"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."
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Passmores School awards
Cllr Lorna Spenceley represented Harlow Council at the Passmores School awards evening.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Ball games consultation
Bush Fair councillor Eleanor Macy tonight chaired Harlow Council's consultation meeting at the Civic Centre, to ask residents for their views about what the council's policy should be on ball games in residential areas. Mark Hall councillor Lesley Rideout, and Staple Tye councillors Su Lawton and Lorna Spenceley also attended.
The meeting was addressed by Paul Anderson and Marysia Rudgley, from Harlow Council's community safety team, who were joined by representatives from the police and the Primary Care Trust.
Residents had the chance to ask questions before getting into smaller groups to consider ball games issues and possible solutions. Cllr Macy informed the meeting that the council would involve every local school in considering the question of ball games, before reaching a conclusion.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Ashlyns scrutiny: will it be open enough?
Liberal Democrats at Essex County Council have raised concerns about whether Conservative plans to scrutinise the quality of care in care homes in the county - including Ashlyns in Mark Hall - will be searching or open enough. Cllr Tom Smith-Hughes, Essex County Council Liberal Democrats group leader, said:
"Following serious concerns reported in the media about the care being offered in care homes formerly run by the county council, all the political parties agreed that an urgent review was necessary. However, we are anxious that the council not only carries out an appropriately thorough review covering all aspects of factors relevant to the care provided in these home, but that the council is seen to do such a review.The review, to be held on Wednesday 29 November, will examine ten care homes sold off by the Conservatives to Excelcare. Essex County Council is Excelcare's biggest client in the county, with most of the company's beds occupied by elderly people no longer able to take care of themselves in their own homes.
Motorsales card competition
This afternoon I've been invited as Vice Chairman of the Council to help judge a Christmas card competition at Motorsales, near the station roundabout.
The entries, from four- and five-year-olds at Water Lane primary school, are all delightful, and it's very difficult indeed to make the choice of first, second and third place. All entries need to include a vehicle - and the choice is enormous, with everything from motor cars to big 'special delivery' lorries loaded to the brim with presents for lucky Water Lane children.
We eventually choose the three winners, and in two weeks' time the winning entrants will receive their prizes.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The mystery of the shrinking library service
Essex County Council's library service seems to be shrinking before the eyes of local residents, Harlow's Liberal Democrats claimed today. Local Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Chris Millington said:
"As of last month, we have seen all magazines and journals taken out of libraries in Essex. Several local residents have already told us they miss the opportunity to pop in to the library to read their favourite regular publications.Cllr Millington has written to Essex County Council's cabinet member for libraries, County Councillor Iris Pummell, to object to the loss of service from local libraries and ask why councillors and library users were not consulted.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Harlow's Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman Lorna Spenceley attended a consultation meeting at Passmores School. The meeting was called to discuss proposals to close the school on the present site and move it to Brays Grove, which Essex County Council has decided to close.
Lorna asked Essex's cabinet member for education, Cllr Stephen Castle, what the county council intended to sell the Passmores school site for; and asked him to clarify previous assurances to Passmores parents that their children would have priority access to a new school on the Brays Grove site. She said:
"From the outset of this whole process it has been clear that county councillors' real target has been not the closure of Brays Grove, but the closure of Passmores - a prime piece of real estate in the centre of Harlow.
Jeans Yardling appeal dismissed
An appeal against Harlow Council's refusal of planning permission for an application for Jeans Yardling in Tye Green Village has been dismissed. Commenting on the decision, Bush Fair Liberal Democrat councillor Eleanor Macy said:
"This is the best possible news for residents of Tye Green Village, who have objected long and hard to over-development of this historic area of Harlow. I've supported their stance since the beginning, and I'm absolutely delighted that their campaign has been justified."
Friday, November 17, 2006
New Town links
Liberal Democrat councillor Lorna Spenceley represented Harlow Council at a meeting of the board of the European New Towns Platform in Ouest-Provence.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Harlow Liberal Democrat leader Chris Millington represents the Liberal Democrats at the Remembrance Sunday commemoration at Netteswell Cross.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Cllr Lorna Spenceley is among the guests at Harlow College's annual awards ceremony at the Playhouse. Lorna says:
"Congratulations to all the students who have achieved so well, and to their families and friends who have supported them in their studies."
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Distribution of free material
Harlow Council's Licensing Committee has discussed proposals from council officers to 'designate' areas of Harlow Town Centre under Section 23 of Part 3 of the Cleaner Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005.
This would make it an offence to distribute any free printed matter without consent of the relevant principal litter authority. There would be three exceptions to this requirement - for literature distributed for charitable, political and religious purposes. The committee also recommended a charge of £22 for the granting of consent to organisations not covered by the exceptions.
The proposals will need to be considered by Harlow Council's Environment & Community Committee.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Lib Dem leader meets the Youth Council
Liberal Democrat leader Chris Millington, together with the Labour group leader, met the Harlow Youth Council at their regular monthly meeting, to answer their questions. Chris described the issues the Council was currently working on, and asked them their opinion about holding a joint meeting of the Council and the Youth Council. Youth councillors' questions included the future of Passmores School, the use of technical language and Harlow Council's budget.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Open Door project celebration
The Open Door project, developed by Harlow's Community Legal Services Partnership, holds a celebration event at the Study Centre. The project, which began in 2001, was designed to bring information on rights and responsibilities to hard to reach groups in Harlow and to improve access to advice and information.
As chairman of the Partnership, local councillor Lorna Spenceley is the master of ceremonies, and there is an excellent turnout from local groups and organisations whose role includes giving advice to the public - everyone from Harlow Council's housing service and the Citizens Advice Bureau, to Employ-Ability and Harlow College.
The guest speaker is Tina Fahm, chairman of the East of England Legal Services Commission, and there are also presentations on each of the strands of the project - the Harlow Partnership Against Poverty Where to find ... book, the electronic referrals project (enabling local advice organisations to refer clients to each other online), the Benefits Advice in Multi Media benefits calculator project, and theatre active and the Your Way Forward housing CD-ROM. Lorna says:
"Harlow is virtually unique in succeeding to maintain an active Community Legal Services Partnership, and the success of the Open Door project is something of which all involved can be very proud indeed."
Thursday, November 02, 2006
A visit from the Netherlands
As Vice Chairman of Harlow Council, local Liberal Democrat councillor Lorna Spenceley today welcomed a group of visitors on a study tour from the new town of Almere in the Netherlands. In a presentation at the Civic Centre, she described how the council is structured and how it makes decisions and consults with residents.
Trolley policy hits the news
Liberal Democrat councillor Eleanor Macy, chairman of Harlow Council's Environment & Community Committee, hit the news - being interviewed by Anglia TV about the council's proposed new policy on dealing with abandoned shopping trolleys. Eleanor said:
"Dumped shopping trolleys are something both the Council and local people want to see less of as they have such an effect on our environment. Every trolley we collect costs council taxpayers and diverts our clean-up teams from other important work. This proposal isn't about making money because we genuinely want to work positively with traders in the town to look at ways of reducing the problem. However, having the power to charge should give owners an extra incentive to do something about the problem."