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Sep 10 2013

Dropping In at the Civic Centre Last Night

harrow_council_logo2I dropped by Harrow’s Civic Centre yesterday evening for a couple of quick meetings with the Conservative and the Labour groups. Just a catch up, really, to find out what’s going on, and to avail myself of the free coffee (Labour had cups and saucers, the Conservatives had flowery mugs, so pretty much equal, in case anyone was wondering).

Seems that both parties are busy working on their manifestos at present, so it’ll be interesting to read those when they’re released. Hopefully, we’ll get a sneak preview from all three parties nearer the time, to see what promises or intents or pipe dreams they’re thinking of. I’d urge a note of caution: these things do live on for the length of your term, and they’re not just to be used for campaigning. iharrow.com has already take Bill Stephenson to task for some of his manifesto pledges made all those year ago.

Last night, it seems both the two groups had their Group meetings. Judging by the traffic flow, I’d guess the Conservatives had a 7.00pm start; Labour probably half hour later. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to as many as I could – nobody actually assaulted me, which I’m taking as a sign of a positive relationship.

I was surprised to see Cllr Bill Stephenson not looking in the best of health, but he was happy enough for a brief chat. Cllr Phil O’Dell shook my hand, presumably before it had sunk in who I was, as he slunk off, trailing toilet tissue behind him which had stuck to his shoe. Cllr David Perry was on fine form: a genuine, down-to-earth ‘bloke’ who is obviously passionate about the council, although I’m still slight skeptical of the explanation that the ladies shoes in his office were Cllr Margaret Davine’s.

And of course Cllr Kareema Marikar, who took me to task for hounding her over some of her recent tweets. Shame on Cllr Navin Shah for dashing past me, presumably still sore over the criticism of him wearing his painting clothes at the Mayor Making ceremony. Cllr Jeremy Miles was also there, smiling as usual. Lovely local bloke, Jerry, salt of the earth geezer.

Cllr Susan Hall, colour-coordinated with her office chair, had time for a brief chat as usual, and it was good to put a name to faces for Cllrs Stephen Wright and Simon Williams as well.

Finally on the way back to the car park, I bumped into Cllr Sachin Shah (disturbingly bright eyes!) who took time to talk about charging for the Councillors’ car park at the Civic Centre, followed briefly by Cllrs Keith Ferry and Rekha Shah.

Interestingly, nobody was counting chickens over who’ll end up being the Council leader next week. Yes, Labour won the most seats, but Conservative won the most votes, in the last election, but with both parties neck and neck, it’ll be down to the Independent Labour group, and the odd independants, to decide who wins. Of course, at the moment, we don’t know if either group is putting a candidate forward. I’m sure all will, but this is a unique situation, so who knows?

Incidentally, I did offer to stay and take notes at one of the group meetings; an offer which was politely – to my face last least – declined.

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9 comments

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  1. j p hobbs

    Keep it up this Forum is the best antidepressant available in Harrow . MY GOD how the people of Harrow need one . PS Still not one Cllr has taken up the Stealth Camera scam . SHAME ON THEM . sorry little Willy .

  2. Susan Hall

    Paul always manages to make me laugh as well, even if its about my shoulder pads, colour coordination or heels. at least it shows he is in touch with his feminine side!

    However John you are being somewhat disingenuous by saying that ‘not one of our Cllrs has taken up the Stealth Cameras’ I wrote to you and phoned you and double checked that the Wealdstone Camera that you are particularly concerned about is indeed legal. I would hate residents to think that nobody bothered because as always I did! I recognise that enforcement cameras should be visible but this is something that needs to be looked at borough wide by the administration. Unfortunately the Conservatives are not in power at the moment.

    1. j p hobbs

      Sorry Susan Cllr Hall you did enquire but I do hope you don’t leave it there , it is something that should be followed up ,1700 poor unsuspecting souls on just one of the many cameras along that strip is too many , I believe the Lib Dems are going to mention it in their next news letter , I just wish the local papers would as well , I read in last weeks local papers about more muggings stabbings and shootings in Harrow but not one picture of the incidents or the perpetrators from any of those cameras , so please keep pushing that bunch of overpaid timewasters the elections are not far off . KEEEP DANCING . X

    2. j p hobbs

      Yes Paul and can you remind us on here when they are coming up so that some of us can be there to support you , I have been to a couple and did get a word or three in edgewise at both of them .
      I feel that a lot of good will come from your forum . jph

  3. 4Democracy

    Totally agree about this being the best antidepressant available.

    Thanks Paul for a good laugh ,makes a change not to be crying over our council!

    Can you please attend a few council meetings so you can post your observations of them, the next few promise to be quite lively?

  4. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    If it’s a lively Council meeting you’re looking for come down on Monday evening 7pm – this one’s promising to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” political showdown and as exciting as local politics is ever likely to get! So turn off that tv, down that cuppa, put your coat on and mosey on down to the Civic Centre to witness what promises to be a most entertaining show. If nothing else, once it’s in the papers you’ll be able to tell your friends, family and work colleagues “I was there”! & J.P. – you already know I unashamedly LIKE that camera! & re your comment about me-sorry I can’t comment while I’m a Councillor but if, as and/or when I’m not – I promise to reply 😉

  5. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @ Susan – I think what Paul is trying to point out is that you always look fabulous; which of course is undisputable (and I defy any Tory to argue about THAT! 😉 )

  6. j p hobbs

    Well that’s one thing Willy and I agree on . jph cooor

  7. j p hobbs

    Willy in spite of being a Cllr I bet deep down inside there is a human being in there somewhere , BTW
    If I had a share in the perks from that camera I would probably love it . so would the other 1700 poor Harrow citizens who fell foul of it , By the way did you hear they are going to sack all the Cllrs and staff at the Civic Centre and replace them with cheaper Eastern European workers , now there is a good idea I wish I had thought of that . cheers Wills .

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