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Winter 2015

4M FOR PRINCESS
ALEXANDRA
Page 4

Page 3

ew figures reveal that


unemployment across
Harlow,
Hastingwood, Matching,
Nazeing, Roydon & Sheering
has been slashed by half.
Since Labours recession, the
number of people claiming Job
Seekers Allowance has fallen by
53%.

ocal MP Robert Halfon


has met with the
Railways Minister to
discuss improvements needed
at Roydon, Sawbridgeworth
and Harlow Mill Stations.

This brings the local


unemployment rate below the
national average, despite it being
significantly higher in 2010.
Youth unemployment also
continues to fall, with a 56%
decrease since Labour left office
and a 106% rise in
apprenticeships.
Local MP Robert Halfon said that
he is especially pleased with these
figures and paid tribute to Harlow
College and other training
providers for offering support to
local young people.
Robert said, This Government
has invested heavily in skills and
vocational education.
We are giving young people the
skills they need to support
themselves and get on in life.
This success is reflected
nationally, where the number of
people claiming unemployment
benefit is at its lowest level since
June 2008.

Local MP Robert Halfon visiting successful


Matching-based joinery firm, Chordal Green
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.

Cuts in corporation tax, help with


business rates and shaving 2,000
off National Insurance bills have
all led to the creation of more start
-ups and more jobs, explained
Robert.

Since being elected in 2010, Robert


has worked hard to boost local
businesses and help unemployed
residents get back into work.

Plus, from April this year,


employers national insurance
contributions (NICs) for staff
under the age of 21 will be
abolished altogether and from
April 2016 they will not have to pay
NICs for apprentices under the age
of 25.

For three years in a row, he has


organised an annual Jobs Fair and
supported Government measures
to help small and medium-sized
businesses hire more staff.
Small businesses are the lifeblood
of the economy, especially in rural
areas, and I am pleased this
Government has thrown its weight
behind them.

Robert Halfon is a true Essex


man and an inveterate
campaigner

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

Robert called the meeting so that he


could push for longer ticket office
opening hours, adequate shelters
and proper seating at each station.
The Minister said that money had
already been committed to upgrade
Roydon station, and she would push
for further upgrades to happen as
soon as possible.
She also assured Robert that
everything is being done to ease
overcrowding, and ensure Greater
Anglia are using all of their rolling
stock on the route between Harlow,
Stansted and Liverpool St.

Robert Halfon meeting


Rail Minister, Clare Perry

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WORKING HARD FOR HASTINGWOOD, MATCHING, NAZEING, ROYDON & SHEERING

2 | Village Post

Community News
C

ocal Councillors have spoken out in


support of Epping Forest Community
Transport (EFCT), a charity that has
provided quality, affordable and
accessible transport services for local
groups and individuals since 2001.
Lower Nazeing Councillor and EFCT Trustee,
Richard Bassett, wants to promote use of the
service. Lower Sheering Councillor Gary Waller,
who attends EFCT meetings as the Council
Portfolio Holder for Transport, is backing his
efforts.
Richard commented, EFCT enables local
people in the District, especially the elderly, the
disabled and those who are rurally isolated, to
achieve more independence.
Since achieving charitable status, EFCT is
experiencing an ever growing demand for its
services and is endeavouring to expand,
improve and offer new services.

onservative-led
Epping Forest District
Council (EFDC) has
frozen its Council Tax for
the fifth year in a row.

Conservative Councillors are


continuing to look at longterm ways to make EFDC less
dependent on government
grants.

Council Cabinet member Gary


Waller, who represents Lower
Sheering, warmly welcomed
the announcement, pointing
out that the Council Tax
standstill has not involved any
cutbacks in front-line services.

This is in stark contrast to the


Labour-run Harlow Council.
Despite alternate budgets
being proposed by the
Conservative opposition, the
Council has just hiked taxes
for residents in the town for
the third consecutive year.

