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Winter 2015

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Page 3

Page 4

ew figures reveal that


unemployment in
Harlow has been
slashed by half.

Statistics released last month show


that since 2010, the number of
people claiming Job Seekers
Allowance has fallen by 53%.

obert Halfon MP has


spoken out in support
of Harlows Accident &
Emergency Department after it
saw a sharp rise in admissions
during the winter months.

Harlows unemployment rate is


now below the national average,
despite it being significantly
higher than this in 2010.
Youth unemployment also
continues to fall, with a 56%
decrease since the last Labour
Government left office and a 106%
rise in apprenticeships.
Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow,
has said that he is especially
pleased with these figures and
paid tribute to Harlow College and
other training providers offering
support to local young people.
Robert said: This Government
has invested heavily in skills and
vocational education.
Initiatives such as the Sir Charles
Kao University Technical College,
which opened last September
after I helped secure the necessary
funding, are incredibly important.
They are giving young people the
skills they need to support
themselves and get on in life.
Harlows success is reflected
nationally, where the number of

Robert Halfon MP meeting local residents and


businesses at his latest Harlow Jobs Fair
people claiming unemployment
benefit is at its lowest level since
June 2008.
Three quarters of the people
in work since 2010 are in full
time jobs, and full time
positions account for 83% of
the employment created in
2014.
Since being elected in 2010, Robert
has worked hard to boost local
businesses and help Harlow
residents get back into work.
For three years in a row, he has
organised an annual Jobs Fair.
Im 10 months into a job I got at
@halfon4harlowMPs Jobs Fair! Hope
other people are as lucky too!
- @ereedtac, local resident

Each event took up to six months


to plan and was supported entirely

by local volunteers. All three events


saw thousands of people pass
through the doors, either looking
for employment or a change of
career.
The Fairs have been highly
successful, with many local
residents finding long-term
employment and training
opportunities as a result.
Went to @halfon4harlowMPs Jobs Fair It was great, gave out a few CVs &
hopefully a job will come out of this!
- @Nishall95, local resident

Commenting on the figures, Robert


said: Its great news that Harlow
unemployment has been halved.

Figures show that Princess


Alexandra is one of the busiest
hospitals in the country, with
significantly more patients per bed
than bigger London hospitals.
The number of ambulances arriving
at PAH has also increased, with
double the number of day
admissions than two years ago and
one in five ambulances coming from
outside the local area.
Robert Halfon has raised the issue
extensively in the House of
Commons, with both the Health
Secretary and the Hospitals
Minister.
In response, the Government
confirmed that 4 million of winter
resilience funding would be provided
to West Essex.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3...

Although it has been tough, I am


working hard to bring investment
and jobs back to Harlow. Im glad
that my three Jobs Fairs have had
such a positive impact.

Promoted by Simon Carter on behalf of Harlow Conservatives, all of Kao Hockham House, Edinburgh Way, Harlow CM20 2NQ

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2 | Harlow Sun

Community News
H

arlow Conservatives
have spoken out
against another Council Tax
rise introduced by the
Labour-run administration.
Church Langley Councillor and
Leader of the Harlow
Conservative group, Andrew
Johnson, said, Once again
Labour have shown they have no
long-term plan for Harlow.

they are still hiking taxes for


ordinary local residents.
A Conservative majority at
Harlow Council would freeze
Council Tax and properly
manage local finances.

Although the Council has


argued that the tax rise is being
used to switch local street lights
back on, Harlow MP Robert
Halfon had already suggested
Despite Government funding
other funding streams that could
being available to the Council,
have been used (read more on
such as the Big Society Fund and Page 4).
a 985,000 New Homes Bonus,

ld Harlow Councillor
Sue Livings has been
reselected as the
Conservative candidate for
her local area for the
upcoming May elections.

I made sure that new trees were


planted along Priory Avenue, as
local residents want to see the
rural setting of Old Harlow
maintained.

Sue commented, I am delighted


to have been selected to stand
again for Old Harlow.

The verges in St Johns


Avenue are in a poor state due to
constant parking churning up
the ground and gouging out deep
ruts.

I have lived here for decades


and, if re-elected, I will continue
to work hard for our
neighbourhood and help to
maintain the special character of
this part of Harlow.
As local residents may have
noticed, in a surprise move last
Spring, Harlow Council removed
equipment from the playground
behind Elmbridge.
Working with her fellow Old
Harlow Councillors, Joel Charles
and Muriel Jolles, Sue ensured
that the playground was restored
with new equipment as soon as
possible and that the footpath
was repaired.

