Jan 13 2017

Filming starts at the Civic Centre. Yes, you read that correctly.

film_setFilm crews have been arriving at the Civic Centre this week, with workers hammering and sawing away building a film set in what appears, from the outside, to be the members lounge. The pay and display car park looks like it’ll be taken out of use to accommodate a number of stars (and their egos) for the next few weeks.

So, what’s being filmed? Given the tired 70s appearance of the building, you’d be forgiven for thinking it could be a zombie apocalypse thriller of some kind, although we understand it’s something directed by Jose Padilha.

But why is it being filmed in the Civic Centre, a town hall which is supposed to serve the people of Harrow? Clearly, the disruption is going to be immense: difficulty parking, congestion and traffic, demands to keep quiet – and that’s just for visitors. Staff will also likely be impacted by having their movement around the building impeded, and, no doubt, the fleet of dubious looking security guards preventing the great unwashed from getting too close to the stars.

The Labour-run council has one job to do: serve the public who fund it. Pimping itself out as a film set is not what a council does. Fill potholes, collect rubbish and clean streets are what residents want. This outrageous council should be focused on trying to do what residents want, not what it’s Chief Exec thinks will make him look good in the local government newspapers.


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    Another example of making moneY from the car parks
    Ihstead of houses on civic site How about large hospice type care home with lawn areas and medical units , no provision in the borough for moder care home units


  2. Christopher Langley

    I suggest that this blog was written by someone who doesn’t understand Marketing and in particular Product Placement, Communication and Branding.

    Let me explain, Harrow just as Watford or Brent Cross is seen more and more by the outside world through social media. The competitive nature of retailing and the need to attract young people in to the Borough requires incentives to create interest through Marketing and Branding and if necessary, by creating a new version of the product. In this case Harrow is the product. Watford and Brent Cross are well on the way to doing just that.

    For the retail trade this is paramount in its success in .generating additional footfall and for a local Council in attracting inward investment.

    To be able to attract a film company to use our Borough for a location shot is a real plus in generating just the right impression of a place which has something of interest and communicating it to a wider audience.

    This is particularly important as for many, Harrow’s strap line could read “Harrow – nothing on offer!

    To illustrate my point and how important Branding and product placement is, take the example of the German car advert with the strap line “Vorsprung Durch Technik”. Well, many German made consumer products now have the strap line “Made in Germany with love”. Compare this with the UK Government’s strap line “Made in Britain – where Brexit means Brexit”. See the difference?

    Harrow Council
    should be applauded and not subject to some crass remark, ill thought through at best and an illustration of how far removed the writer is from the way people now communicate.

  3. Someonewhocares

    Oh dear: Did you just do Marketing at A-Level or something? First YOU clearly do not understand Branding; Harrow is *already* ‘Branded’ thanks to its most famous asset – the School on The Hill.

    Secondly what exactly is the nature of the film being produced – do you know this – as if the name mentioned is correct that director is known for ‘shoot ‘em up’ destruction-type features; (Robocop etc) Do you *still* think this would help Harrow’s reputation? I wonder if the Council have any control/ideas on the storylines for that matter. Or perhaps Lockwood could use the famous Arnie phrase “I’ll Be Back” (again) in this production?

    Typically such film locations (depending on the size etc) can earn £5-15K per day; I would suspect that fee (and probably the prospect of a few Council bigwigs ‘hanging with the Stars’) are the primary motivations here. So, nothing whatsoever to do with Marketing / Product Placement, Communication / Branding then? If you think that using the Civic Centre as a backdrop will bring the Social Media masses you are also sadly mistaken about that too.

    Of course, bearing in mind the particular genre/s involved maybe there is plan to accidentally destroy the Civic Centre as part of the intentions to move/build it elsewhere?

    Filming in/near the Civic Centre will simply reduce access to that building for a period of time and an associated loss of Services no doubt (as Paul correctly pointed out)

    PS: Your strap-line examples and comparisons are truly dire in this context! “Grade C” at best!

