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Dec 05 2013

Hall’s Got Balls: Harrow Features in PMQs

susan_hall_pinup-150x150Harrow got a mention in Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday, following the recent announcements by the council of a crack-down on Beds in Sheds across the borough. The transcript of the question, and the answer given, is below.

Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con):

Two weeks ago, Harrow council officers closed down an unlicensed house in multiple occupation. Eleven unrelated adults were living in a three-bedroom property, each paying £160 a week in rent to a rogue landlord. The council is now investigating a further 100 cases. Does my right hon. Friend not agree that it is time we criminalised rogue landlords to protect the vulnerable?

The Deputy Prime Minister:

I am appalled to hear of yet another example of rogue landlords behaving unacceptably. As my hon. Friend knows, local authorities, including Harrow, have strong powers to tackle rogue landlords, and we expect them to make full use of those powers. Last October we announced a package to help hard-working tenants get a better deal when renting a home, including a commitment to look at property conditions in the private rented sector, and we will shortly announce which local authorities will receive a share in £3 million of funding to help them to tackle rogue and criminal landlords.

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11 comments

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  1. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    PAUL – THESE ARE NOT BEDS IN SHEDS-WHY CAN’T YOU GET YOUR HEAD ROUND SUCH AN EASY CONCEPT TO UNDERSTAND?

  2. sonoo malkani

    Does WHAT you call it matter when the rogues are being dealt robustly with and tax-payers feeling that justice is finally being done!Surely making full and proper use of powers in existence to weed out such flagrant abuse of our laws should be APPLAUDED!

    LAWBREAKERS by any other name are STILL LAWBREAKERS.For Pete’s sake let’s not pussy-foot around these crooks and pretend this is not WRONGDOING!

    Well done,for bringing this up in Parliament ,Bob ,and for making people realise HARROW MEANS BUSINESS.Encore!!

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Encore. I agree with Sonoo Malkani let us not argue over semantics. Thanks are due to Bob Blackman for bringing this issue to PMQ time. The Rachman style landlords are making Harrow a slum whilst counting their profits. Exploited tenants and last, but not least, the populace of Harrow who are providing services to these hovels but are cheated out of council tax.
    Bob Blackman and Susan Hall have both got balls but where are yours Willy?

  4. PraxisReform

    Most people tend to think “the law is the law”, and that we should all behave nicely and abide by it, I know I used to…

    But, as someone that claims to have a close association with the Police, Sonoo Malkani should know better than any of us that the law only applies to the little people, not Councillors, Politicians and company Directors.

    Banksters brought the UK economy to its knees, and many of Harrow’s Official Labour Councillors have been caught fiddling. Even Toerag McNulty the previous MP for Harrow East was caught with his hand in the till, but how many of those fraudsters have been jailed so far??

    Similarly, when Stephen Pound, MP suggested I report the £1,000,000 fraud that my previous employer was involved in to the Police; Harrow’s Police told the entourage of Managers that visited them that it was just a “Civil matter”, and politely asked us to go away, presumably so they could continue sitting back with their coffee and doughnuts watching the borough fall apart.

    Meanwhile, we found that the Courts told us that there is nothing in law to stop Directors defrauding the staff. Tony McNulty ignored letters sent to him asking for a change in the law, and Bob Blackman did the exact same thing as here. i.e. wring has hands and say “isn’t it terrible”, all whilst the Directors were busy were shutting up shop one day and reopening the next under a different name, to avoid their old Creditors and defraud a new lot of workers.

    The upshot being that although they acted unlawfully, the Directors were simply trying to keep their business afloat; and therefore according to the Insolvency Service “it isn’t in the Public interest to take any action”.

    Well, there was still a chance that they might get five numbers plus the bonus ball, and so everything would come good…

    But, nobody should expect to hear anything more about the matter from Bob Blackman, because pussy-footing around with crooks and fraudsters, pretending nothing is wrong is exactly what Politicians do. And the slum Landlords are simply trying to help provide accommodation to low-paid workers, right?