"Epping Forest is an efficient


council that prioritises the
services that really matter to
people," Gary remarked.
"We've avoided some of the
problems that have affected
many other authorities. I'm
proud of what has been
achieved, but we're always
looking for ways of doing
things even better."
Gary and his fellow

Cllr Waller added, Thanks to


the robust and prudent
management of the Council's
finances, support has been
given to create a new Invest
to Save budget of 500,000.
This will be used to fund
projects designed to make
long-term savings.

Despite the tough economic


climate, EFDC is building
council houses for the first
time in many years, with over
30 million earmarked for
investment in new homes to
meet demand from local
people.
Plus, in response to a proposal
from Cllr Waller, the Cabinet
has agreed that all council
homes will be built to more
sustainable standards in
future.

Cllr Gary Waller, who


represents Lower
Sheering on Epping
Forest District Council

Fellow Lower Nazeing Councillor, Yolanda


Knight added, Volunteers are needed in many
areas of the organisation, especially drivers
with their own cars or people that could drive a
minibus or help in the office.
If you have any difficulty getting around the
Epping Forest District such as attending medical
appointments, shopping or social outings, please
call the EFCT team on 01992 579 556.
Expenses are paid to volunteers to cover their
costs and so if you are interested in supporting
EFCT please get in touch with them directly or
contact one of the Councillors.

recent rise in the number of Heavy


Goods Vehicles (HGVs) ignoring
weight limits has been damaging local
roads in Nazeing.
Lower Nazeing Councillors Richard Bassett and
Yolanda Knight have been pressing the Police
and the Vehicle Operator Services Agency
(VOSA) to start enforcing weight limits.
They are engaging with the lorry companies and
letting them know that drivers will be reported if
they do not obey the law.
If you spot a lorry breaking one of the weight
limits or being driven badly, please take note of
its name, the time, the location and, if possible,
the registration number and the offence you
believe is taking place.
You can email the details to Richard at
Richard.D.Bassett@Ntlworld.com with Lorries as
the subject line, or you can call him on 01992
610 519.

he next couple of
years are going to be
very important indeed
for Roydon.
That is the view of Mary
Sartin, the District Councillor
for the Roydon and Dobbs
Weir ward of Epping Forest
Council.
The draft Local Plan, the
document that will be the
blueprint for local housing
development and its
accompanying infrastructure,
is currently being prepared
for a consultation, which will
take place in a few months
time.
It is essential that Roydons
voice is heard loud and
clear, Mary commented.
The areas housing needs
must be addressed but in a
sensitive way, ensuring that
the Green Belt is protected
and the character of our
area is preserved.
Cllr Sartin went on to say
that her biggest concerns
were Roydons proximity to
Harlow and the towns
expansion plans.
She pointed out the previous

Local Cllr Mary Sartin and the Roydon Green Belt


threats made by the last
Labour Government to realign
Green Belt boundaries, in
order to push forward with
housing developments.
Mary warned, I know that
there are developers out there
that will cast an envious eye
on our area.
We are within easy
commuting distance from
London with plenty of open
space that could become large
scale housing estates.
When the consultation is
published, it is important that
you, the residents, make your
voices heard and respond.

Your views are vital to


Roydons future.
The consultation is currently
scheduled to be carried out
between June and September
this year.
There will be publicity prior to
the consultation, such as
through the Councils website
and exhibitions will be held
around the District.

Labour plans to build on


the Green Belt if it wins
election.

Village Post | 3 ..

ver the past four years,


Robert Halfon has
fought a tireless campaign to
cut the cost of fuel and
support rural motorists.
With thousands of people backing
his efforts, Robert was able to
secure a cut and a four-year freeze
in fuel duty.
The Conservative-led Coalition
has done everything possible to
make life easier for motorists,
Robert remarked.

Robert Halfon with NHS staff at Princess Alexandra


Hospital on Christmas Day 2014

obert Halfon MP has


reaffirmed his support for
the Princess Alexandra A&E
unit, after it saw a sharp rise in
admissions over the winter
months.

confirmed that 4 million of


winter resilience funding would be
provided to West Essex.