  4. Cllr Jeff Anderson

    What a ridiculous and, frankly,dim post. Filming in Boroughs makes councils large sums of money that can be used to support services. Other London Councils have film units that work with film companies that bring in substantial income to those Councils. As Christopher Langley points out there are substantial benefits in raising profile, marketing and branding which attracts business and visitors to the borough. It is good for Harrow, it is good for residents and businesses.

    1. susan hall

      Jeff I don’t think it is good, or polite,to call a post from a resident ‘dim’ We both know that this filming is neither good for Harrow or its residents especially if they want to visit the Offices to make a complaint……. Ahh see what you’ve done here – stop residents from coming to the Civic, make it difficult for residents to call to make a complaint (which you worked on ages ago)- hey presto complaints go down and you Labour Councillors think you are thus doing a good job – you’ve been sussed!

    2. FedUpHarrow

      oi, jeff, is this yuor missus fawning over it al like a pre-pubescent girll at a one direction concert??


    3. Wealdstone Warrior

      Cllr Anderson, the Civic Centre is a public building and should maintain a full service level at all times to serve the public of Harrow. You know, those members of the public who pay hugely inflated council tax bills for a service which is non existent. Lets see how dim the public are in the next local elections 2018.

      I am interested to see how the £100k will be used and invested by Harrow Council. Maybe if they had asked for £350k, then they wouldn’t have to borrow this amount for the so called regeneration of Harrow creating more debt, paying back the loan with interest!

  5. Someonewhocares

    I touched a nerve Cllr. (J) Anderson? Oh yes, the other half of Cllr. Sue Anderson, part of the Harrow Arts Centre/Cultura mess – of course!

    I expect you did not understand (or read) what I had written: Yes, as I SAID – renting out the Civic Centre makes money – but at what cost (to day-to-day Services)?

    Here is an example for you to consider from last May, when some of *this film* was shot at the Civic Centre:
    Such filming takes up quite a lot of space though (with considerable disruptions):

    -As for ‘raising Harrow’s profile’ could you post up all the links in the Media for this and how this helped the LBH. No? Then how about letting us know (in a ‘transparent’ fashion) just how much this activity generated for ‘US’ and how many days were involved?

    – Apparently the Council Chamber was used as Criminal/Military Court of some kind..
    (so others feel free to make some suitable jokes here..) It will be interesting to see all the film buffs visiting Harrow to see where it was made, as no doubt fans of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard ” will want to see some real drama in that Chamber Pity the related imdb ‘Locations’ entry for this simply states ‘LONDON’ then.

    Finally I do hope you realise that with this post I probably just raised LBH’s ‘Arts’ profile more than YOU both do together too!

    1. Someonewhocares

      Furthermore Cllr. Anderson *this* should help: Here’s the official synopsis (for you to submit to the Harrow Times – soon):-

      “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is an action comedy about the world’s top protection agent (Reynolds) and his new client: a notorious hitman who came in from the cold (Jackson). They’ve been on opposite ends of a bullet for years. They hate each other. Now they’re stuck together and have 24 hours to get from England to The Hague. The only thing standing in their way is everything a murderous Eastern European dictator (Oldman) can throw at them.”
      – And some of the key Courtroom scenes were ‘shot’ in our own Council Chambers last May! LBH were paid £XXX and we all worked hard to ensure that normal Services were not affected…..

      Now *that’s* how Marketing/Spin etc works; Glad to offer LBH some effective *Commercial* input (‘You’re Welcome’)

      And just be sure to do the same for the Current Civic Centre Film activity, too

      Now, any (meaningful) questions? (Preferably nothing to do with Audi/Brexit/etc Christopher L.)

  6. Angry Resident

    The Film is for Entebbe, about the Israeli commando raid in 1976 to free hostages on an Air France flight taken over by Palestinian hijackers and landed in Ida Amin’s Uganda. Not sure how this heightens the profile of Harrow!!

