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Harlow Labour Party is pleased to announce the selection of Chris Vince as the candidate for the Little Parndon and Hare Street by-election


The by-election will be held on March 8 and follows the resignation of Jon Clempner.

Allan Jolley was selected to be the candidate for Great Parndon in the local elections to be held on May 3, filling the vacancy created by Chris’ selection.

Chris and Allan were selected by members at a selection meeting held today (Sunday 28 January).

Chris Vince said: “I’m delighted to have been selected to be the Labour candidate for Little Parndon and Hare Street and look forward to meeting with local residents over the coming weeks to introduce myself and to hear about their concerns and ideas for the ward.

“I’m aware that I am stepping into big shoes. Jon was an exceptional councillor and leader and I consider it an honour to be given the opportunity to carry on his work on behalf of local residents.”

Allan_Jolley_(2).jpgAllan Jolley said today: “I’m very happy to have been selected today to be the candidate for Great Parndon. This is a challenging seat for Labour but we have a strong campaign planned and I am looking forward to building on the great start that Chris has made over the past months.”

Chris Vince has twice been a Parliamentary Candidate and also Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate where he achieved the most votes of any candidate in Harlow.

Allan Jolley is a longstanding Labour Party member and is the Harlow Branch Secretary of UCATT (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians). He stood for Sumners and Kingsmoor in the 2016 elections.

Harlow Labour announces candidate for Little Parndon and Hare Street by-election

Harlow Labour Party is pleased to announce the selection of Chris Vince as the candidate for the Little Parndon and Hare Street by-election

Jon has been a hardworking and passionate member of the Labour Party, and has shown the utmost dedication to the community in Harlow.

Firstly, in his role representing his constituents, and of course, in his role steering the council as Leader through the last few years of Conservative austerity.

During this time, Jon oversaw some fantastic achievements for the council. It was under his leadership that Labour-run Harlow council has managed to build the first council homes in Harlow in a generation, develop and deliver the Enterprise Zone, secure the relocation of Public Health England’s National Science Hub to England next year and protect highly valued services such as Pets Corner and Harlow Playhouse.

These achievements took place whilst we have been hamstrung with a shrinking budget, and next to no support from the Government. This makes Jon’s successes even more brilliant and vital for the people of Harlow.

Moving forward, the Harlow Council Labour Group will seek to build on the record of Jon’s years of leadership. We will take forward the Local Plan, which will deliver exciting and wide-ranging benefits to Harlow and campaign hard for the local elections in May in which we expect a strong showing.

We will continue to deliver the best local services we can provide and look to further develop Harlow into the successful modern town we all want it to be.

Harlow Council Labour Group deeply regrets the announcement today that Jon has chosen to resign as our leader and from the council.

Jon has been a hardworking and passionate member of the Labour Party, and has shown the utmost dedication to the community in Harlow.

Harlow Labour warned today that residents in Harlow and across Essex are at risk of being misled into paying more for much needed increases in local policing as a result of the survey conducted by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst.

essex_badge.gifThe Essex Police Precept Survey invited residents to have their say on whether they were happy to pay more in exchange for investment in Essex Police.

5,044 people across the entire County expressed their opinions in the Survey and of these, 65% supported lifting the cap on the policing element of the council tax, should the government agree to the change.

Chris Vince, Labour’s PCC Candidate in 2016 and candidate for Great Parndon in this year’s local elections said; “There is absolutely no dispute about the fact that we urgently need investment in Essex’s police force. Across Harlow we have seen police officers vanish from our streets and this is leaving local residents rightly concerned.

“What we do dispute is the suggestion that the findings of this Survey demonstrate a groundswell of public support for an increase in council tax to pay for it, or that this should be used to justify central government waving through an increase.

“In Essex there are 1.3 million residents and of these, just over 5,000 completed the Survey. As a maths teacher, I can tell you this represents significantly less than 1% of the population. Furthermore, of this tiny percentage, only two thirds said they would be willing to see the cap on council tax lifted to pay for additional policing.

“The burden of additional investment in policing should not fall on the shoulders of residents who already pay around £160 a year towards its cost if they are on Band D council tax. It should fall fairly and squarely on the shoulders of central government.

