Ward by ward: Latton Bush and Stewards: It could all come down to this one…..

Elections / Wed 1st May 2024 at 07:15am

WE thought we would leave the really tricky one until last.

You may have noticed that if our predictions come true (highly doubtful), then we are at 15 Conservatives and 15 Labour. With just this one to come.

We don’t think we have made any wild predictions.

However, come Friday morning (result are due by 3am approx) we could end up with results that may tie in with national polling and recent by-elections. It could be a bit like 2021 in Harlow, when Tories took seats such as Toddbrook and Mark Hall.

But if we are right, either way, we could end up with a very tight council, where just one or two councillors off ill or at work or on holiday could throw a spanner in the works.

Labour have worked this ward tirelessly. They know how important it is.

The new ward is a mixture of Harlow Common and Staple Tye. Starting at Brooklane Field and across to Berecroft.

Our instinct would be that there is enough of the Harlow Common Ward to pull Labour through. Plus a lot of their supporters in Berecroft.

If they do, then the plus side is the return of Phil Waite who was always a very deft politician when he was last a councillor. Unflappable Phil was always very impressive as the chair of planning.

His other two colleagues are completely unknown to us. So we shall see.

As for the Tories. Alastair Gunn has a highly regarded and well earned reputation. We know that might sound strange but we got the impression that he takes the role of the local ward councillor really seriously. Perhaps because he has a sense of duty and civic responsibility. We know the people of Berecroft speak very highly of him.

Fellow Tories John Steer has been solid and Stacy Seales’ heart has alway been in the right place.

Once again, great to see the Greens have two candidates. This is award winning novelist Tina Higginson’s first time out. We do hope she stands again.

HAP’s Karen James has been a revelation at meetings and committees as she fires questions at the powers that be.

We think that the national picture and the voting behaviour in previous years should swing it. We look back on Mark Wilkinson (Lab) winning Harlow Common in 2023 by 62 votes. Then again, John Steer (Cons) sneaked home by 28 in Staple Tye.

But if it does leave Labour regaining the council, by such slender margins, then after all the local and national publicity of ‘Labour take Tory council in Essex heartland’ there may be questions asked regarding why it was such a narrow victory in a year where the Tories are tanking in the polls? However, that is pre judging Thursday May 2nd.

YH Prediction: Labour x 3

Latton Bush and Stewards

Alastair Gunn (Conservative)

Stacy Seales (Conservative)

John Steer (Conservative)


Tina Higginson (Green)

Jack Margetts (Green)


Luke Howard (Labour)

Peiyee O’Dell (Labour)

Phil Waite (Labour)


Karen James (Harlow Alliance Party)

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13 Comments for Ward by ward: Latton Bush and Stewards: It could all come down to this one…..:

2024-05-01 07:27:29

YH, clarication please. We have 11 wards with 3 cllrs on each, total 33. You say here that you have predicted 12 lab 12 con, add 3 here, total 27. We are missing 6.

2024-05-01 07:30:34

Just listened to the Phil Waite interview. He said nothing. As for the council finances, is he completely stupid? After being a Councillor, does he not know that all Budgets have to be balanced and signed off by responsible officers. This is the man that allowed Amazon to put their warehouse in people's gardens at Katherines. He is a bumbling fool. Vote Harlow Labour at your peril. Completely useless and clueless. By the way, why are none of the Conservative candidates interviewed? Balance?

2024-05-01 07:41:21

Was planning to give one vote to labour,one to HAP and one to greens but after reading what Michael Casey says above have decided to give two votes to labour.Really sorry greens.Had enough of harlow CONservatives lies,cover ups and general unprofessional behaviour in YH comments over these last few weeks.(apologies to decent tory councillors)Awful they only answered comments that fitted their agenda.Also thank you Michael Casey for info about labours Phil waite which decided me.Wasn't sure which one to go for.Watched YH film about him but could'nt find anything on the other two.

2024-05-01 07:50:22

After listening to Phil Waite, no way could I vote for Labour who offer nothing. All three votes for our experienced Conservative candidates. How Resident thinks Phil Waite deserves a vote is incredible.

2024-05-01 08:02:50

Sorry should have read "questions that fitted their agenda"

2024-05-01 08:12:21

The choice is pretty simple: Harlow under Labour named the "Worst Council in Essex" during COVID. Harlow under the Conservatives nominated by the independent Local Government Association for the award of "Most improved Council in England". Says it all.

David Forman
2024-05-01 08:25:42

Phil Waite is one of the few Labour candidates I have time for. He is a regional officer for the USDAW shopworkers trade union. Unflappable is spot on and he will give you a straight answer without any sugar coating. Tories Alistair Gunn and John Steer are well worth voting for.

2024-05-01 08:54:18

Bob,i don't know much about politics whereas Michael Casey clearly does.I have decided to go by what he said above.

2024-05-01 09:07:05

David Forman,feel you would have been better at answering people's questions in YH comments than You Know Who.Fairer.

2024-05-01 10:49:28

The issue of planning is one the Conservatives need to steer clear off: all we have are promises that the demolition of the town centre will be good but their plan will further accelerate the decline. High rise flats, wasting money on a badly designed new bus station, a farcical label of sustainable corridors which in fact will decimate the Stort Valley River environment and gridlock the east of the town whilst moving pah out of the town entirely into Epping district together with their stated ambition to build 132000 new homes that'll overwhelm the town for the benefit of Epping and East Herts Councils is the future. They can't even restore the market to the Market Square and were embarrassed by being forced by a bid from Newham Council into buying the block of flats near the Town Station. Time for a complete change

2024-05-01 10:56:15

Are Roy, Bob and Tim the same person? Are they a Conservative Councillor?

2024-05-01 11:02:58

Phil Waite was Head of Planning Committee when he approved putting a huge Amazon warehouse in Katherines residential area. No surprise he is not standing there. What's the plan Phil, a new Poundstretcher warehouse for Latton Common. Brown envelopes???

Nicholas Taylor
2024-05-01 11:11:44

The Harlow Alliance Party hope that residents will only cast one of their three votes, that is of course for HAP. Voting for other Parties just means that nothing will change.

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