    The film crew have taken over, us staff cannot park, I hear many meetings have been moved, the entire front of the building has been altered inside. All the chairs and desks have been taken out of the Council Chamber, the members Lounge is two seperate rooms and everything is in chaos. How does this help Harrow, it certainly is not helping us staff trying to work and get to work. Not sure how the visitors to the Civic Centre are getting in.

    1. Someonewhocares

      But ‘Angry Resident’ surely this can not be true, Cllr. (J) Anderson has specifically said this will be ‘good for us all’!

      -Or perhaps WE are simply *being held hostage* now by these Councillors’ whims and ‘artistic pretentions’? Also looking forward to seeing just explaining how much *this* Film Unit paid LBH to cause this chaos too Jeff/Sue!

    2. Linda Robinson

      Thanks for giving everyone those insights Angry Resident/staff member, otherwise I would have had to do so myself. I was called this morning by an officer telling me that a meeting today had had to be relocated because of Entebbe filming. He had a list of other people to call. Goodness knows if he managed to reach them all in time. Luckily for me, I wasn’t supposed to be attending this particular meeting anyway, but that’s another side of the inefficiency story. I’m with Paul and Someonewhocares on this one.

  7. Concerned Harrovian

    I agree with Cllr. Hall. Calling people you disagree with dim and sneering at them is not the best way to convert them to your point of view. Why do you think of the council tax payers of Harrow as plebs and not worthy of expressing a point of view different to the one you hold. Perhaps we ought to ask folks for a donation so we could buy a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book “How to win friends and influence people”. Surely want we want in a councillor is the effort to be polite even if you do not agree with what they say.

  8. Mike N

    Come on Cllr Anderson, the voters of Harrow are still waiting for your reply! Maybe just a little apology for calling at least some of them ‘dim’. Or maybe a reply to Someonewhocares questions….How much did Harrow Council make from letting out the civic centre for filming? Was it enough to send someone out to pick up the beer cans and takeaway wrappers in my area? Maybe it can be spent on picking up the mattress on the grass verge just around the corner from me!
    Another ‘Gordon Brown’ foot in mouth moment…..think before you speak! At least he was persuaded, in the end, to apologise to that ‘poor bigoted women’

  9. ricky123

    They made £100,000 for letting out the Civic for Filming.

    1. Angry Resident

      ricky123 that can’t be correct. My Colleague tells me the film makers are here for a month, they are renting 2 large car parks,the Council Chamber, All the Meeting Rooms, the Members Lounge in fact all of the public bits of floor 1. They also have the meeting rooms on the middlesex floors. There are people everywhere,I assume they are called ‘extras’ there is complete disruption and difficult for those of us wanting to park at work, i have no idea how the residents are getting in and managing. Lots of pay and display bays have been taken out so that the cranes (all three of them) can fit in. EVEN Harrow Council would not give all of that up for £100,000 – it would not be worth it for them given all this trouble and disturbance, if anyone knows what they are actually getting I expect everyone would be pleased to hear

      1. ricky123

        Angry Resident, I heard that from a good source, and most of I hear from them has been correct.

  10. Mike N

    In that case I definitely expect the litter in my area to be picked up in the next couple of day. Yipee! Won’t hold my breath though!

  11. ricky123

    Sorry to say this Mike, forget about your rubbish, that is Lockwoods 6 months pay.

  12. Mike N

    Oh dear! Never mind. At least I have Cllr Anderson’ apology to look forward to!

  13. Someonewhocares

    Clearly Jeff A. is not man/Councillor/informed/bright enough to reply (and this has been noted by all) – but I suppose it is very difficult indeed for him to respond now when he is so obviously wrong (and on all counts)?

