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Paddling pools to be upgraded to 'Splash Parks'

10.07am - 21st July 2018

HARLOW Council's five concrete paddling pools are to be replaced with 'Splash Parks' over the next two years. 

Paddling pools in Bush Fair, Norman Booth (Old Harlow), Staple Tye, Sumners and the Town Park will be replaced. 

Currently the town has one popular Splash Park at Potter Street. 

The new Splash Parks will be built in a staged replacement programme and as well as being open to the public for longer than the current six-week holidays, they will have lower maintenance and running costs than the paddling pools. 

Splash Parks are run on recirculated water which is filtered and treated with chlorine to ensure they are clean and safe. 

The council says they provide a safe and fun activity for children aged 12 and under and can be switched on and off in line with the weather forecast. 

Community and wellbeing portfolio holder Eugenie Harvey said: "It’s no exaggeration to describe Harlow’s five paddling pools as ‘iconic’. They’re one of the first things people mention when we ask them what they love about our town and we often hear of parents who played in them as small children bringing their own children to play in them today. 

"For this reason we’re very excited to announce this investment which will see the existing facilities upgraded to modern Splash Parks.

"Not only will these new facilities offer an improved experience, they will be cheaper to run, safer to manage, better for the environment and available for use for considerably longer. 

"Splash Parks have proved to be extremely popular in other areas and we’re excited to offer our residents this experience on their own doorsteps. 

"Every child will have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful summer holiday even if they do not leave Harlow; a day at the Splash Park will be completely free of charge. 

"Later this month we will announce our new Health and Wellbeing strategy through which we hope to get every resident out and about enjoying the fresh air and natural beauty of our town. 

"The Splash Parks, which are all located within playgrounds and parkland, will make a wonderful destination for a family picnic or day long outing." 

The council's cabinet agreed to put aside £750,000 from an underspend in its 2017-18 budgets and will use other funds to pay for the splash parks initiative which will be put out to competitive tender. 

The project will begin after this year’s paddling pool season.

Boy, 17, arrested after M11 pursuit

10.15am - 15th July 2018

A BOY has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, theft of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence and having no insurance and licence following a pursuit on the M11 near Harlow. 

Police signalled to a vehicle to stop at about 12.50pm on Friday. 

The car drove off at speed and used the hard shoulder before officers managed to box the vehicle in to bring the pursuit to a safe stop. 

A 17-year-old boy, from Waltham Cross, has since been released under investigation.

Schoolgirl hailed a 'hospice hero'

9.44am - 11th July 2018

A HARLOW primary school pupil has been hailed a 'hospice hero' after organising a cake sale which raised £149.50 for St Clare Hospice. 

Maisy Spencer, seven, who attends Churchgate Street Primary School, took her parents by surprise when she said she wanted to hold an event for the hospice in honour of her grandad, Chris, who was cared for at the Hospice in 2006, before Maisy was born. 

Mum Lucy said: "We were overwhelmed when Maisy suddenly announced that she wanted to make and sell cakes for St Clare because they looked after Grandad. 

"Maisy is such a caring child, and always sees the good in everything. 

"She was inspired to raise money for the hospice because we are often talking about her grandad, and how special the nurses at St Clare are, and so she wanted to do something to thank them - even so many years on." 

St Clare Community Fundraising Lead Dani De’ath said: "We were so delighted to hear that Maisy held a bake sale for us - coming up with the whole idea for the event herself. 

"Her neighbours were even asking her to bake extra cakes so they could donate to St Clare! 

"It is the perfect example of the wonderful community spirit and dedication which St Clare was built upon, and on which we still rely today. 

"We truly are a local hospice built and funded by local people, for local people. 

"We are so grateful for the support of our communities without which we wouldn’t be able to continue to provide our compassionate care, free of charge, to those families who need us. 

"Thank you Maisy - we think you are a hospice hero!"

Police donate toiletries to Safer Places

9.39am - 11th July 2018

POLICE officers have donated more than 500 items of toiletries to women and children in refuge in Harlow. 

Six boxes of cosmetic items were handed to Safer Places, a charity dedicated to women, men and children affected by domestic abuse, following donations from Essex Police officers and staff. 

PC Tristan Carter, who collected the items on behalf of Harlow’s domestic abuse team, said: "Refuges provide women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse a place where they can stay free from fear. 

"Sometimes these women and children flee to a refuge without a moment’s notice leaving all their worldly possessions behind. These are the kind of possessions that we all take for granted such as clothing or toiletries. 

"I started this collection as I wanted to make a positive impact in the area of policing that I work. 

"I am fortunate enough to be in a situation where I can help those in need and if this collection manages to have a positive impact on even just one person then it has been worth it."

MP helps celebrate 70th anniversary of NHS

9.35am - 11th July 2018

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon celebrated the 70th birthday of the NHS at the Harvey Centre in Harlow. 

The event was part of country-wide celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. 

Staff from Princess Alexandra Hospital and a number of health care providers in the constituency also attended. 

Mr Halfon said: "In its 70th year, I've been working hard to protect our NHS and bring healthcare in Harlow into the 21st Century. 

"In Parliament, my campaign continues to get capital funding for a new hospital health campus in Harlow. In fact, in June, I brought the issue to debate in the House of Commons. 

"The hospital health campus would bring together A&E services, GP provision, social care, physiotherapy and a centre for Degree Apprenticeships in nursing and healthcare in state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities. 

"I await the Government's decision on new hospital capital funding, due this autumn. 

"On top of this I was glad to hear recently of the millions of pounds being newly invested in the East of England Ambulance Service to increase the number of ambulances available to patients in Harlow. 

"I’ve also been doing all I can to push the Government to scrap hospital car parking charges at NHS hospitals in England. I’ve been campaigning for this change since 2014. 

