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ELECTION SPECIAL

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he Secretary of State
for Health, Jeremy
Hunt, visited Princess
Alexandra Hospital (PAH)
this month after being
invited by Harlow MP,
Robert Halfon.

he Government Minister
for Communities, Eric
Pickles, came to Harlow
last month to see the
construction of the new
Enterprise Zone (EZ).

The Minister began his visit at


PAH by meeting some of the
hospitals management team,
before sitting down with local
doctors, nurses and staff.
For a portion of the visit, he was
also able to serve as a hospital
porter, helping to move
patients between wards.
Hardworking PAH staff have
been working overtime recently,
due to the significant pressure on
the Emergency Department due
to a surge in out of area visits
over the winter months.
PAH is one of the busiest in the
country, with significantly more
patients per bed than much
bigger hospitals.
Robert Halfon has been fighting
for more support for PAH in
Parliament. In response, Jeremy
Hunt confirmed that an
additional 4 million of
funding would be provided to
NHS Trusts in West Essex.
This announcement came on top
of other significant investments
in Harlows NHS since 2010,

Harlow MP, Robert Halfon visiting Princess Alexandra


Hospital with Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt

such as a 5.7 million grant


last year.
There was also a 1 million
upgrade to the eye clinic, a new
kidney dialysis unit, a brand new
Short Stay Assessment centre at
its Accident & Emergency and a
427,000 boost for St Clare
Hospice.
Robert said, Im really pleased
the Secretary of State came to
Harlow, and I will continue to
fight for a strong Harlow NHS,
such as campaigning against
unfair hospital parking charges.
Thank you Robert for
continuing to stick up for
causes that affect ordinary people,
like hospital parking charges
- T. Swinfen, local resident

Robert Halfons campaign to cut


or scrap hospital parking fees has
successfully convinced the
Government to issue new
guidelines to NHS Trusts in
England.

The Minister was joined by local MP


Robert Halfon, who helped secure
Government funding for the 50
million investment project, which
is expected to create up to 2,500
new jobs in the town.
The visit came as Harlow
unemployment continued to fall,
down 53% since Labours recession.
Youth unemployment has also fallen
by 56% and apprenticeships are up
by an impressive 106%.
This brought the local jobless rate
below the national average, despite
it being significantly higher in 2010.

The new rules make it clear that


charges should be fair and that
frequent visitors, the disabled
and NHS staff should get
discounted on-site parking.
Robert said he would continue his
efforts, for as long as he is an MP.

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

Robert and Communities


Minister, Eric Pickles, at the
new Enterprise Zone

Printed by Mortons Media Group Ltd, of Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6JR

2 | Harlow Sun

Community News
O

ld Harlow Councillor,
Sue Livings, is working
hard to protect local
roadsides and green verges
from dangerous parking.
The verges in St Johns
Avenue for example are in a
poor state due to constant
parking. It churns up the
ground and gouges out deep
ruts, Sue explained.

Cllr Livings is currently working


with both Harlow and Essex
councils to find a solution that
would prevent further damage.
I have sought funding for
something called a grass mesh
which will cover each verge
and help protect them from
parking. It will also help
enhance the street scene.

Sue was also quick to act when


equipment was removed from
This is unsightly and
the playground behind
dangerous. Residents should do Elmbridge, ensuring that it was
their bit to maintain the
replaced as quickly as possible,
appearance of their area but
and made sure that new trees
the council needs to set an
were planted along Priory
example and encourage safe
Avenue following the loss of the
and proper parking.
previous ones.

hurch Langley Councillors


and Harlow MP, Robert
Halfon, joined dozens of angry
parents last month for a
protest against the planting of
trees in a popular play area for
children.
The trees were planted by Harlow
Council next to the play park at
Henry Moore school, in an open
green space popular with local
children.
It is frequently used for playing
football and other sports.

Church Langley Councillor and

ontinued pressure
from Conservative
Councillors has revealed
that the taxpayers bill for
illegal encampments in
Harlow has risen again,
and stood at 70,000 at
the end of last year.

David continued, I welcome


the interim town-wide High
Court injunction (read more
on Page 4) but we were
pushing the Council for over a
year to use every legal action
at their disposal.