    In the absence of any meaningful input from him however let’s speculate a little:

    Maybe the £100K figure is quite accurate. A FULL month on such a large scale may well glean a fee of £350K (at ‘normal’ rates), albeit less the £250K costs of such massive (and frankly ridiculous and short-sighted) disruptions to ALL?

    It really would be nice to think though that this notional £100K ‘surplus’ might be used to clean up our streets properly – and actually ‘raise Harrow’s profile’ that way?

    -Or perhaps this £100K will go to save the Arts Centre (and by that I don’t mean the Cultura Director’s payments, obviously)

  14. Concerned Harrovian

    Mike N

    You might wait a long time for an apology from Councillor Anderson. He obviously takes John Wayne’s quote of “Never apologise, never explain” as a rule of thumb. He is obviously a Labour Councillor that has gone rogue like an elephant. Other Labour Councillors don’t refuse to answer questions and dish out insults like a child in the playground.

    I would be apprehensive about attending any of his surgeries given what he says about people with whom he disagrees. If you attend his Councillor surgery and ask a question are you going to be dismissed as dim and ridiculous by this intellectual heavyweight of a Councillor?

    I would think that even the philosopher, Socrates would hesitate to ask this Councillor any questions because he would be thought of as an inferior being not worthy of a polite answer.

  15. red mirror

    i hear it is a remake of 1984 michael lockwood’s office is room 101 the building is oppressive enough and cctv is certainly on tap and no need for extras the poor lied to depressed people of the boro will do nicely.

  16. Mike N

    Guess that’s it then! Doesn’t look like we’re going to get an apology from Cllr Anderson. Just hope the electorate remembers his ill choice of words at the next elections!

  17. Someonewhocares

    I expect Anderson’s ego has prevented him from even reading this blog, I mean ‘what does it really matter if you insult the electorate anyway?’

    -Or perhaps the realisation that the purported £3k/Day fee would be ‘right down at the very low end’ (and the resultant chaos is thus unjustified) is now an embarrassment to him now?

    -Besides there are many more important things for our Councillors to do, like SUE Anderson’s tweet as mentioned above, which shows under the Title ‘Hollywood Comes to Harrow’ a bank of four spotlights next to the Civic Centre (Yes, *spotlights*,‘Whoop-De-Do’!)

    One thing is for sure though, this thread has certainly “raised *The Anderson’s* profile”, although not ‘in a good way’!

    1. Someonewhocares


      – Might wait a while then ask Rosamund Pike etc about their trip to Harrow……
      – Might also have to do a FOIA request to find out The Council’s impressions etc though!

  18. Im happy

    I had a meeting at the civic centre and it went ahead.i think if the filming generates money for the council we should all be glad especially wen the council is so strapped for cash and there are so many cuts being made.i do think its worth any inconvenience,besides its good to have interesting things happening in Harrow and the resources being used to make money.i dont understand all the complaining.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Well I’m not sure if you ‘do not understand all the complaints’ that you actually read them properly but as long as YOU had YOUR one meeting that’s the ‘most important thing’, obviously!

      -It set me thinking though: How about we immediately convert the Civic Centre in Luxury apartments, and the Council Chamber into a gym (plus you could easily get a few Squash Courts in there)? That was we get ‘lots of money’ and Harrow also gets a reputation as a Quality/Fit place?

      -Obviously there is then the ‘small issue’ of where everyone involved in Services etc be located instead but that can easily be provided with a few dozen Porta-cabins in the Car Park (with a Winnebago for Lockwood of course); Sorted! (Plus maybe that is their long-term plan?)

      Incidentally just how exactly are you connected/related to Jeff/Sue or Christopher?

    2. Wealdstone Warrior

      Good for you ‘Im happy’ that you attended your meeting, give yourself a round of applause!

      Harrow Council
      is the only London Council and one of only 10 English councils who have failed to agree a four-year Local Government Finance Settlement. If they had agreed then they would not be in the financial mess that they are in at the moment and relying on film companies for extra revenue.