“Commissioner Hirst is playing tag team with Theresa May on this and people should know about it. The Tory government is refusing to invest in our vital public services, “forcing” her local representatives to come to her, as Roger Hirst is doing now, seemingly with the support of residents, asking for permission to increase council tax. The government approves the increase and hey presto, the burden shifts onto hard working families and individuals.

“This country’s public services are crumbling, but the answer is not to increase council tax so that the poor are hit disproportionately hard for services the entire country needs and benefits from.

“The answer is a progressive tax system in which corporations and the very wealthy make fair contributions to the benefit of everyone. Harlow Council, under Labour’s control, will continue to push for this and protect the rights of our residents from the devastating effects of Conservative policies from both county and central government.”

Harlow’s Labour controlled Council has recently announced plans to recruit three Community Safety Officers (CSOs) specifically to respond to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour. These will be funded from revenues raised from bringing services delivered by the Kier Group in house.

Harlow Labour Party warns residents risk being misled into paying more for policing by Police Commissioner, Roger Hirst

Harlow Labour warned today that residents in Harlow and across Essex are at risk of being misled into paying more for much needed increases in local policing as a result...

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Harlow Young Labour

Harlow Young Labour held their first event on Sunday, 3rd September with great success.


Following the group’s refurbishment of the Sumners Basketball Court the previous day, Harlow Young Labour hosted the Sumners Slam Dunk to relaunch the improved site.

The day proved to be a massive hit with members of the local community, with many children and parents coming down to view the revamped court and take part in the free basketball lessons led by former Harlow Hawks player Gareth Dickson.

Winners of the three-on-three basketball tournament each won two cinema tickets courtesy of Cineworld and the winner of the shooting competition, Callum, won a trophy kindly supplied by Decathlon.

Harlow Young Labour would also like to thank Decathlon for donating the basketballs used on the day which were given to Water Lane Primary School after the event.

“It’s wonderful to see the community come together for a good cause,” a representative for the Harlow Hawks Basketball Club said. “Some of the kids and parents may not have played basketball before or have had the opportunity, so hopefully we’ve provided a great experience for the kids and maybe get them more interested in playing sports.”

Harlow Young Labour hope this will be the first of many events helping to bring the community together and improve the local area.


Patrick Watts, a Harlow Young Labour member who spearheaded the campaign and led the organisation of the event said “I really wanted to make the event happen. There are areas of concern within the town and seeing everyone come together creates so much positivity. It was the best feeling when it all came together.”

The event could not have happened were it not for the work and support of Harlow Young Labour members, Harlow Labour members, community members and the donations from the following companies:

  • Harold Park Firewood and logs - donated all of the wooden panelling 
  • Sam's - paint and screws
  • Decathlon - nets, balls and trophy
  • Food Shop Staple Tye - donated waters
  • Herald pub -  buffet food
  • Cortlands - donated the Skip
  • Cineworld -  £100 worth of vouchers
  • Sound Choice Group Ltd - soundsystems


Harlow Young Labour would also like to give thanks to Harlow Hawks Basketball Club for their support. Anyone interested in finding out more about the club or getting involved should visit






Sumners Slam Dunk

Harlow Young Labour held their first event on Sunday, 3rd September with great success.

When I first heard that there were plans afoot to change the GCSE from the old style A*-G type to the new ‘improved’ 9-1 GCSE I remember rolling my eyes.

I was in a staff meeting at the time and looked around at my colleagues who were a mixture of quizzical and dumbfounded.  My comment at the time was that this was someone in the DfE with time on their hands making themselves busy.  In fact with the 2015 General Election looming I remember one colleague asking whether these changes would happen under a Labour Government, all eyes turned to me. 

However, little did I realise the damaging effect that the changes, in particular this academic year would have, not only on those tasked with teaching it but also for the students themselves.  As a Mathematics teacher I have never been too concerned about curriculum changes.  Maths is Maths and hasn’t changed a great deal for thousands of years.  Sure they’re going to bring in a few extra topics in and take some others out but overall things won’t change too much.  Or so I thought.  

Actually as I predicted the actual change to the syllabus wasn’t the biggest problem, a few topics put in and a few taken out.  The fact that the exams themselves had got harder with more long winded exam questions worth four or five marks opposed to the usual single mark questions was a little more problematic, but something I felt my students could cope with.  And, although moving from two exams in Maths to three did mean more marking when it came to mock examination time, being a seasoned marker this didn’t cause too much additional work (although I have some sympathy for those new to the profession.) 

