"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and
open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values
of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall
be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."
Friday, June 23, 2006
Rejection of Harlow North is bad news for our town
The decision to reject proposals for 10,000 homes north of Harlow is bad news for the town's residents, local Liberal Democrats have said.
The report of the Examination in Public panel overturns proposals in the Regional Plan for the East of England. Instead of 10,000 homes north of Harlow, the Panel recommends a rise in the number of extra homes to be built within Harlow's boundaries, and extra homes to the east, south and west of the town as well.
The report's recommendations will be considered by the Government before proposed changes to the draft Plan are published later in the year. Harlow's Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris Millington said:
"I am deeply disappointed by this report. The Panel's changes could mean much more housing in the town without better roads, more schools and the shops and services that Harlow desperately needs. We all need to work together to persuade the Government to think again."
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Lib Dem councillors in call for flood response review
Newly-elected Netteswell councillor Linda Pailing has asked Harlow Council to carry out a review of how the council and other agencies prepared for and responded to the recent flooding.
Cllr Pailing, a member of the council's Preview & Best Value scrutiny committee, says:
"Council staff and the emergency services worked long and hard to help residents and businesses affected by the recent floods. It seems to me that a review of these events would be useful while they are still fresh in everyone's minds, to ensure that the best use is made of the resources we have at our disposal and that our communications with all other relevant agencies are as effective and efficient as they could be."Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Robins adds:
"Estates in my own ward of Staple Tye were among those affected by the floods. We all hope these events are not repeated, but I and my Staple Tye councillor colleagues believe a review would be helpful so that if they are, we are as well prepared as possible. We're very pleased that Cllr Pailing has taken up this suggestion, and hope that the Preview & Best Value Committee will agree to include it as an urgent item on its workplan."
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Local Plan adopted
Harlow Council has unanimously adopted the Replacement Harlow Local Plan, which sets the council's policies for planning and land use across the town.
Cllr Eleanor Macy chairs the Environment & Community Committee, which recommended the Plan to the full council. Speaking at the full council meeting, she noted that planning inspectors had over-ruled councillors' views on a number of matters covered in the Plan. The council had had little choice but to accept the inspectors' recommendations, and it was therefore reluctantly that she was recommending the revised Plan for approval.
Liberal Democrat council leader Cllr Chris Millington also spoke in the debate. He shared Cllr Macy's view about the extent to which the council had been over-ruled by the planning inspectors, but said:
"We now have little choice; without a Local Plan, planning decisions will simply be taken by inspectors on appeal, and the council needs planning policies within which to work if we are to protect local green space for the benefit of local residents."
Monday, June 12, 2006
President's Sporting Club experience day
Over 500 disabled children from special schools across Essex enjoyed a sports experience day at Harlow Sport Centre and the Outdoor Centre.
With more than 30 different sports 'tasters' to experience, from quad biking to horse riding, food and drink served by the Army, and the chance to meet president Frank Bruno MBE, children from Harlow Fields and beyond had a wonderful time.
Cllr Lorna Spenceley, who is Vice Chairman of Harlow Council this year, joined the children and met organisers Mike and Helen Jackson and members of the team.
The President's Sporting Club has now raised over £1 million to promote sporting facilities and opportunities for disabled children in the area. The money raised is used to provide sports equipment, coaching and tuition, the hire of sports halls and the funding of outings and adventure type holidays. Taking part in sport increases the children's self-confidence, physical development and self-esteem, and helps them to meet the challenges that they may face later in life.