  19. Im happy

    Thanx for your non combative words ‘someone who cares’..i probably havent read all the comments as thoroughly as u.but am still expressing my opinion.as for saying iattended a meeting at civic simply meant not everything has ground to a halt n i wud have happily journeyed eleswhere.on the grand scale of things..not an issue…also no relation..are you related to everyone else wit the same views as yourself?…thanx also wealdstone warrior…i did spend half an hour applauding myself fir attending the meeting at the civic…(not) but then i thought it wouldbe far more constructive to whinge and whine on the internet…i kno ssumthing of the cuts..i dont profess great knowledge and re the local govt.finance settlement i dint know anything…do u know why they failed to agree? however to all the bemoaners wud u have rather the council knocked back the extra revenue for the filming or rather they took it and used it?i think its a clear choice..unless ucan think of alternate ways to make money in the same time frame?

  20. Im happy

    ps.idont agree with all cuts /closure of services to the then threatened closure of harrow arts centre…or library closures..cuts to vol sectors.care etc…but i still stand by wat i have said…and thats after rereading all comments..as for insulting posts..surely others(noteveryone)have been insulting too..same rule shud apply for all.

  21. Someonewhocares

    Well ‘I’m happy’ good for you (again)! First my comment about you being related etc to the proponents of this filming activity was merely intended as a joke. Second this issue is not so much about WHAT the Council are doing but how they do it.

    Incidentally I would personally argue for ‘free speech’ whenever possible (as long as it is not overly offensive); MR. Jeff Anderson is thus entitled to make any remarks to me he wishes (even completely uninformed ones) and I will reply accordingly. However when using his ‘title’ –COUNCILLOR – there are then other responsibilities (to residents) involved of course.

    (Unnecessary insults aside) Jeff had retorted that “other Councils do this, it makes money, it is good for Harrow” – apparently merely because “he says so” – as there was no attempt by him to quantify/qualify this further (in spite of requests to do so). We should thus reasonably assume now that both Cllr. Andersons were part of the group who originally facilitated this filming, and also that they do not feel they are answerable to residents (or co-workers) as far as using PUBLIC buildings like this is concerned (?). – Or presumably we are ALL too dim to realise this, too? In this context I also wonder if a suitable Cost/Benefits analysis for this Filming was even carried out (because I seriously doubt it). I expect they just rubber-stamped it!

    PS: If Jeff had bothered to check he would have noted that elsewhere on this blog I have been rather sympathetic to CENTRAL GOVERNMENT cuts to the Council’s budget. Now however, in the face of his arrogance/ignorance, I am instead wondering if they are even listening to (or care to inform) us of their plans, whatever they may be!

  22. Someonewhocares

    Cllr. Hall: Thanks for asking the questions about this ‘officially’ last week (19th. January)
    Did you get any (meaningful) answers at all (yet)?

    Councillor Susan Hall Asked of: Councillor Sachin Shah:

    Question: “What are the estimated costs (financial, disruption, staff hours) the Council will incur due to the filming taking place at Civic 1 from 11th-25th January?”

  23. Ilikefilmme (@vespa2222)

    Couple of points firstly £5-£15k a days it starts at £0 some councils in the past have not charged a fee ,then you have income that is money brought into the local economy for instance fuel for the gennys,catering food will be sourced local in most cases & incidentals,then you have the “build”timber etc can also be purchased local depending on who is doing the build this can add to many ££££ of pounds on food alone if you think breakfast lunch dinner afternoon tea & late wrap.

    The LB will take away parking & this should of all been worked out between the councils film unit & the LM whose job it is to find & manage the locations,once you factor in the honey wagons,winnies,roach coach,chuck wagons make up,wardrobe,& assorted other vehicles then unless the LB is off site disruption will occur.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Not sure if that helps the ‘pro’ argument much (if at all). As for councils “not charging a fee” just exactly how much fuel/lumber/food/etc is being sourced locally then, as it would have to be an inordinate amount to compensate? (- and incidentally do these fuel-hungry generators also produce pollution, too?)

