17th January 2019
HARLOW Council’s 2019-20 budget
proposals will protect services, protect jobs
and create new apprenticeships, the council
The budget to be recommended to cabinet next
Thursday (January 24) and full council on
February 7 proposes a 2% increase in council tax
- an extra 9p a week (£4.84 a year) for a Band
The proposals include no redundancies, cuts or
closures to any council-run services, long-term
funding for Pets’ Corner, the creation of 11
apprenticeship jobs across the council, funding
for Harlow Carnival, Bonfire and Fireworks Night
and Christmas lights in the town centre, more
money to prevent homelessness, a freeze on
council-owned car park charges for the sixth
successive year and one-hour free parking to
continue in neighbourhood shopping centres and
in the Town Park.
A 1% rent reduction for council tenants is
proposed by the council which says it will
continue to protect housing services and make
plans to build more Council housing.
The average weekly housing rent will go down
from £90.74 to £89.84.
Funding also continues to be put aside for any
further fire safety measures to council-managed
tower blocks once the Grenfell Tower Public
Inquiry has concluded.
The budget also includes provision for a
proposed increase of £8,000 in the overall
allowances budget for cuncillors following an
independent panel’s recommendation to increase
the basic allowances and special responsibility
allowances for councillors.
If agreed by the council it will be the first
increase in the basic councillor allowance since
2010. In 2019-20, £600,000 of savings are
proposed to meet reductions in funding and other
The 2% Council Tax increase will generate about
£140,000 for the council.
Resources portfolio holder councillor Mike
Danvers said: “We will do everything we can to
protect services, protect council jobs and
invest in improving opportunities for Harlow.
With this proposed budget we are doing all
“The Government has continued to cut our
funding and it has been hard to protect services
and jobs over the years.
"Over the last 12 years the council has had
to save over £21m to meet government funding
cuts. I am pleased we can propose another budget
which protects all services, our employees’
jobs and creates new jobs and opportunities for
Council leader Mark Ingall said: “This budget
is good news for Harlow, for protecting services
and jobs and creating new apprenticeships, 11
apprentices that will be paid a proper living
wage and not the minimum wage.
"These will be opportunities for local
people to start a career working for their town
“When protecting services this means no cuts
to things like cleaning the streets, grass
cutting, community safety, environmental health
and waste and recycling services. But it also
means we will continue to provide a range of
much-loved services, facilities and events for
families like the Playhouse, open spaces and
parks, playgrounds, the paddling pools,
fireworks night, Pets’ Corner, the street
carnival and services like the Leah Manning
Centre which provides essential daycare for
older people in the town.
“We don’t want to put Council Tax up at any
time but you have to make these decisions when
there is uncertainty over the future of funding
from Government and when you want to help
protect services and jobs from any cuts.”
A TRANQUIL beauty spot and fishing
facility in Harlow is to be restored.
Work at Netteswell Pond, off Second Avenue, will
be carried out with funding from Harlow Council
and Essex County Council.
The project follows the similar restoration over
the last two years of Oakwood Pond. Starting
this month, the project will aim to cause as
little disturbance as possible to wildlife,
particularly the fishing stock.
The restoration includes cutting back large
willow trees, which are in danger of collapsing
into the pond, as well as scrub and brambles
that have been overwhelming the pond area over
the past decade.
The pond will be drained and desilted and excess
reeds cleared from areas that have become
A renewed sluice will also see the water-holding
capacity of the pond greatly increased. This
will provide additional flood defences for
Harlow businesses and residents.
Fishing platforms will be rebuilt and old broken
benches renewed and litter bins replaced.
There will be new signs highlighting the
wildlife in the area and fishing rules.
The island in the middle of the pond will be
rebuilt, providing opportunities for ducks to
nest. New and colourful marginal plants will
also be established.
The current fish stock will be removed and
safely stored in holding tanks during the work
and will be returned when water levels are
restored. It is anticipated fishing will return
in early summer.
Environment portfolio holder Danny Purton said:
"I am delighted that at the beginning of
the new year we can announce this new project to
bring life back to one of Harlow’s iconic pond
"The pond holds fond memories for local
people and it should become a place to be proud
of once again so new memories can be created for
"I know residents will agree that this area
is in need of some TLC to create a pleasant
environment where families and local people can
relax and play.”
The project has been made possible thanks to
funding from both Harlow Council’s flood
protection budget and Essex County Council’s
Community Flood Improvement Fund.
The work will be carried out by staff from the
Council and HTS, specialised contractors and