Figures show that PAH is one of the


busiest hospitals in the country,
with significantly more patients per
bed than bigger London hospitals.

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.

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 Hospitals Minister.
In response, the Government

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

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.
Since 2010, the National Health
Service has seen an extra 12.7
billion put into its budget.

Robert said, The Chancellor,


George Osborne, has insisted
that oil companies should pass
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 make
the case for this in Parliament.

Please continue the battle on fuel. You are doing a great job. Keep going!
- Local resident

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.

This investment is part of a 6


billion national effort to cut the
number of defects on Englands
roads, as well as maintain kerbs and
pavements.

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.

More than 1bn of the bonds,


which offer competitive interest
rates of up to 4%, were sold in the
first two days of the scheme and so
Chancellor George Osborne has
agreed to extend their availability
for another three months.

Robert concluded by saying, I will


continue to work hard on this issue.

This effort to support Britains


savers has been accompanied by an
800 increase in the state pension
since 2010, after the Government
ensured that it would rise each
year in line with either wages,
prices or 2.5%.

This Government has already


spent 1 billion more on road
maintenance than the last Labour
administration.

Figures show that prices are


falling to levels not seen since
2009, with petrol and diesel at
1.06 and 1.14 per litre
respectively.

Robert Halfon presenting a petition for cheaper fuel


duty to 10 Downing Street with FairFuelUK

ocal MP Robert Halfon has


welcomed the 128 million
that has been made available
to tackle potholes in Essex.

Robert, who is campaigning on the


issue of potholes and has personally
reported local defects to the County
Council, asserted, This is great
news for rural motorists.

However, with the price of oil now


plummeting, Robert is calling on
oil companies to pass these
savings onto customers.

This money has already helped fund


another 20 beds in Harlow.

etired residents over the


age of 65 are set to
benefit from the extension of
a government-backed
pensioner savings bond.

for unleaded petrol in 2012.

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

The MP for Hastingwood,


Matching, Nazeing, Roydon and
Sheering, Robert Halfon, said he
was pleased with the extension and

hoped many of his constituents


would be able to gain from the
scheme.
He commented, This Government
is doing what it can to help
Britains pensioners, savers and
those who just want to get on and
do the right thing.
Plus, from April this year, millions
of people on Defined Contribution
schemes will no longer have to buy
an annuity if they don't want to.
There will also be no punitive 55%
tax rate if people want to draw
down more than their tax free
lump sum.
That way, retired residents who
have worked hard and saved all of
their lives will now be able to pass
on their hard-earned pension pot
tax-free.

4 | Village Post

obert Halfon has said


fighting for England
has been one of his top
priorities as an MP.

he Conservative-led Government is
continuing to back working people of
all ages by raising the tax-free allowance
again, to 10,600 in April this year.
This means that the
typical taxpayer will be
825 better off by
2015/16 and three and
a half million of the
lowest paid will have
been taken out of
income tax altogether.

Overall, around one in


four full time workers
across Harlow,
Hastingwood,
Matching, Nazeing,
Roydon and Sheering
will benefit from these
changes.

It is in stark
contrast to the
6475 personal
allowance under
the last Labour
Government.

Finally, Prime Minister


David Cameron has
said a majority
Conservative
Government would do
more to cut inheritance
tax, which he believes
This increase will also should only be paid by
be passed on in full to the very wealthy and
higher rate taxpayers, not those on modest
the first increase in the incomes who have
higher threshold in line worked hard and saved
with inflation, for five hard.
years.

Robert said, Only a


Conservative majority at the
next election will provide
English Votes for English
Laws and ensure a fair deal
Robert has given his support to for people in England.
Conservative Party proposals
to introduce English Votes for This is on top of our
English Laws, control
commitment to hold an In/Out
immigration and deliver an
EU referendum, if we win a
In/Out EU referendum.
majority at the next election.
At the moment, Scotland,
Wales and N.Ireland each have
their own parliament or
assembly, which make key
decisions for their countries.
However, there is no
alternative in England.

