Labour protest at rail prices hikes

LABOUR activists in Harlow went down to Harlow Town railway station on Monday morning to leaflet and speak to commuters about recent prices hikes.
It seems that a day does not go by without commuters venting their frustration about the level of service on the Harlow to Liverpool Street line.

MEP expresses frustration at missed chances for youth employment funding

THE striking of Big Ben to herald the New Year will see a further blow to the hopes of Essex unemployed youngsters, according to the Harlow’s Euro MP. Labour’s Richard Howitt MEP says that Britain is the only country in Europe still to submit a plan to access a £5 billion EU fund to help guarantee a job or training to young people out of work, the deadline for which expired on 31 December.

Harlow MP delivers his New Year message

TOGETHER, we have gone through the best of times, and the worst of times. The tragic deaths of the Shakoor family, and the recent deaths of the Ducusin family in the Philippines, being examples of real pain in our community. However during both times, Harlow came together, and the outpouring of kindness and generosity from so many in response to such terrible events shows why Harlow is a very special place, and a town that I am proud to represent as MP.

New homes boost for Harlow residents

ONE member of the family, said: “I was overwhelmed with excitement when I received the news that my bid had been successful, two weeks ago. Two days before Christmas I collected my keys from Harlow Council and I took my little boy to see his new house. His face lit up when I opened the front door, and he saw that he had an upstairs, a down stairs and a garden to play in. Our house is our dream come true and to have been given the property so close to Christmas has made this Christmas an amazing one – I feel like I have won the lottery.”

MP thanks those who worked over Christmas

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon visited Princess Alexandra Hospital and The Chocolate Run charity to thank staff and volunteers who work over the Christmas holiday. Mr Halfon said: “Every year on Christmas Day I visit a number of wards in Princess Alexandra Hospital with Harlow Hospital Radio.

Suzy Stride joins U3A for Christmas Celebration

U3A is a self-help learning organisation for the active retired. U3A offers enhancing and life changing opportunities to those who are retired and semi-retired in Harlow. It gives the opportunity to come and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery! Harlow U3A was formed in January 2008 and now has around 800 members all over 50 years old.

Halfon defends decision to vote against Foodbank motion

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has gone on the record to defend his reason for voting against a Labour motion to investigate the reason for Foodbanks. Whilst much has been written on the 269 MPs who voted against the motion. Mr Halfon has echoed other Conservative MPs such as Romford MP, Andrew Rosindell and Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price who have pointed to the wording of the motion and believed that it was less about Foodbanks and more about an opportunity to condemn government policies.

Harlow Council partial shut down set to save £150,000

SOME of Harlow Council’s services including the Civic Centre will shut down between Christmas and New Year to help save over £150,000. Arrangements are in place for residents to still access services and information online at www harlow.gov.uk and the Council can be contacted in an genuine emergency by calling 01279 446666.

Kier group warn over bogus callers

KIER Harlow has strengthened its commitment to resident safety by issuing a reminder to check the ID cards of doorstep visitors. Exercising caution is always recommended, but when the days are shorter and nights darker, the threat is more apparent. Residents are warned bogus callers could use a range of excuses to enter their home, such as needing to make an urgent phone call or asking for a drink of water, but they should not, under any circumstances, be let in without ID.

Whatever happened to the Maunds Hatch money?

RESIDENTS from the Maunds Hatch area of the town asked Harlow Council on Thursday night: “Whatever happened to the Maunds Hatch money?” The money they refer to is the proceeds arising from the sale of land at Maunds Hatch which they believed was ring-fenced in order to provide the Staple Tye area with a new community centre

Interview with Princess Alexandra boss: In good health but much to do

ON MANY occasions, when you interview top bosses from the health service, you sometimes need to call a nurse as your head is spinning from the jargon. So it was refreshing to sit down and interview Princess Alexandra chief executive Melanie Walker. Mrs Walker is very much a nurse’s nurse. That phrase can often be over-used but the photo of the younger nurse in her office pays testimony that Mrs Walker has risen through the ranks and, if legend is true, still likes to walk the wards at the Harlow hospital.

High Noon for Harlow as sheriff comes to town

FOLLOWING a reception at the Civic Centre, the High Sheriff was taken to visit the DAISY Project at Princess Alexandra Hospital, where staff delivered a presentation on the service, she then went on to visit the Harlow Council Community Safety Team. She met with team members and also visited the kennels where the team’s working dogs are housed.

Two burglaries out of 49 solved in Harlow in October

LAST MONTH, we reported that 86% of all burglaries in Harlow (April ’12-March ’13) were not solved. We thought we would have a further look into the figures, so we have taken a month (October) and have discovered that only two out of the 49 burglaries that occurred in Harlow have (to date) been solved. […]

Harlow 20/20 set to be dissolved

THEY OFTEN SAY that journalism is the art of telling people who never knew that Lord Abernethy was alive, that Lord Abernethy is dead. And do it is with the Harlow 20/20 partnership. Google it and you could be forgiven for thinking it is the racecard at Harlow Greyhounds but in fact it is a strategic partnership group, designed to discuss and chart and facilitate the development and regeneration of Harlow in the 21st century.

In defence of Latton Green Primary: “Ofsted is sweeping across Harlow like a disease.”

Ofsted is sweeping across Harlow like a disease, putting our so called ‘failing’ schools into Special Measures, so that they are forced in to becoming Academies. Although I can only speak for myself, and my children’s progress, I would urge anyone who was considering enrolling their children at Latton Green not to just take the Ofsted report as a decision maker for your choice, as it is, and always has been, in my opinion, a good school, with great staff, who have the pupils needs and education at the top of their list of priorities, unlike Ofsteds box ticking exercise which seems to be on their agenda as soon as they see a ‘Harlow’ address attached to it.

Council welcome airport report

ESSEX County Council has welcomed the report by the Davies Commission today as a clear reflection of the views expressed in this year’s county council submission report called “Flights of Fancy”. Following the release of the Davies Commission Report today, Leader of Essex County Council Councillor David Finch said:

Burnt Mill head delighted at namecheck in major education report

LAST WEEK, the head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilsher, produced his annual report on education in England. The report made for grim reading for some schools but there at the heart of the report was a great tribute to Burnt Mill Academy. The report said: “The headteacher of Burnt Mill Academy in Essex provides exceptionally strong and effective leadership, which is driving the significant improvements seen in the academy.

Harlow MP urged to call for fair funding for care reforms

ESSEX County Council has called on the county’s MPs including Harlow’s Robert Halfon, to speak out in Parliament about legislation that will see huge changes to the social care system and could cost the authority an extra £40m in the first year of implementation alone.

The Care Bill, one of the most important pieces of social care legislation since the 1940s, is being debated in Parliament today and the council has briefed MPs on the issues causing concern at County Hall.