 19:15:02

Never vote local Labour. They were the ones in charge of the council for 10+ years and did nothing but put the town in this mess. Harlow Tories have put in place concrete plans to sort this town out in just 3 years. These things take time - they have to start with demolition. As for Kim - what a disgraceful comment - I will never vote Green Party due to Kim. How can she want someone to hold onto a site for money whilst helping to put the town centre in decline?

Bored of politics
2024-04-26 20:35:13

Been a Green voter for the last 4-5 years and I've got to admit that how Kim conducts herself in the comments does put me off. Luckily she isn't my local representative. I'd still rather spoil my vote that gives it to any of the others though, seen enough to know it will never change.

Me, Harlow
2024-04-26 20:52:37

Promise what you like when you know you won't be in power for much longer... hopefully. It's rather nice tho to read the comments and see that most people can see right through the spin. Heartening!

2024-04-26 20:53:56

Kim Out - lost a Green Voter, did Labour not help with the revamped water gardens? The nicest looking part of the town centre. Let me know if I have that wrong please.

2024-04-26 22:36:34

Eddie, you say Labour did sod all, have you forgotten they created HTS

2024-04-27 03:07:42

Come on Labour!Sending you lots of positive energy.Get Desperate Dan and Co out.

Ross Young
2024-04-27 05:50:28

Full maturity and all the attributes of adulthood are not magically conferred on young people on their 18th birthdays. (Lord Chief Justice, 2018). Young adults are still developing physically and psychologically until their mid-twenties (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015). Mr Dan Swords, it is great that you are engaged in politics at such a young age, but you have recently demonstrated why you should wait a while before taking on the huge responsibility of running a town.

2024-04-27 05:53:47

Boris Hts was created out of the staff already there. Not that difficult to change a name.

2024-04-27 05:57:22

Kim O'connor. You like seeing developers knock back. So that tells me you are happy that there is no development anywhere in Harlow. What planet are you from.

2024-04-27 06:09:56

Nic. You seem to always want to get older people out of their homes, and move them into flats where they will have no communication with ther neighbours, no garden to sit in , and with terminus house site , noise of a night from the Town Centre, and from the road below . You are an older person would you move out of the parks into a flat with no garden. Stop making the pensioner on there own in houses feel guilty about where they have lived for years. A imagine some would be prepared to move , but there is also a lot that wouldn't because of lots of memories. My mother give up her home , moved into a flat , and was very lonely until she passed away.

2024-04-27 07:01:26

Dan Swords is an inspirational leader and has done more to advance regeneration in 10 months than Labour did in 10 years. A return to Labour running the town will be the death of regeneration simply because Chris Vince and his colleagues do not understand the strategic options, processes, dynamics and have never sought to engage with the administration.They will be clueless as to how to work with Harlow Regeneration Partnership , Hill Group partner - a highly professional and successful entity - and have a cultural block when dealing with the private sector, which goes some way to explaining why they never managed to partner during their 10 years in administration. They are just not up to the standards required and will fail for sure. Like it or not , only Harlow Conservatives can execute these projects. Labour is a rudderless vessel.

Ross Young
2024-04-27 07:52:44

Jack, over the last 10 years under this Conservative government, we have moved from a situation where the most impoverished communities have lost guaranteed funding and are now instead reliant upon competitions and handouts. There are a number of similar run down towns like Basildon and Redditch where the Tories risk losing control and their local papers are also full of stories of promises of government handouts. Harlow is getting pledges of millions because the Tories risk being defeated here - It’s not because of any individual we are getting these bribes - We’d get them if we had a parrot in charge!!! - I guess a Labour government will continue this approach - So if we want the handouts to continue we’d be better off voting Labour.

2024-04-27 08:19:08

I wish there was a HAP candidate in my Ward.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-27 08:38:49

Woody, and Kim out_ Lost a green voter. I'd just like to say,, it's nice that you have both kept up to speed.. most will know by now, that I've stepped back as a candidate for the green party, for personal reason s.. Having met them all through fighting to save the destruction of our river stort, then going on to work with them ,becoming the Harlow green party. I can say you will never meet more caring people for our community.. The green party are not government funded, so again work twice as hard to get funding.. I don't have to say all this, because I'm no longer a member.. . The Odeon is in private hands... its up to him if he sells or not... no one said , we don't need regeneration... mixing people s words up , is never a good look.