    Anyone that haven’t been bored by my rambling here can read the whole saga of crime, incompetence and political scandal at http://www.medi-vial.com/

  5. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Okay so it’s semantics. Personally I believe that if a politician claims they’re achieving something, or if a reporter claims a politician is achieving something, then they should be achieving it. But as the both of you feel that that is semantic then okay! So if Susan Hall and Bob Blackman claim they’re busting shops that sell alcohol and cigarettes to minors but they’re ONLY busting those that sell alcohol, then great! That’s fine! No worries! If they claim they’re busting drivers with no tax disc and fraudulent blue badge holders but they’re ONLY busting drivers with no tax disc then great! That’s fine! No worries! If they claim they’re busting premises extending their licensing hours and making excessive noise, but they only bust them for extending their licensing hours then great! That’s fine! No worries! Yep, we could even give Tony Kleanthous a call and say “Hey, Tone, we know we busted you for no planning permission for your stadium and for your floodlights being too bright but, hey, we’ve changed our mind thanks to the advice from a couple of commentators on iHarrow who have so astutely pointed out to us that we’re being semantic-so keep the lights, just take down the stadium.”! Indeed let’s all throw our green wheelybin rubbish into the BLUE bin-after all it’s all rubbish and we don’t want to be semantic now, do we?! If your house gets burgled let’s ask the police to charge the burgler with breaking and entering, but NOT with theft, but let’s CLAIM that we’ve charged him/her with BOTH; after all, to differentiate would be semantic, wouldn’t it?!

  6. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    As for Bob Blackman, I take it you mean the guy who’s party chair during his Wembley Conservative club days at the Red House by Wembley Stadium was Joe Antignolo, former book-keeper to the 1960s and 1970s Soho organised crime pornography, prostitution and call-girl racketeer Jim Humphreys, who infamously brought down the Flying Squad?!

  7. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Paul – why haven’t you posted my other comment?!

  8. PraxisReform

    No, this is a “practical” matter of process, and in my mind it works like this:

    Identify shop/premises etc. committing offence.
    |
    V
    Take action against offender.
    |
    V
    Check and see if action taken was effective.
    |
    V
    If yes, fantastic! If not, make further changes, and go back a step…

    In the political mind it works like this:

    Wait to be told about offence.
    |
    V
    Wait, and hope complainer goes away.
    |
    V
    Make vague comment about lack of power/money.
    |
    V
    Kick matter into long grass & forget about it.

  9. PraxisReform

    By Bob Blackman, I mean your Brother of whom Ken Livingstone said:
    “In Brent it is commonly known that Councillor Blackman is the municipal Robert Maxwell.”

    Source: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1993/mar/19/education-funding-brent#column_587

  10. Concerned Harrovian

    I do not understand the remark about Bob Maxwell. The only thing he and Bob Blackman have in common is the first name Bob. Robert Maxwell was a Labour MP for Buckingham.
    Would you spell out for me and other baffled readers just what Bob Blackman is being accused of doing because I would not think it wise to call him a thief on a public website.

  11. Praxis Reform

    I thought I’d made it clear, it’s Ken Livingstone comparing him to “Cap’n Bob”, quoted in Hansard.

    In the early 1990’s, Robert Maxwell was a well known shady character, who it transpired was involved in quite a few dodgy business dealings. So, Mr Livingstone is drawing parallels with the political goings on at “Barmy” Brent (as it was then known), during a time when Bob Blackman was Council Leader there – and implicated in more cover-ups and shady dealings than you could shake a stick at.

    Joe Antignolo seems to have covered his tracks quite well, but if you’re interested in the company Bob used to keep, Google Councillors Nkechi Amalu-Johnson, Poline Nyaga and Bertha Joseph.

    Oh, and the story of Brendan Mulkere and the Brent Irish centre is an interesting read too…

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