"The Government brought in guidance to introduce concessionary rates and limit the effects of the charges on the most vulnerable. The trouble is, none of the hospitals have to listen. 

"I’ve launched a petition to bring the issue back to Parliament and will continue to urge the Government to bring an end to this stealth tax, once and for all.

"'Protecting Our NHS' has been one of my priorities since being elected as Harlow's MP. NHS staff work so hard every day in Harlow.

"I will continue to do all I can to support them and ensure that Harlow residents have access to 21st Century healthcare."

Two men to face manslaughter charge

4.50pm - 5th July 2018

TWO men have been summonsed to appear at court after a man died following an assault in Harlow.

Anton Collins, 26, of Hookfield, Harlow, and Jack Jordan, 24, of Davenport, Harlow, are due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court next Wednesday (July 11). 

Both will face a charge for manslaughter, and Collins will also answer a charge of causing actual bodily harm. 

Police were called after a fight at the Poplar Kitten pub in Tawneys Road shortly after 10.40pm on Thursday, August 17 last year. 

Andrew Watt, 48, of Bush Fair, Harlow, suffered a head injury and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he died on Saturday, August 19.

Views sought over future of town centre

8.56am - 1st July 2018

PUBLIC consultation on how Harlow town centre should develop in future has started.

Harlow Council is creating an Area Action Plan which will guide the future regeneration and redevelopment of Harlow town centre. 

Over the last year the council has been working with consultants and stakeholders to produce an Issues and Options report that represents the first stage of formal consultation for the plan. 

The report identifies the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the town centre and sets out different options for the plan to consider and explore. 

Although the council does not own most of the buildings in the town centre, the plan will guide how future planning applications are decided, how the centre develops in future and the regeneration activity that will take place. 

To help create the plan the council wants to know what residents, shoppers, businesses, land owners and organisations think is best for the town centre. 

The consultation runs until August 10. A series of consultation events and exhibitions will be taking place at various locations and include staffed events: 

Wednesday, July 4 (11am–1pm) - Harlow Civic Centre, The Water Gardens 

Thursday, July 5 (1pm–3pm) - Tye Green Library 

Wednesday, July 11 (10.30am-1pm) - Harlow College 

Thursday, July 12 (3pm-5pm) - Staple Tye Library 

Saturday, July 14 (11am–3pm) - Broad Walk, Harlow Town Centre (part of the Heart for Harlow Charities Fair) 

Tuesday, July 17 (2pm-4.30pm) - Harlow Leisurezone 

Friday, July 20 (10.30am–12.30pm) - Church Langley Community Centre

Friday, July 27 (1pm–3pm) - Learning Centre, Harlow Town Park 

Tuesday, July 31 (2pm–4pm) - Harlow Civic Centre, The Water Gardens 

Unstaffed exhibitions: 

July 9-11 - St John’s Arc, Old Harlow 

July 19-21 - The Museum of Harlow.

Consultation and exhibition materials along with the Issues and Options report are available online and comments can be submitted at www.harlow.gov.uk/aap

Further events are planned and dates and venues for these will appear on the website. 

Environment portfolio holder Danny Purton said: "We are committed to helping to create a vibrant, sustainable and successful town centre and we’re demonstrating this commitment by developing a separate Area Action Plan. 

"The plan will sit alongside the Local Development Plan as an important planning document and means we can focus attention on the development and investment opportunities that are unique to Harlow town centre. 

"We want to see a transformation of the town centre as place not just for the benefit of our existing residents but looking towards the 2030s when the town's population will have grown significantly. 

"It is important that through this stage of consultation we get the views of as many residents, businesses, landowners and stakeholders as possible to inform and help develop the plan." 

Regeneration portfolio holder John Strachan said: "Over the years there has been much debate about Harlow town centre and the need for regeneration. 

"Undoubtedly it plays an important role as both a retail and leisure destination for Harlow and the surrounding areas but more increasingly as a place to live. 

"By creating the Area Action Plan we can take control in establishing the town centre’s regeneration aspirations, guiding development and promoting the investment opportunities that exist. 

"With so many developments in the pipeline including the Enterprise Zone, Public Health England’s National Science Hub and the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, the town is seeing and benefiting from major investment and growth. 

"This plan is key to ensuring that Harlow town centre is ready to meet these future opportunities and once again become a vibrant place in the heart of the community." 

All feedback and comments gathered as part of the consultation will help inform the development of the plan. 

It is hoped that the draft plan will be published and further consulted on early next year. Once adopted the Harlow Town Centre Area Action Plan will replace existing policies relevant to the town centre as set out in the 2006 Harlow Local Plan.

Art cafe raises charity cash

8.54am - 1st July 2018

AN art café has been set up by Year 9, 10 and 11 students at Burnt Mill Academy to raise money for charity. 

Ninety art, photography, textiles and food technology students have been working on the event and had to design a project which would raise money, and justify why they had chosen the charity they had. 

They presented their ideas to the class and a panel of judges selected what they thought were the best ideas. 

The Art Café - the first of its kind at the school - was open on two days where students displayed and sold their artwork, took commissions and held a cake sale to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and RSPCA. 

ADT teacher Siobhan Brignal said: "This project was a great success. It was an opportunity for students to give to charities which they had personal experiences with and were passionate about." 

Year 9 student Ava Robertson-Gray said: "We chose to support the Alzheimer’s Society because my step-grandad died of Alzheimer’s over a year ago. 

"He was in a care home for four years as we slowly lost him. I cherished every moment I had with him and chose the charity in memory of him. 

"It is a very important charity to me as they can help other families and people going through and suffering from the disease." 

The event raised a total of £176.80.

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