      Anyway here is an indication and example of the ‘normal commercial rates’ (for large-scale Feature Films – at stations): £5.5K/3 hours – £11K/6 hours – £13K overnight/6 hours and so on:


      Of course we still have NO IDEA what LBH have made…. or lost (in real terms):

      I do think they deserve a rating for their production though: ‘LBH and The PR from Hell’

      ” Overall a confusing plot not helped by all the general ignorance and unnecessary side-stories and frequent failure to provide suitable information to their audience (US). Much of the better material must have ended up on the cutting-room floor due to bad planning and vision. Should be sent direct to DVD. Maybe the sequel will be watchable?”


      1. Ilikefilmme (@vespa2222)

        Depends i worked for years in film/tv & toured with bands so I have a good knowledge of what goes on & I am not in the pro camp if I had my way the film unit would be stripped from whoever runs it & handed over to people who know the industry.

        But 1 thing to bear in mind it is what comes into the local community that I am on about not what the council charged & it can be a large amount I am not knocking you but do not always take for granted what a webpage says we took over a whole underground station that is kept just for filming & it was peanuts.

        On 1 shoot my budget was 10k a week on another it was 250k for the whole thing that went into the local areas & it adds up,On 1 job I went into an off license & brought it out
        I will see if I can find out what the fee was through my contacts but it will take time.

        Oh & I can confirm HARROW is not being considered for Sharknado 5 Earth 0 even though I offered Cllr Shah as chump.

  24. Ilikefilmme (@vespa2222)

    Here are a few costs for you oh by the way my friends are helping here so thank you to stevie “phone home” who said shark for some of the figures.LMAO

    The costs of having Met Police officers on set varies depending on their seniority. Below are the rates charged to productions for a standard eight-hour day…

    Assistant Commissioner – £1,711
    Deputy Assistant Commissioner – £1,217
    Commander – £886
    Chief Superintendent – £724
    Superintendent – £639
    Chief Inspector – £546
    Inspector – £517
    Sergeant – £538 (£807 on public holidays)
    Constable – £450 (£675 on public holidays)

    Horses – £170.70 per day (plus any extra expenses incurred for their conveyance and stabling)
    Dogs – £63.40 per day (plus any extra expenses incurred for their conveyance)
    Marked motorcycles – Between £59.20 (100cc to 600cc) and £94.90 (over 600cc)
    Marked cars – Between £88.70 (under 1300cc) up to £128.50 (over 1800cc)
    Marked vans – Between £128.50 (under 1900cc) up to £137.70 (over 1900cc)
    Ballistically Protected 4×4 vehicle – £191.80

    Harrow Council
    earnings per year via charges for filming on their land/property

    ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 ’13 ’14 ’15
    15,735 29,850 10,725 20,675 31,525 29,100 35,898 46,100 43,601 n/a


    1. Someonewhocares

      Not exactly sure why you have listed the Police costs there – but it is still interesting to know what the Met charge ‘on set’!

      The earnings of Harrow Council’s Film Unit are *very* relevant though; at an average of some £26K per year for ’06-’15 I now wonder if they actually even covered their running costs anyway.

      -Your figures do not include the ‘big productions’ of ’16 & ’17 of course and, as our councillors are not forthcoming on (gross) earnings, then hopefully your helpful contact will oblige?

      -Again the key issue here is simply if LBH were paid an appropriate amount for the use of OUR asset/s and the disruption to OUR Services, obviously. We clearly suspect not!

      1. red mirror

        where you see decay disease and dead flesh expect maggots.

        1. Someonewhocares

          Well, Red Mirror’ I really don’t want to ‘go fishing’ – except for *facts* !

          1. red mirror

            well someone who mentioned fish?a freudian slip on your part methinks .As for facts you will be angling for answers evermore.

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