This is unsightly and


dangerous. Residents should do
their bit to maintain the
appearance of their area but the
council needs to set an example
and encourage safe and proper
parking.
Additionally, Sue has welcomed
the recent announcement by the
Conservative-led Government
that an extra 50 million is to be
spent on Junction 7 of the M11.

Sue concluded, Ive met many


Old Harlow residents already
and I aim to call on
everyone before May. If you
want to contact me about an
issue, please send me a message
Councillor Livings was also quick at www.harlowto act following the loss of trees
conservatives.co.uk/get-inalong Priory Avenue and spoke
touch.
out against damaging parking in
St Johns Avenue.

he Conservative caseworker
and local election candidate
in Sumners & Kingsmoor, Clive
Souter, has been busy talking to
residents on the doorstep and
listening to their concerns.

encampments in Harlow.

Clive has been helping to fill in for


Sumners & Kingsmoor Councillor,
Nick Churchill, who has been
recovering from a recent illness.

Clive commented, Also high on my


list of priorities is getting the areas
worst pot holes patched up, such as
those in Brockles Mead, The Maples
and the road leading into Hull
Grove.

Clive says, I was delighted to be


selected to stand for this ward. If Im
elected, I will be able to take
residents concerns directly to the
Council, such as their opposition to
the Sumners West housing
development.

He is helping to maintain pressure on


the Council and Essex Police until a
proper resolution is found (read
more on Page 4).

Although the first two have already


been identified by Essex County
Council as two of the top 100 areas
in Harlow in need of road repair,
there is still more work to be done.

When the street lights at the Barbara


Castle Health Centre cycle track
stopped working, Clive reacted
quickly by reporting the fault to the
Council and ensured they were
repaired.
Clive has also seen more rubbish bins
installed on the Sumners &
Kingsmoor playing field and is
working closely with MP Robert
Halfon to tackle the illegal

by-election has been called


in the Harlow ward of
Mark Hall following the
resignation of a UKIP
Councillor.
The election is due to be held on the
12th February and Jane Steer, the
Conservative candidate, said, It has
been eight years since someone
actually living in the ward was
elected to represent Mark Hall.
It is time that Mark Hall was
represented by someone who lives in
the area, cares about it and can get
things done.
I have lived here for over twenty
years and have been active in the
local community through its church,
police community meetings and
tenant panels with Harlow Council.

Conservative caseworker
Clive Souter (second right)
with local volunteers.

infirm residents.
Jane also helped secure additional
parking for residents in Cooks
Spinney, Dovehouse Croft and
Vicarage Wood, and frequently
reports pavement defects and
potholes to the Council.
By working alongside fellow
residents, I have seen real change
come to our neighbourhood.
I hope I will have the opportunity to
represent Mark Hall on Harlow
Council but, in the meantime, if you
need something done in Mark Hall,
you know who to contact.

Over the years Jane has successfully


campaigned for a number of
improvements to Mark Hall.

Old Harlow Cllrs Sue Livings & Joel Charles at the


Elmbridge playground (left) and in Priory Avenue (right).

They include her efforts to bring an


Aldi supermarket to the area and
getting a pedestrian crossing installed
outside the Nuffield House surgery,
to ensure the safety of elderly and

Jane Steer at the Nuffield


House crossing, which she
campaigned for.

Harlow Sun | 3 ..

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1


This money has already helped fund
another 20 beds in Harlow.
Following the announcement,
Robert said, Its encouraging to
hear that extra funding has been
provided, as it was last year, and I
hope this investment will be used to
address the Hospitals current
resource difficulties.
However, this must translate into
a visible improvement for patients
and staff, and I have already met
with the Chief Executive at PAH to
discuss this.
In response to one of Roberts
Parliamentary questions, the Health
Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has also
agreed to visit the Hospital
personally.
Since 2010, the National Health
Service has seen an extra 12.7

billion put into its budget, which


has already provided a number of
improvements at Princess
Alexandra.
These include a 1 million upgrade
to its eye clinic, a new kidney
dialysis unit, a new childrens
Accident & Emergency centre, an
upgraded maternity unit and a new
Short Stay Assessment centre.
Citing his own experience with the
Health Service, Robert said, As a
child, I frequently found myself as a
patient in Great Ormond Street.
Without the doctors, I may not
have been able to walk.
The Shadow Labour Health
Minister, Liz Kendall, may support
privatisation in the NHS, but I am
proud of our Health Service and
will do everything I can to support
it.