2024-04-27 08:39:53

Jack, you say that labour will be the death of regeneration but what has actually been built by the torys in their 3 years. We still have bomb sites at the stow, the square, the town, we have an empty sydenham house. Of course, acquisitions have been made like the Harvey centre and the secretive Burnt Mills (so the tories wouldnt be accused of allowing hordes of Londoners in) but tell me what has been achieved

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-27 08:40:34

Woody, and Kim out_ Lost a green voter. I'd just like to say,, it's nice that you have both kept up to speed.. most will know by now, that I've stepped back as a candidate for the green party, for personal reason s.. Having met them all through fighting to save the destruction of our river stort, then going on to work with them ,becoming the Harlow green party. I can say you will never meet more caring people for our community.. The green party are not government funded, so again work twice as hard to get funding.. I don't have to say all this, because I'm no longer a member.. . The Odeon is in private hands... its up to him if he sells or not... no one said , we don't need regeneration... mixing people s words up , is never a good look. And going under false names, is never a good look.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-27 09:18:18

Woody, the fact is as a former Housing Manager at Harlow Council I am all to aware that many older residents would like to downsize their homes but there are not enough good quality homes in the town in which to do this. It is not a case of forcing anyone to move, there are already over 80 council tenants registered for a smaller home, but who would want to move out of their house into a small flat with no garden and perhaps even upstairs. The areas around the town built for older people have common rooms, often thriving activities and far more active residents than ever before. The same goes for the private sector of course but there are very few opportunities to downsize in Harlow unlike in most towns.. My grandmother moved in to Toddbrook aged 80 and said it was one of the best things she had ever done. I am sure many residents would like to live in a home cheaper to heat and pay a lower council tax for example. As for Terminus House, I stand by my suggestion that converting the whole block into spacious modern flats for older residents is a good idea, after all in the Tory plan there will literally be thousands of people living in the town Centre in flat blocks up to 16 storeys high.

2024-04-27 09:31:50

He’s just like a Junior Ginger Boris - Forever seen on a loader knocking something down and telling us he’ll ‘Build Back Better’ and countless other lies about our future. In Field of Dreams the great Kevin Costner hears a voice telling him: "If you build it, he will come." - Tory Harlow is more like the disillusionment and despair of ‘The Waste Land’ - Harlow Town Centre or ‘The High’ as it used to be called is an absolute disgrace. Even 5 years ago, we couldn’t have imagined just what a derelict and dangerous place it would become - And don’t forget that we have Terminus House and all the other human warehouses around this town because of Tory Government Policy.

2024-04-27 10:12:40

MOI, feel for you.They only have 4 candidates in this election.Luckily one standing in my ward.Why don't you check out their website and maybe join the party to be kept informed what they're up to?Feel sure they will grow their numbers and have more candidates in future elections.Lovely HAP man came to my door.Very friendly people who care about helping residents sort out issues.

2024-04-27 10:54:28

Kim O'connor. You can see you jump in with both feet before reading anything . I never mentioned once about you and your wonderful green party. Please keep up with the times , also for some reason you posted it twice. Please keep up with the times again.

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-27 13:31:07

Woody.. and I never mentioned I didn't want regeneration.. so read things properly.

2024-04-27 13:37:32

We would all like to see regeneration but for the large part all we are seeing is demolition

2024-04-27 13:44:09

How many times is he going to complain about “London Councils dumping their residents there” when it was he’s own party, a party he is a full card holding member of, that he is running for as a councillor that made and passed the legislation that allowed it to happen, even his Conservatives MP that he so highly praised voted for it. So if he hates the policy so much why is he supporting the party that made it, wonder if this is why he’s standing under the pseudonym of the Harlow Conservatives party/Local Conservatives party rather than their correct name. If he is, like all of us ashamed of his party then stand for another party not under a pseudonym.

