Ward by ward: Church Langley North and Newhall: Tories put the house on the chicken runs

Elections / Sat 27th Apr 2024 at 08:43am

THIS shows the shifting demographic balance in Harlow that there are now three major wards, east of the A414.

If Labour are to have any chance of winning Harlow in the General Election, then they need to start making in roads in these three wards, including this one.

They have been knocking on doors over the previous year and heard encouraging signs but it seems they have decided to concentrate on other areas for the local elections.

So, this may be another safe ward for the Conservatives. A change in personnel as well. Andrew Johnston remains. His ambassadorship as chair of Harlow Council has been magnificent. He has been a wonderful beacon for the town.

Council leader Dan Swords moves from Bush Fair and Mike Hardware from Staple Tye. Surprised more hasn’t been made of what is known in the trade as “chicken runs”.

Councillor Swords has moved to live in the ward and Cllr Hardware’s ward has disappeared. John Steer and Alasdair Gunn have stayed on to fight the new ward of Latton Bush and Stewards. Much respect to them.

We will write more on councillor Swords battle to retain the council next week.

It will be interesting to see the percentage share of the vote as we look to the General Election.

There may be a lot of people hurt by interest rates etc but will that be enough, in a local election, to go out and vote?

YH Prediction: Cons Hold x 3


Church Langley North and Newhall

Mike Hardware (Conservative)

Andrew Johnston (Conservative)

Dan Swords (Conservative)


Michelle Margetts (Green)

Bengeman White (Green)


Simon O’Dell (Labour)

John Solomon (Labour)

Edna Stevens (Labour)

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8 Comments for Ward by ward: Church Langley North and Newhall: Tories put the house on the chicken runs:

2024-04-27 16:42:51

Andrew Johnson closed the play grounds in the pandemic because he saw people using them when they were not ordered closed by government edict. He did never once considering that people using them might not have a large nice house or garden to get by in as he did. When I challenged him on this as it happened live on twitter during the council meeting he said it was because there were ambulances queuing at PAH - that happens every year. The pandemic and restrictions were bad enough, conservatives and labour should never be forgiven for it, indeed many should be jailed for their part in introducing and enforcing. Andrew however deserves nothing but shame for his busybody actions to save us from ourselves. I live in this ward I will vote for Dan S I will not vote for Andrew it is time he like is father retired from public life.

David Forman
2024-04-28 02:05:23

Anyone who has bothered to watch full council meetings over the last 14 years will know that councillor Andrew Johnson has been the best Chair of Harlow Council by a country mile. Likewise, anyone watching Cabinet meetings from June 2011 onwards will recognise councillor Johnson's forensic attention to detail. He is an asset to the council.

2024-04-28 07:47:25

Andrew Johnson was leader of the council then along came Dan Swords and Simon Carter lost his cabinet position. How did a young upstart get to take over, was it driven by Robert Halfon, did local conservatives feel that Andrew wasn't dynamic enough. There is a story here that that we haven't been told

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-28 09:17:58

David, the fact is of course that 99.9% of residents do not look at, let alone participate in council meetings. What they want are Councillors who work in and for their community and it has to be said that is why most people think that Cllr Purse is doing such a good job. Most of the rest are consumed by reading council agendas hundreds of pages long, many full of waffle. They will often represent Wards that they do not live in, have very little if any knowledge of the issues within the Ward and no longer hold Ward surgeries. From what I hear on the doorstep, hardly anyone has any knowledge of what is going on in the town, let alone what the council are doing. What has happened at Westminster in recent years may just improve voter turnout but on the other hand there could be record low turnouts.

David Forman
2024-04-28 10:31:48

For Nicholas Taylor's benefit, whom I have a lot of time for, makes some points that need clarification. Firstly, council agendas are not "hundreds of pages long", but instead more accurately describe the 'public reports pack' issued by council officers to ensure informed decision making. Secondly, actually if more Labour councillors took the time to read these 'public reports packs' our town might have benefited from a functioning opposition for the last three years.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-04-28 11:35:54

Well David, something of a play on words. It is still a lot of reading material! From my long experience, both Parties are inept when they are in opposition. One only has to look back on the minutes of Cabinet and Full Council meetings, you will find that until HAP came along, Councillors asking formal questions at these meetings were few and far between. We will continue to ask questions, whoever controls the Council come Friday.

2024-04-28 14:22:49

Adam I am at a loss to understand your comments about Andrew, he is probably one of the best councillors this town has ever had, any decisions that he made were always made after taking appropriate advice and in the interest of the residents he as council leader represented. And VoteforMe yes there is a bigger story which is not mine to tell presently, I will say that I am annoyed I was taken in like so many others and didn't realise until it was too late to do anything and ended up being replaced without any notice by Mr Swords. I wouldn't bother asking him about it though, he spent months deceiving me about my selection or non selection and I only found out after the selection meeting was held (without my being invited) from a ward colleague who was there.

2024-04-28 15:51:36

Nick - Simple thing is covid response was utterly appalling it cause no end of damage and was obvious from day one. However, at the time it was not recommended to close parks and playgrounds, yet Andrew saw people in the one close to him and raised it at the council meeting and it was pushed through. No thought for those the government imprisoned in flats, with no access to gardens etc. There was no discussion or taking advice I watch it live there was Andrew thinkign it was a good idea and making it happen.

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