Harlow’s Member of Parliament, Robert Halfon, has praised the Government’s work to deliver on what matters most to Harlow people and committed to doubling down on his pledges to the town. The Government has taken decisive action to halve inflation, cut the cost of living, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and to stop the boats.
Commending the Government’s track record, Mr Halfon said, “I have pledged to build an even better Harlow and I have been working hard to deliver on my pledges to Harlow people. Working with the Government to tackle the Prime Minister’s priorities for our country, and my priorities for out town, we are:
Building an Even Better Harlow
“We are building an even better Harlow with hundreds of millions of investment to upgrade and regenerate our town. This includes £20 million of levelling up funding secured in January, as well as the £23.7 million Town Deal awarded last year, £16.5 million to upgrade Harlow College and open the £12 million Advanced Manufacturing Centre, £85 million for the new Junction 7A, £27 million for our new Enterprise Zone and £23 million upgrades to local school buildings.
Championing Education, Skills and Apprenticeships
“I continue to passionately champion education, skills and apprenticeships, with over £90 million of funding secured for sc ools in Harlow next academic year. This is in addition to £500 million pounds to upgrade schools and make them more energy efficient and £470 million for colleges and further education settings to ensure staff are paid well and paid fairly. We’ve also introduced new childcare allowances for working parents, our children have been named as the best readers in the Western World, and we have launched a plan to crack down on low-quality degrees and university education. Last week, teachers secured a 6.5% pay rise, and new teachers will get a salary of £30,000 when they start their careers. This is a record breaking pay deal.
Cutting the Cost of Living
“The Government is supporting the average Harlow household with over £3,000 in cost of living support. High energy bills, thanks to the illegal war in Ukraine, have put pressure on families and we are working hard to halve inflation, the biggest influence on the cost of living, to drive down prices. Inflation is now at the lowest rate since March 2022. Locally, Harlow Council has frozen the council tax bill and the Government has cut fuel duty and frozen it for another 12-months. Energy bills have been halved on average for everybody in Harlow thanks to over £100 billion of Government investment. We are also supporting the most vulnerable families in our community with £900 cost of living payments for those in receipt of means-tested benefits, with additional uplifts for disabled people and pensioners. Fuel duty has also been cut by five pence per litre and frozen at this new, lower rate for another 12 months, saving Harlow drivers money every time they fill up.
Strengthening Our NHS
“A brand-new and fully funded hospital has been confirmed in Harlow, doubling down on my commitment to strengthen our NHS. Work will begin on the new Princess Alexandra Hospital in 2025, with completion expected in 2028. As the CEO of PAH said, ‘Our hard work has paid off and we can push ahead with our new hospital with clarity and certainty.’ Since 2010, almost 60 new doctors and over 170 new nurses have joined PAH in Harlow and the Government has ambitious plans to increase this number even more with apprenticeships for doctors and nurses, ensuring our NHS heroes are well trained and equipped with the life-saving skills they need, cutting waiting lists, and guaranteeing patients can see a medical professional when they need to.
Making Our Streets Safer
“Record numbers of bobbies on the beat are making our streets safer and new anti-social behaviour laws will put a stop to this scourge. 395 new police officers have joined Essex Police since 2019, with 30 stationed in Harlow. I have worked hard for real action to make our streets safer and to tackle anti-social behaviour. The new measures include a trailblazer project in Harlow, higher police presence, swifter and tougher sentencing especially in anti-social behaviour hotspots, and will go a long way to restore local pride and help prevent more serious crime.
Cherishing Our Villages and the Environment
“We have introduced new measures that will cherish our villages and the environment. I love nothing more than spending time in nature and am a passionate advocate for ensuring our natural environment is protected. Indeed, I am clear that we must and we are clamping down on sewage being dumped in our natural waterways. That’s why I welcome tougher fines for reckless water companies, including the removal of the cap on fines for those who don’t meet our standards. We are also building four times as many wind and solar power generators as Germany and other EU countries and are well on track to meet our target of 100% net zero energy production by 2050.
Stopping the Boats
“It is right that we are a compassionate country, offering a helping hand to those who need it, and I am proud of our support for Ukraine. Just last week, we renamed Fifth Avenue in Harlow Zelenskyy Avenue, paying tribute to the courage and bravery of the Ukrainian people as they defend their country, freedom and democracy, and our town’s support for them. However, illegal immigration and the small boat crossings are not fair on those who come here legally and act as a green light to people traffickers. The Government’s new Illegal Migration Act will allow the UK to remove those who arrive here illegally to another safe country and end the abhorrent people trafficking across the Channel, ensuring safe and legal routes are available to those who need them the most.”