Letter to Harwich Residents from Ivan Henderson

Dear fellow resident

I am your Essex County Councillor and I am writing to you to let you know that the local Labour Party members have re-selected me to be Labour’s candidate in the elections for Essex County Council that will take place in May 2017.

These are very important elections and I hope that you will give me your support so that I can continue to provide a strong voice for Harwich and Dovercourt at County Hall.

Probably the biggest fight that we are facing at present is to prevent the Conservatives running Essex County Council from going ahead with their plan to remove our full time fire-fighters from Dovercourt Fire Station.  This is a dreadful and dangerous proposal that could leave Harwich and Dovercourt without a fire engine within 20 minutes of our town and your Labour councillors are totally against the plan.  We know that we have the support of the local community in our efforts to make the Conservatives reverse this terrible decision and I will continue to lead this fight if re elected as your local Essex County Councillor.

I hope you will agree that I have worked hard on your behalf over the last four years and, with the support of my Labour colleagues, I have had a number of successes.  It was good news when we got the pedestrian crossing installed between the café and the beach on Dovercourt seafront and the installation of the signs requesting vehicles to respect a 20MPH speed limit in Historic Harwich have made it a safer place for residents and tourists alike.  It was a long and hard struggle to get the road surface improved in Patrick’s Lane and, while the maintenance of our roads and pavements is still very poor, I keep the pressure on to have potholes filled in a lot quicker than would often be the case.

We are still suffering from the Conservatives’ ridiculous decision to turn our street lights off at night and this is still making things unnecessarily difficult for the emergency services, shift workers and those using and working in our local pubs and restaurants.  The Conservatives bulldozed this decision through without carrying out the required risk assessments and without listening to the genuine concerns of the community and they show no signs of admitting that they got it badly wrong.  This doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with what they have done and we continue to keep the pressure on to make them think again.

On issues such as our local bus services, our fire station, children’s centres, Sure Start and the Careers Advice Service for our local school leavers the Conservatives at County Hall continue to treat Harwich and Dovercourt as the ‘poor relation’ and we are always at the top of their list when it comes to cuts.  Without a strong voice standing up for our town things would certainly be a lot worse as it is only Labour insisting that we are treated fairly.

As a local person who has lived here all of my life I am passionate about our town and its people and, if re elected, I promise that I will do everything possible to ensure that we get the services and opportunities that we need and that we deserve.

Kind regards
Ivan Henderson