Labours Human Rights Act


has been highly criticised since
This leaves MPs from Scotland, it was introduced, for allowing
Wales and N.Ireland able to
prisoners to demand the right
vote on matters that only relate to vote and for preventing the
to England.
deportation of dangerous
criminals.

ince 2010, the Government has been


working hard to control immigration
into the UK and crack down on those
living here illegally.

t was when I was


interviewed by the
Harlow Conservative
Association back in 1999
that I was first told that
Winston Churchill had
been the MP for the area
between 1924 and 1945.

Immigration routes
have been tightened
and arrivals from
outside the EU are
down to their lowest
levels in a decade.

Although it was before the


construction of the New Town,
he still represented Old Harlow
and the Hastingwood,
Matching, Nazeing, Roydon &
Sheering villages.

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.
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.
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.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN HELPING


ROBERT HALFON?

Robert concluded by
re-stating his belief that St.
Georges Day should be a
national holiday in England, as
the Saints Days of Andrew and
Patrick are in Scotland and
N.Ireland respectively.

Robert Halfon celebrating


St Georges Day

Fifty years ago, Britain said farewell to Sir Winston Churchill who, between 1924 and
1945, served as the MP for Hastingwood, Matching, Nazeing, Roydon & Sheering.
Current MP Robert Halfon, shares his thoughts on the former Prime Minister.

I
S

Robert is also continuing to


speak out in favour of replacing
the 1998 Human Rights Act
with a British Bill of Rights,
written and passed in the UK.

A British Bill of Rights would


stop the European Courts
forcing the UK to change its
laws.

Many of us remember Winston


Churchill because of his stand
against appeasement and his
defeat of Nazi Germany.
I know, having had family
members in Bergen-Belsen
Concentration Camp, I would
not be here today, if Churchill
had not taken a stand against
Hitlers plans to murder all the
worlds Jews.

bread and meat, pensions for


widows with children and the
introduction of the penny
post.
When I was first elected as
your MP in 2010, I wrote to
former Labour MP, Stan
Newens, who heads the
excellent Harlow Civic Society
and to the Chairman of the
Victoria Hall Theatre, asking if
we could commemorate his
speech.
To Stans enormous credit he
agreed and in the Summer of
2013, alongside me and my
predecessor Bill Rammell, we
unveiled a blue plaque to
Churchill, which now adorns
the outside of this wonderful
theatre, with all its heritage
and history.

But Churchill had another side


to being a great war leader. He
was as compassionate in his
domestic politics as he was as
aggressive against
dictatorships.

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In 1923, he spoke at a Public


Meeting in Victoria Hall
Theatre in Old Harlow.

COME AND JOIN ROBERT AND OTHER


LOCAL RESIDENTS AS THEY
CAMPAIGN ON IMPORTANT
LOCAL ISSUES!

His powerful speech to local


residents, stressed the need for
more jobs, lower prices for

Unveiling the blue plague at


Victoria Hall Theatre

Returning to the subject of


Churchills role against the
Nazis, one of my favourite
stories about Churchill in
Harlow is this: When Churchill

was campaigning against Prime


Minister Neville Chamberlains
policies, the Party HQ tried to
get him de-selected. They were
upset about what they
perceived as Churchills
disloyalty to the Prime
Minister.

Visiting the Sheering


War Memorial

However, in 1939, a letter


published in the local Express
& Independent stated that:
At a recent public meeting at
Harlow the largest I have
ever seen...when I proposed a
vote of confidence in Churchill,
it was received with
acclamation and carried
unanimously.
It is wonderful to know that on
the eve of our darkest hour,
when Churchill faced
de-selection as our MP for his
stance against appeasement,
local residents stood tall and
recognised that Mr Churchill
was right to warn of our need
to confront Hitler.

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