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Harlow Council Annual Report

The Council and its partners have an ambitious vision for the town. We want to improve Harlow for residents, businesses and visitors. The Council has seven priorities that it will work towards during 2013-14, click on the priorities below to find out more about the achievements of the Council and its partners:

More and better housingRegenerating to twon and supporting a thriving community

A clean, green and sustainable environmentSuccessful young people and improving citizenship

Promoting social inclusionProviding community leadership and good governance

Sound resource management

2012-13 overview

Below is an overview of what Harlow Council and its partners achieved during 2012-13:

  • Over three quarters of residents are satisfied with their refuse collection (79%) and doorstep recycling services (74%).
  • Over 83% of residents are satisfied with Kier Harlow’s street cleaning service and over 90% are satisfied with the shrub maintenance service provided.
  • Over three quarters of residents (77%) feel well informed about how Council Tax is spent.
  • During 2012/13 the majority of complaints made to the Council (87%) were responded to within the target of 10 working days.
  • Over half (54%) of respondents feel very or well informed about local public services in 2013.
  • The number of violent crimes fell to an all-time low. There were 1,740 violent crimes during 2012/13 compared to 2,400 during 2004/05, a reduction of 28%.
  • Residents are more satisfied with the way Harlow Council runs things (54%) than at any other time since 2003 (46%).
  • Slightly under half of residents (44%) agreed that the Council’s partner Kier Harlow Ltd was keeping public land clear of litter and refuse.
  • Around a quarter (22%) of residents feel that they can influence Council decisions.
  • Almost two thirds of residents (61%) are satisfied with sports/leisure facilities – a great improvement which reflects the success of the Leisurezone.
  • Over two thirds (69%) of respondents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
  • 42% of residents feel informed about how well local public services are performing
  • The Customer Service and Access Strategy gives the Council’s commitment to “treat customers with respect, courtesy, be helpful and friendly and honest.” The Council is committed to an on-going, two-way conversation with residents on the issues that matter to them. Examples from 2012-13 are the housing allocations consultation, revised customer service standards and tenants forums.

 Overall satisfaction with Harlow Council

Where Harlow Council money comes fromKey challenges for the future

The major challenge for the Council over the two to three years will centre on its core funding with further reductions of ten per cent announced by the Government for 2015/16 and the strong possibility that this will continue into 2017/18. 

In this context the Council will have seen a reduction of over 41 per cent in the core grants it receives from the Government since the coalition formed in 2010.

When combined with the restrictions placed upon the Council in terms of its ability to raise council tax, the Council will be faced with very hard choices in terms of what it provides in the future.

Welfare reform and the introduction of universal credit will be a further challenge for both the Council and local residents. Uncertainty still exists regarding the administration of the new benefits system and how this might impact on services currently delivered by the Council. Inevitably there will be local impacts for the residents of Harlow and this is something that is very difficult to quantify at the moment for individuals and the benefits they receive.

The table below provides the data behind the ‘Where Harlow Council’s Money Comes From’ pie chart

Funding area Amount received in 2012/13
Specific Government Grants £49.5m
Fees and Charges £8.5m
Council Tax £7.2m
Business Rates £5.5m
General Grants £0.8m
Interest and Dividends £0.1m
Revenue Support Grant £0.1m

My Council Tax – who keeps what?

Although Harlow Council collects your Council Tax it only keeps around £17 of every £100 collected. The rest goes to Essex County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PCC) and Essex Fire Authority.

Chart to show breakdown of every £100 collected

Table to show breakdown of every £100 collected

Service £100 breakdown
Essex Fire Authority £4
Essex PCC £9
Harlow Council £17
Essex County Council £70