However, the biggest problem I have seen has simply been down to the DfE’s insistence that the new 9-1 GCSE for Mathematics and English be rushed through making this year 11 cohort will be the first to do them.  In my previous article I commented that although it would be costly for Labour to reverse these changes if they come to power they should acknowledge the issues caused and put an end to the seemingly endless upheavals in school curriculums, particularly ones like this that have been rushed through and do not seem fully considered.  I don’t like the phrase ‘political football’ but it is clear that politicians are using the education of our young people to impose their ideologies. 

This comes on to my biggest issue since September, the grade boundaries or lack of them.  Now you may say ‘well so what,’ you’re teaching students to do the best they can so what grades they achieve in mock examinations is irrelevant, after all some of us in the Labour Party and on the left of politics in general don’t think that students should have their whole lives defined by a set of grades on a piece of paper anyway, right? Wrong.  You see the problem with Mathematics is that we have a tiered system, so as a teacher I have to make a decision as to whether students in my class should sit the higher or foundation tier.  Chose unwisely and there are two possible outcomes, both of which could severely damage the futures of the young people whose care we are intrusted.  Put a student in for a foundation tier when they could have done the higher one and there is a danger a student doesn’t get as high a grade as they can (the foundation tier only goes up to a grade 5 – equivalent to a high C, with grades 6-9 only available to students sitting the higher tier paper.)  However, worse still put a student in for a higher tier paper and he/she finds it too difficult and they could end up with no grade at all.  I like many Maths teachers across the country will have fingers, toes and whatever else they can crossed on august the 24th! 

So I come on to the challenges faced by friends and colleagues teaching other subjects, and here I take a sigh of relief that I am a Maths teacher.  Whereas the content of the Maths curriculum isn’t going to change a great deal, for subjects like English, History and Geography things are a great deal worse.  History is a good example, a subject that relies on sources, usually from a text book, to support student’s learnings.  With the first cohort of year 11s due to start studying their 9-1 history GCSE in September the text books aren’t even ready and won’t be printed until October.  This is frankly a scandal and a scandal of this Government’s own making. 

It is pleasing that both Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Rayner have spoken out about the changes to the GCSE and in particular focusing on the additional exam stress that it is creating for our students.  I have had a few this year coming to me in tears because they are working so hard but do not feel they are making any headway.  What Labour needs to do now, and I am sure Angela Rayner and her team will have these discussions, is ensure they have clear policy that means our young people are not under such pressures at a potentially vulnerable stage in their lives. 

If you want to make wholesale changes to the GCSE curriculum, and I believe many of them are ideologically driven rather than in the best interests of students, in fact worse still changes being made by a government that needs to show it is doing something, then don’t rush them through like this.  Now for me as a teacher I will cope, after the august examination results I will have a good idea what those grade boundaries will be for next years’ year 11 students and can adapt accordingly, but for those students who will soon be opening their envelopes they only get one chance, a chance that these changes could severely hinder.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I have had sleepless nights over exam entries and will certainly not sleep the night before GCSE results day this year.  I know many of my colleagues will feel the same. 

I feel confident however, that the next Labour Government will heed the advice given, not by me, but the thousands of teachers and students who have been forced to work through this difficult academic year.  Labour education policy will not introduce rushed through, wholesale changes, but will spend time developing a truly national curriculum that caters for the whole child and ensures that they leave school a well-rounded, confident people equipped with the skills to tackle whatever life throws at them. 


Chris Vince is a Secondary School Maths teacher, and Twice Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Chelmsford


The scandal of the 9-1 GCSE

When I first heard that there were plans afoot to change the GCSE from the old style A*-G type to the new ‘improved’ 9-1 GCSE I remember rolling my eyes....

Join us for a day of sport and fun for the whole family!

Harlow Young Labour present their first event 'Sumners Slam Dunk' at the newly refurbished Sumners basketball court on Sunday 3rd of September.

A FREE all ages basketball coaching session will be provided by Harlow Hawk Gareth Dickson from 10am-12pm followed by a 3 on 3 tournament at 1pm.

Food and drink will be available to purchase on site.


If you would like to be involved in the refurbishment please contact

Facebook event page:

Sumners Slam Dunk

Join us for a day of sport and fun for the whole family!

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