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Police seize live ammunition
20th January 2019
TWO women have been arrested after police
executed a warrant in Harlow.
Officers went to an address in Dadswood at about
6.30am yesterday (Saturday) and discovered drugs
phones, paraphernalia and live ammunition.
Two women from Harlow, aged 19 and 37, were
arrested on suspicion of possession with the
intent to supply drugs.
Enquiries are ongoing.
Council seeks meeting over library
19th January 2019
HARLOW Council has written to Essex
County Council calling for the proposed closure
of libraries in Harlow to be reconsidered.
The joint letter from council leader Mark Ingall
and opposition leader Andrew Johnson has been
sent to cabinet member Susan Barker and copied
to county council leader David Finch and seeks a
meeting to discuss concerns over the possible
Essex County Council is carrying out public
consultation on plans for future library
services across Essex until February 20.
The letter follows a unanimous vote of Harlow
Council which agreed a letter would be sent to
the county council urging it to keep all of
Harlow’s libraries open.
The letter states: "The planned closure of
the Tier 4 libraries at Tye Green and Mark Hall,
and the probable closure of the Tier 3 library
at Great Parndon, would represent a hammer blow
to communities in Harlow.”
It adds: "Whilst accepting footfall in
libraries has fallen, those users that remain
are reliant on the services that they
"The skilled staff in libraries help foster
a love of reading in the young, provide a quiet
study area for older children and can recommend
reading material for the elderly, but libraries
provide much more beside.
"Libraries provide access to free
broadband, a vital tool for those looking for
work, updating Universal Credit applications,
applying for school places, even booking school
"While many of us can do these things from
the comfort of our homes, the least well off in
society that cannot afford broadband at home
"Libraries also provide important meeting
points for the community.
"Social isolation, particularly that of
young mothers, people on limited incomes, and
the elderly, is a national concern. It creates
costs for other services, especially those
associated with mental health.
"It is the cost to the individuals which of
greatest concern though.
"Libraries provide a warm, safe meeting
place which is free at the point of use. This
makes libraries an essential service in
combatting social isolation which should not and
cannot be cut in any attempt to make
"Libraries are also used as community hubs,
occasional gallery spaces and for public
"Harlow’s county councillors even use our
libraries to hold some of their surgeries.
"We would urge you to look at the approach
of other councils who have adapted the service
their libraries provide.
"We understand our libraries need to
change, but this cannot be achieved if they are
Council proposes council tax rise
and rent reduction
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.”
Work planned for pond
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
Beds boost for hospital
8.41am - 2nd
ADDITIONAL inpatient beds are to be
provided at Princess Alexandra Hospital thanks
to a £9.5m boost in Government funding.
The hospital hopes the additional bed space will
help meet demand and reduce waiting times in the
Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust chief
executive Lance McCarthy said: “It is great
news for local people that we have been
successful in securing an additional £9.5m of
capital monies for 2019-20 as part of the recent
national capital allocation.
"This will be used to further improve and
increase inpatient capacity of the Harlow site
as we continue to expand and develop our
facilities to meet the needs of our patients.”
Employment Minister visits
8.40am - 2nd
EMPLOYMENT Minister Alok Sharma visited
Harlow JobCentre with Harlow MP Robert Halfon.
They toured the building and paid close
attention to the Universal Credit area before
they spoke with staff to understand how
Universal Credit has helped the people of Harlow
since its rollout in July 2017.
Mr Sharma noted that while Universal Credit had
not been without its teething issues, the help
that it is now providing is great to see.
Mr Sharma added: "I’ve had a great visit
with Rob Halfon to the local Jobcentre in
"It’s been great talking to the work
coaches and understanding from them the really
positive difference that Universal Credit is
making to the lives of some of the most
vulnerable people who are getting the one-to-one
support which is so important.”
Mr Halfon said: "I was really pleased to
invite Alok Sharma to see Harlow’s Jobcentre.
They are doing extraordinary work and have had
great results with employment in Harlow and
getting jobs for thousands of people across our
"The staff are second to none and are doing
everything possible to help those moving to
Universal Credit and who have other needs.
"I believe the Harlow Jobcentre is one of
the best Jobcentres in the country by leading
the way in the work that they are doing with the
most vulnerable in our community.
"I want to thank and congratulate all the
staff for the work that they’re doing."