Great Parndon Councillor,


David Carter said, That is the
same as a 1% increase in
Council Tax.

It will still be a challenge to


secure a permanent injunction,
and this must be the Councils
top priority.

Is it any wonder why the


Labour-run Council keep
pushing up tax when they have
bills like that to pay?
Earlier in the year, the Harlow
Conservatives proposed an
alternate 2015 budget, that
would have cut Council Tax by
0.5% and found extra money to
tackle illegal encampments.
David Carter with one of the
It was defeated by Labour
many High Court injunction
Councillors.
notices in Great Parndon.

When we consulted local people on


this matter over a year ago, there
was a clear response that the trees
were not wanted there.
We told this to the Council and
then all of a sudden, they appear.
The Labour-run Council just
doesnt listen.

After voicing their disbelief about


the situation on social media,
residents gathered by the park and
asked everyone to sign a petition,
asking the council to move them to
another location - after an
agreement with the residents.
Not long afterwards, the Council
agreed to move the trees to a more
suitable and less obstructive
location.

Old Harlow Cllrs Sue Livings & Joel Charles at the


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

Leader of Harlow Conservatives,


Andrew Johnson said, I am
delighted the Council has listened
to the residents.

Conservative Councillor,
Andrew Johnson, signing a
petition calling for the trees
to be moved.

campaign by Clive
Souter, the Conservative
local election candidate in
Sumners & Kingsmoor, to
improve one of the areas most
damaged roads has been
successful.

pothole repairs were just not good


enough, said Clive.

The surface of Hull Grove road was


in urgent need of repair and Clive
said that it was a major issue for
local residents, one that was often
raised with him on the doorstep.

Im very proud of this


achievement and I hope residents
in Sumners and Kingsmoor will
elect me to represent them on
Harlow Council in May.

By working with my
Conservative colleagues on Essex
County Council, I was able to
persuade them that individual

That way, I can continue


campaigning on important local
issues.

So, on behalf of the residents, I


was delighted when they said they
would resurface the whole road.

Clive Souter in Hull Grove when the resurfacing


began (left), and how the road looks now (right).

Harlow Sun | 3 ..

obert Halfon, the MP for


Harlow, is backing
Government policies to help
hardworking families,
including the introduction of
tax-free childcare from
Autumn this year.

Plus, from 2015-16, when both


parents are in work and neither are
higher/additional rate taxpayers,
married couples and civil partners
will be able to transfer up to 1,050
of their income tax personal
allowance between them.

The new Tax-Free Childcare scheme


will provide 20% support on
childcare costs up to 10,000 per
year, for each child. This means
support of up to 2,000 per child.

This will help parents on lower


salaries, or those who choose to
work part-time in order to look
after their children.

In an effort to also help stay-athome parents, the Government has


increased the free childcare
entitlement for 3-4 year olds and
disadvantaged 2 year olds, from 12.5
to 15 hours per week.

Robert Halfon added that all parents


would also benefit from increases in
the personal allowance, which is set
to rise again from April this year, to
10,600.

Thanks again Rob for supporting the campaign for PACT for Autism
families - S. Fancett, local resident

Robert Halfon campaigning with FairFuelUK

ince he was elected in


2010, the MP for Harlow,
Robert Halfon, has been
fighting a tireless campaign
to cut the cost of fuel and
support hardworking
motorists.
With thousands of people around
the country backing his efforts,
Robert was able to secure a fouryear freeze in fuel duty.

s hundreds of Harlow
residents are given new
opportunities to own their own
home, the Government has
said it is committed to
restoring fairness to the
housing system.

Conservative-led Government,
housing supply is now at its highest
level since 2008. The availability of
affordable homes has been made the
priority, and 23.3 billion was set
aside to fund affordable housing
projects alone.
This comes alongside the
Governments Help to Buy scheme,
which has already helped over
73,000 people purchase their own
home, 83% of whom were first time
buyers.

Local MP Robert Halfon, who has


spoken out strongly in support of
Robert Halfon supporting local
affordable housing for Harlow
housing developments
residents, has also launched
www.RightToBuyHarlow.com.
For decades, there havent been
enough homes to meet the needs of
The website provides information to
Britains growing and ageing
people looking to purchase their
population.
council house/flat and achieve the
dream of home ownership.
However, after five years of

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN HELPING


ROBERT HALFON?

