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Nov 13 2014

Guest Post: Labour Administration Need “Backbone and Leadership”

guest_postDear Editor,

The residents of not only Stanmore Park, but in other wards throughout the borough, have complained to me that they have reported planning breaches to the Council’s Planning Department or have sought assessments for Adult Care placements and that, after repeated attempts to obtain a response, the officials at the Council have not communicated with them properly. One cause of this is simply a lack of courtesy and the idea that somehow the Council is doing our residents a favour to treat them with respect and respond to their enquiries in a timely manner.

The delay in response times and general lack of communication causes people unnecessary stress and anxiety. People quickly develop a lack of confidence that the Council is failing to take their problems seriously. This is usually when they get in touch with their councillors. However, even then and as a councillor myself, I am finding it increasingly difficult to obtain information on behalf of residents. I have had to repeatedly send reminder emails and on occasion put in a phone call to the senior Council officers to let them know that their staff are not performing well in this respect. To say it is frustrating, time consuming and frankly an embarrassment is an understatement.

With the exception of the refuse collection team and certain very responsive officers in Highways, I can honestly say that since 1998 when I was first elected, I cannot remember a time when it has been so hard to find out what is going on and be able to revert to people accordingly. This won’t do and something needs to be done about it as a matter of urgency.

The current Labour administration is insisting they need a costly Chief Executive position back at the Council as if somehow this will improve the lot of the people of Harrow, when what is desperately needed more than anything else is for the Cabinet members (all Labour) to get a grip on their departments and show some backbone and true leadership, because at the moment Harrow residents are being let down.

Yours,

Cllr. Marilyn Ashton (Conservative)
Stanmore Park Ward
Harrow Council

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1 comment

  1. Rupika Dave

    Marilyn. Your post only adds to my own frustration with not only the councils lack of response to their residents, but, in my case, a lack of response to my MP Bob Blackman. I have asked him to look into a matter which seriously impacts on my quality of life and yet, I and he, have heard nothing since June 2014. Despite chasing matters, Bob tells me he is still waiting for a response. In my view, if the MP is not important enough to reply to, what chance have we, the plebs of Harrow got? I wish you luck in your quest for answers for your constituents but I fear like many of us, you will find that we just don’t matter to Harrow Council. I know that previously people have asked for a monthly surgery with either the leader of the council or the CEO so that the public can highlight issues personally and seek some assurance that our taxes warrant replies to our concerns. So far the suggestion has been met with silence.

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