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Sep 13 2017

Crowdfunding – the answer to our prayers, thinks Council

Harrow Council is trumpeting about crowdfunding again today, in this case, about Rayners Lane: “A crowdfunded project that promises to transform the centre of Rayner’s Lane is on the verge of hitting its £73,000 funding target – thanks to the enthusiasm of local residents and businesses.”

The project says: “We are working with a group of diverse local residents, businesses, shoppers, commuters and students who love our local high road, but have seen it gradually deteriorate over the years and lack a sense of place and pride. We lack a communal area where people can simply pause and breathe, sit and be entertained, or showcase their skills. It’s become such a thorough-way for activity that it’s identity has vanished.  And that’s what we’d like to change. We came together to re-vitalise it’s appearance, fix what doesn’t work and inject pride back into our area. By transforming this small triangle, by improving the paving, planting additional trees, and erecting a permanent ‘host’ structure, we will help re-energise the area for the local community. A small change will open it up to more community identity and entrench community cohesion now and into the future.”

Sounds impressive, right? Local residents and businesses stumping up £65,000+ to transform one of the grottiest parts of the borough.

But it’s not entirely accurate. Dig a little deeper, and you see:

  • Harrow Council is putting £40,000 towards this (or rather, “…explore pledging £35,000”)
  • Ladbrokes – a real pledge – is putting £10,000 in the pot.
  • The Mayor of London chucked in £15,000.

Or, in other words, out of the £65,807 raised by “local residents and businesses” so far, £65,000 comes from the council, the Mayor and one of the area’s largest employers. Or to put another twist on it: 1.2% of the money raised so far came from real, actual people.

Let’s be clear: every penny contributed makes a difference, and it’s a noble cause. But for the council to not tell the entire story isn’t a shining example of transparency. And the council funding something isn’t exactly the vision you have in mind when you hear the phrase ‘crowdfunding.’

If you’d like to contribute, you can do so here.

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3 comments

  1. Djfearros

    “…community identity and entrench community cohesion”. I thought we already had this. Make your minds up.

  2. Someonewhocares

    Well it looks like average contributions from the actual ‘public’ are only in the region of £10 or £20….

    Perhaps this is the ‘new direction’ for the Council – in that past we would have a ‘consultation’ and ask for contributions for it. The difference here is that presumably residents” *cash* contributions will not just be ignored like our written ones usually are?

    As for …”community identity and entrench community cohesion”? NO ! It actually does this opposite; Residents *already* pay Council Tax, so presenting seriously doubts that ‘passing the hat round’ for the other outstanding (public) 10% monies will “bind us all together” either.

    – Maybe the PR ‘gurus’ who thought that particular phrase up should contribute instead?

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Perhaps councillors could donate their allowances to projects that are in need of money i.e, Children’s Services They should do what many Council tax paying residents do and VOLUNTEER.. For those councillors needing the word volunteer explained to them it means working for FREE, GRATIS, NOTHING.

    I suspect some councillors use the position as a source of income and have no interest in serving the community.

    Also, I think Sachin (Polly) Shah should spend time accompanying Harrow Council’s work force to see what their jobs entail. Perhaps UNISON could suggest some jobs he could shadow. He might then reconsider making UNISON members redundant or decreasing their pay to fund increases in senior management pay.

    I believe Councillor Hall used to accompany the bin men to see what the job entailed. Perhaps she could confirm this was the case. I shall expect to see Councillor Shah on bin collection day emptying my bin.

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