Crippling cost of temp staff at Princess Alexandra

PRINCESS Alexandra Hospital spends half a million on costly locums because of Cameron’s A&E crisis. Understaffed A&E departments in the East of England spent £9.6million on costly locum doctors last year (2012/13) because they cannot permanently fill medical posts. This is an increase of 53% on the 2009/10, the last year Labour was in office.

Future of housing in Harlow

Harlow’s Local Plan needs to reflect the future needs of the community and businesses and to provide a framework for the consideration and assessment of planning applications. The consultation will involve asking the public and business for views on a series of development scenarios which aim to provide more housing and jobs. The consultation will also include looking at where housing could go in the town and outside the town’s borders to meet Harlow’s future needs.

Hundreds ally with Harlow Civic Society in pledge to fight M11 proposals

A PACKED St John’s Hall, Old Harlow, on Monday night paid testament to the strong feelings in the town regarding proposals for a new junction 7a on the M11.The ninety minute meeting was part of the Harlow Civic Society AGM. However, the main item afforded an opportunity for a presentation by an Essex County Council officer, input by a number of Harlow Council officers and then a number of observations by members of the Harlow community.

Police boss defends increasing police share of council tax bill

THE POLICE Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston has gone on the record to defend his proposal to increase the police share of the council tax bill by 3.5%. Mr Alston said: “Everyone in Essex has a right to expect that their taxpayer money is used in an open and transparent fashion to deliver the best, most efficient and most effective policing services possible.

Council tax increase and services cut for Harlow residents

HARLOW Council has outlined proposals to protect services from closure by increasing Council Tax by 1.49% or 6½p per week for a Band C property. Plans for the increase on Harlow Council’s share of Council Tax for 2014/15 will be recommended to Cabinet on 30 January 2014 and Council on 6 February 2014. The increase is part of the Administration’s budget proposals for 2014/15, which aim to tackle significant reductions in the Council’s grant funding from central government while protecting services residents value.

Stride slams Halfon over bankers bonus

THIS week in parliament, Labour held a debate calling on the government to use its power as majority shareholder in RBS to prevent bonuses of up to 200%. Robert Halfon MP voted against the proposal. Labour’s motion also called on the government to reform the banking sector and increase competition on the High Street.

Old Harlow Tories calls for panel to look at Junction 7

JOEL Charles, Conservative candidate for Old Harlow, is calling on Essex County Council (ECC) to set up a panel of local councillors, highways officials and local residents to find a better solution to a new junction with the motorway. Whilst visiting the local consultation events in Old Harlow with local Councillors Mike Garnett, Sue Livings and Muriel Jolles, Joel listened to residents’ views on the three options put forward by ECC. The majority view was that the preferred routes would make traffic flow worse and not better in Old Harlow.

Essex County Council meetings

ESSEX COUNTY Council meetings this week are:

Cabinet, Tuesday 21 January, from 10am, Committee Room 1 Members and Officers Foreign Travel Committee, Tuesday 21 January, from 10.30am (or after Cabinet), Committee Room 1.

Halfon backs increase in the minimum wage

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon has continued to back calls for an increase in the minimum wage. Mr Halfon said: “As many readers may have already heard, George Osborne told the BBC yesterday that he supported an above-inflation increase in the National Minimum Wage, and will be recommending this to the Low Pay Commission.

Harlow businesses lauded for inspiring students

BUSINESSES from Harlow have been recognised by Essex County Council at a special celebration event. The event, held at County Hall on Tuesday 14 January 2014 saw 27 businesses recognised for the support they have provided to the Essex Education and Industry STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme.

Halfon campaigning for the Bingo Clubs

This punitive tax is causing many Bingo Clubs to close every year, all over England and that is why I am urging the Government to reduce Bingo duty and ensure a level playing field. A tax cut to 15% would cost the Treasury between £20-25 million, but this money would easily be recouped by the extra £300 million they would receive from taxing online gambling.

Plans for Gilston move forward

EAST Herts Council is to move forward with development plans for up to 10,000 homes in the Gilston area. The district council’s draft development plan stresses that Bishop’s Stortford’s projected need is for 5,380 homes by 2031. Of these, the document says, 4,634 can be met in the Hertfordshire town. However, the rest is set […]

Advice for high-income child benefit parents

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging high-income Child Benefit parents who have not yet submitted their tax return to take action now, or face penalties. Parents with incomes above £50,000 who continued to receive Child Benefit after 7 January 2013 have to pay a tax charge. This is based on their incomes and how much Child Benefit they received in the 2012-13 tax year.

Undercover litter cop pledges to hit Harlow bugs hard

THE officer, who has been employed since October 2013, carries out daily patrols of the town working alongside Kier Harlow’s street cleansing team. The role concentrates on identifying households and businesses which have dumped rubbish or let litter spill out on to the streets, with the aim to minimise repeat offences. This is helping the street cleansing teams be more efficient and to get round the town quickly to keep it tidy.

Diary of a stay at home dad: Week Thirty Three

ON a serious note I’m becoming less useful to my beautiful girls as each day passes at the most popular saying in my house right now is ‘’I can do it myself Dad” with my response being ‘’I’m only trying to help you” I guess this is their first steps towards independence and I can tell you it doesn’t feel very nice, as parents we can often moan with the constant things we are always doing for our children and then the day comes when you hear the words ‘’I can do it myself” and it leaves a little uncomfortable feeling that your little one is not so little anymore and they won’t always be small and embarrass you in public.

M11 at centre of Harlow Civic Society AGM

PROPOSALS for a new M11 junction will come under scrutiny at Harlow Civic Society’s annual general meeting, to be held at St John’s ARC, Market Street, Old Harlow, next Tuesday (Jan 21), at 7.30pm. Essex Highways Authority, Harlow Council and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (Essex) have been invited to explain and discuss the proposals, and the meeting is open to all.

Harlow now open for the Big Switch

REGISTRATION is now open for the Essex Energy Switch – a new community scheme which aims to get Essex residents a better deal on their gas and electricity bills. The scheme is being run by Essex County Council in partnership with District, Borough and City councils, and delivered by iChoosr, an independent provider which specialises in collective energy switching.

Epping pilot scheme for benefit fraud may be rolled out to Harlow

BENEFITS fraudsters and those receiving more than they are entitled to are being targeted by a pilot scheme running in Epping Forest. The district is one of six areas across the country to carry the Government’s posters, adverts, Facebook images and letters to claimants urging people to report suspected benefit fraud or changes to their circumstances.

Essex County Council meetings calendar

Essex Health and Wellbeing Board, Tuesday 14 January, from 2pm, Council Chamber, Rochford District Council, Civic Suite Essex Fire Policy & Strategy Committee, Wednesday 15 January, from 10am, Fire Service HQ People and Families Scrutiny Committee, Thursday 16 January, from 10am, Committee Room 1

Axed Pupil Unit is improving says Ofsted

Improve the behaviour and safety of the pupils by: – providing a learning environment that stimulates and challenges all
pupils to engage successfully in all lessons – ensuring that staff and pupils conform to the centre’s rules and
procedures – making sure that all teachers comply with policies and procedures to ensure the safety of all pupils.