2024-04-27 14:38:00

Kim was that a desperation reply , I wouldn't mind an apology for something I did not say. You have oftened moaned about regeneration of the Town Centre.

2024-04-27 14:44:22

oss Young, this not about the funding. The grants are awarded. This about the ability to implement and work constructively and professionally with our private sector partners. Harlow Labour has no idea and its members have no experience of this type of role. In 10 years they achieved nothing regarding regeneration. Hardly surprising they were named the 'worst council in Essex during COVID' and you now want them back??

2024-04-27 16:30:40

Woody the problem with the regeneration plans for the town is mainly around the money wasted on ridiculous ideas year after year in the market square. That plans for regeneration in that end of town involves unaffordable commuter housing that won't benefit local people. Not to mention rather travesty of HGGT plans which, again, do not benefit Harlow people. The town is rotting from the inside out, we need a party that is going to tidy it up and limit movements people from outside the town . We are being swamped, our services, healthcare, roads and housing can't cope. i suspect this is the issue highest on most people's agenda. There's only so much you can cram into one area. There's little to no industry to employ people here so it's not attracting financially well off people in large numbers who can help bring life back to the town. It's very very sad what's happened to the town over the last 20 years or so. And yes it's not just harlow but that doesn't make it ok or a reason for political parties to ignore it

Ross Young
2024-04-27 17:48:15

Resident, you are so right about the lack of industry and the town being unable to attract financially well off people. I find few things more drab and dreary than a new bus station. What company ever said that they were going to locate in a town because it had ‘a lovely bus station’? Who ever visited a town centre and said “It didn’t have any shops, but I’m going back because the bus station was outstanding”. And Jack, I remember the likes of Danny Purton and his ilk who ran the Labour Party here - They were terrible and did the town no favours! BUT when someone starts lying to me - Telling me outright lies like a guarantee of an M&S in the Town Centre and knocking down Terminus House, they have lost me and my vote - If you vote for someone who you know to be lying, it is a ruinous path - It is a danger to democracy and you become complicit in whatever happens. If you lie to people, just like with Boris Johnson, your promises become hollow and meaningless.

2024-04-27 20:39:14

Ross, well said. Lying is dreadful and I think it's safe to say that we've all had a gutful of it in recent years from many a member of the Cons party. I also dislike immensely blackmail, like Mr Swords other recent letter to Your Harlow, telling us that he will start the regeneration IF the cons are voted in next week. These letters by Mr Swords are immature and warning bells do ring.. Danny Purton, I don't know all the stuff that he did or not do, but he personally helped out in my area much more than my local Cons cllrs did, he was instrument in getting this area massively improved, something still felt today. He passed away shortly after but I remember him with a bit of respect for his efforts and hard work.

Fact or Fiction
2024-04-28 08:19:53

Ross Young - note comment from Trace, Danny Purton sadly passed in 2021 and like him or not, he was a person first with a family and then a councillor who clearly delivered for Trace and many others. There are plenty of councillors who are alive and kicking who you can troll so perhaps leave those who RIP and cannot now defend themselves alone!

Kim Oconnor
2024-04-28 09:04:54

Resident,well and Ross. Spot on.

Ross Young
2024-04-28 09:35:53

Fact or Fiction - I wasn’t intending to troll the dead - I think he was Head of Regeneration under the previous administration, that is why I mentioned him —- From what I know of him, the last thing he would have wanted would have been to have been airbrushed from history and forgotten! Trace responded by saying that she had been helped by him - He was remembered.

2024-04-29 05:57:21

Jack 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂 thanks for the laugh, as Dan S your Government changed and passed the new law allowing property developers to convert empty office buildings into homes for sale and allowing other councils to off load as many of their problem tenants as possible fully backed by MP ROBERT HAFLON who later changed his mind saying it was a disastrous move to late mate, now make as many stupid promises as you can before your party is possibly defeated and thrown out at the next local elections and hopefully at the next General Election the same will happen ( oohhh please please ) so in a few years time you conservatives can wave the flag spouting we’ll save you 😂🤣😂😂🤣🤣 there is only one Government responsible for this country being a world wide laughing stock and that is the Conservative Party.

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