This is the longest freeze in petrol


tax for over 20 years and in 2011,
he even convinced the
Government to cut it.
On his campaign, Robert said,
The Conservative-led Coalition
has done everything possible to
make life easier for motorists,
By scrapping all of the fuel duty
hikes that were planned by the

EMAIL: halfon4harlow@roberthalfon.com
TEL:
01279 312 195

In recognition of his work on this


issue, The Telegraph listed Robert
as one of their 2012 Britons of the
Year and The Sun newspaper have
named him Hero of the Week
more times than any other MP
since 2010.
Robert has also stood up against
the oil giants, for keeping petrol
and diesel prices high, even when
the international cost of oil is
falling.
Robert has said this issue will
continue to be a priority for him in
Parliament, if he is re-elected as
Harlows MP in May.

Congratulations and thanks again for all your hard work in getting
the fuel duty increase scrapped - D.Gradley, local resident

ince the last election, the


Conservative-led
Government has been
working hard to control
immigration into the UK and
crack down on those living
here illegally.
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
governing social housing and
welfare benefits.

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last Labour Government, the


average motorist is now saving
11 every time they visit the
pumps.

New proposals to curb EU


migration, announced by David
Cameron, include preventing
migrants from claiming key
benefits for the first four years and
deporting those who do not have a
job within six months of arriving
in 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.
Robert Halfon has said it should
be replaced with a British Bill of
Rights.

4 | Harlow Sun

he Prime Minister, David Cameron has said he


will continue to protect the state pension and
universal pension benefits if the Conservatives win
the upcoming General Election.

The state pension has


increased by 800-a-year
since 2010, after the
Government ensured that it
would rise each year in line
with either wages, prices or
2.5%.

Since October 2013, caravans have


been unlawfully parked on green
verges, roundabouts, cycle tracks and
school grounds across the town.

Universal pension benefits,


such as bus passes and the
free TV licence, have also
been safeguarded.

pot onto their families


tax-free.
Retired Harlow residents
could also benefit from the
extension of a
government-backed
pensioner savings bond.

More than 1bn of the bonds,


which offer competitive
interest rates of up to 4%,
were sold in the first two days
From April this year, millions of the scheme and so their
of people on Defined
availability has been extended
Contribution pension
for another three months.
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 saved all of their
lives will now be able to pass
their hard-earned pension

ocal MP Robert Halfon, has


welcomed a decision by the High
Court to grant an interim town-wide
injunction against illegal
encampments in Harlow.

Robert, who worked hard for over a


year to try and resolve the matter, said
the injunction was a major step
forward.
The illegal encampments were a
serious local concern for people and I
did everything I could to help resolve
the situation.
I asked multiple questions in
Parliament, secured a debate on the
matter and arranged meetings with
Government Ministers and
representatives from Essex Police.
Although I think this is something
that should have been done a long

Robert Halfon meeting


retired Harlow residents

time ago, I am grateful for all of the


fantastic work of the Harlow
Community Safety Team, who have
worked hard alongside Essex County
Council to secure this injunction.
The situation seems to have
improved greatly and I am hopeful
that in the time before we get the full
injunction, our town can move
forward and get back to a sense of
normality.
We must ensure that Harlow never
again is seen as a soft touch for
unauthorised or illegal
encampments.
Over 450 pieces of land around
Harlow are covered by the ruling,
which bans the setting up of unlawful
sites. This includes 320 vulnerable
areas, previously occupied sites,
highway verges and schools.
Anyone found parking on the sites will
face contempt of court charges.

Thank you Robert for all of your hard work to get the matter of illegal encampments
taken care of properly, unlike some politicians out there who are just full of sound bites
- P Simpson, local resident

JOIN THE MANY RESIDENTS SUPPORTING ROBERT HALFON, BY FOLDING OVER YOUR
COPY OF THE HARLOW SUN AND DISPLAYING THIS POSTER IN YOUR WINDOW!

Promoted by Simon Carter on behalf of Harlow Conservatives, all of Kao Hockham House, Edinburgh Way, Harlow CM20 2NQ. Printed by Mortons Media Group Ltd, of Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6JR