Robert Halfon and Felipe meeting Harlow College


Carpentry and Joinery apprentices

star of hit BBC One


programme The
Apprentice came to Harlow
on the 12th January after he
was invited by local MP,
Robert Halfon.
Felipe Alviar-Baquero, who made
it all the way to week nine of The
Apprentice, started his day in
Harlow by visiting the brand-new
Sir Charles Kao University
Technical College (UTC).
The UTC offers free vocational
and academic courses for students
aged 14-19, specialising in science,
computing and medicine.
It opened its doors in September
2014 after Robert Halfon helped
secure the 10 million of
Government investment needed.
Students there presented Felipe
with business models they had

Robert Halfon with NHS staff at Princess Alexandra


Hospital on Christmas Day 2014

ocal MP Robert Halfon has


welcomed the
Governments announcement
that 128 million has been
made available to tackle
potholes in Essex.
This investment is part of a 6
billion national effort to cut the
number of defects on Englands
roads, as well as maintain curbs and
pavements.
Robert, who is campaigning on the
issue of potholes in Harlow and has
personally reported local defects to
the Council, asserted, This is great
news for local motorists.
This Government has already
spent 1 billion more on road
maintenance than the last Labour
administration.

designed themselves before


hearing his feedback and taking
part in a Question and Answer
session with the entrepreneur.
Afterwards, he met with
carpentry, joinery and business
administration apprentices at
Harlow College.
Robert Halfon, who has hired
three Harlow College apprentices
himself said, Im very grateful
that the College helped arrange
our visit.
I met Felipe towards the end of
last year and realised that we
both have a strong commitment
towards boosting
apprenticeships and skills.
Since 2010, apprenticeships in
Harlow have increased by 106%
and youth unemployment is down
by more than a half.

Very proud of our students for pitching their ideas - thank you
for a great visit @FelipeABaquero @halfon4harlowMP

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN HELPING


ROBERT HALFON?
The Department of Transport has
said there is enough money to fix up
to 18 million potholes across the
country over the next six years.
The announcement also follows a
previous funding commitment from
Essex County Council, who have
invested 17.5 million into highways
repair, targeting 700 of the countys
most damaged roads.
This includes 100 roads in Harlow,
such as Parnall Road, The
Hornbeams and Pyenest Road.
Robert concluded by saying, I will
continue to work hard on this issue.
Please let me know if there are any
serious potholes that you are aware
of, and would like the Council to
deal with.

Thank you for efforts on potholes...I think you are the best thing politically that has
ever happened to Harlow - Local resident

GET IN TOUCH!
EMAIL: halfon4harlow@roberthalfon.com
TEL:
01279 312 195

COME AND JOIN ROBERT AND


OTHER HARLOW RESIDENTS AS
THEY CAMPAIGN ON IMPORTANT
LOCAL ISSUES!

4 | Harlow Sun

obert Halfon has said he is pleased


with a decision by Essex County
Council that could see an end to part-night
street lighting in Harlow.
Last year, in order to
help balance their
budget, Essex County
Council began
switching off certain
street lights in Harlow
between the hours of
12am - 5am.

Harlow Council has


received over
700,000 from the
Government as part of
its New Homes Bonus
and I wanted to know
whether this could be
used to fund our local
street lights, Robert
This soon became a key explained.
concern for local
residents and Robert
Harlow Council has
raised the subject
since agreed to provide
multiple times with the the 100,000
Government and had
necessary as part of
repeated discussions
their 2015 budget, but
with Essex County
via a 1.5% Council Tax
Council.
rise.
After exploring a
number of options,
Robert asked Essex
County Council
whether they would
allow a separate
authority to fund the
service, and switch the
lights back on.

Although I believe
that there were ways
other than a Council
Tax rise to switch the
lights back on, its good
that some progress has
been made on this
issue, Robert said.

arlows MP met with


representatives from
Essex Police last month in
order to discuss the
remaining illegal
encampments in Harlow.
With up to a dozen caravans
still parked illegally across the
town, Robert Halfon met with
the Chief Constable of Essex
Police, Stephen Kavanagh, and
the Police and Crime
Commissioner, Nick Alston.
Since October 2013, caravans
have been unlawfully parked
on green verges, roundabouts,
cycle tracks and school
grounds across the town.

Immigration routes
have been tightened
and arrivals from
outside the EU are
down to their lowest
levels in a decade.
Public services are also
being protected with
new rules for social
housing and claiming
benefits.
New proposals to curb
EU migration,
announced by David
Cameron, include
preventing migrants
from claiming key
benefits for the first
four years and
removing those who do
not have a job within
six months from the
UK.
Already in Harlow, you
can only join the social
housing list if youve
been a resident for five
years or more.

This follows successful


efforts since 2010 to
reform the family visa
route, crack down on
bogus colleges and
ensure that no-one can
come to this country
and expect to get
benefits immediately.
Harlow MP Robert
Halfon has said, We
are clamping down on
abuses of the system
and ensuring that we
have an immigration
system that is fair to
taxpayers.
The Government is
also striving to make it
easier to deport foreign
criminals, with David
Cameron promising to
scrap Labours
controversial Human
Rights Act, if re-elected
with a full majority this
year. It would be
replaced with a British
Bill of Rights.

with the illegal encampments.

We are a tolerant, diverse


and good-natured town, with
good-natured people, Robert
remarked.

"Harlow Labour may think its


okay to stay quiet on this
issue, but I will continue to do
what I can until local residents
are happy.

"But because of all the antisocial behaviour going on and


the difficulties that people are
facing, it's inevitable that
residents are going to be
upset.

Up to 20 caravans have already


It has been reported that
left the town, after being
Harlow Council have currently
evicted from an illegal site at
spent over 50,000 dealing
the old Passmores School.

Robert concluded by saying,


When I met with Essex Police
last month, I made the feelings
of local residents very clear.
People just want to see the law
applied quickly and equally.

An illegal encampment
in Harlow

You appear to be the only person in authority who understands the deep frustration that the vast majority of
Harlow taxpayers are feeling about this. Please keep up the good work - Local resident

O
ince 2010, the Government has been
working hard to control immigration
into the UK and crack down on those
living here illegally.

Alongside hardworking
Conservative Councillors, such
as David Carter in Great
Parndon, Robert has continued
to voice residents concerns
about anti-social behaviour
and the cost of cleaning up the
sites.

ver the past four


years, the MP for
Harlow, Robert Halfon,
has been fighting a tireless
campaign to cut the cost of
fuel and support
hardworking motorists.

Figures towards the end of


January show that prices are
falling to levels not seen since
2009, with petrol and diesel at
1.06 and 1.14 per litre
respectively.

their savings onto British


families. Not just at the
pumps, but through utility
bills and travel fares as well.

Prices should reflect falling


oil prices and I will continue to
Ministers have already said
make the case for this in
With thousands of people
that, if current trends continue, Parliament.
backing his efforts, Robert was petrol prices could fall to below
able to secure a four-year
1 within the coming weeks.
The Government are currently
freeze in fuel duty and even
planning an investigation into
achieved a cut in 2011.
Robert said, The Chancellor, this downward trend, so that
George Osborne, has insisted the causes can be properly
The Conservative-led
that oil companies should pass understood.
Coalition has done everything
possible to make life easier for
motorists, Robert remarked.
By scrapping all of the fuel
duty hikes that were planned
by the last Labour
Government, the average
motorist is saving 11 every
time they visit the pumps.
In the last few years, the price
of petrol and diesel rocketed,
peaking at just over 1.40 per
litre for unleaded petrol in
2012.
However, with the price of oil
now plummeting, Robert is
calling on oil companies to
pass these savings onto
customers.

Robert Halfon presenting a petition for cheaper fuel


duty to 10 Downing Street with FairFuelUK

Please continue the battle on fuel. You are doing a


great job. Keep going! - Local resident

Congratulations on successfully stopping any


increase in fuel duty - Local resident

Robert Halfon...a crusading backbencher who has fought hard to


make sure struggling Brits have more money in their pockets.
Promoted by Simon Carter on behalf of Harlow Conservatives, all of Kao Hockham House, Edinburgh Way, Harlow CM20 2NQ.
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