Mar 23 2016

Harrow Arts Centre – Something smell bad to you?

harrow_arts_logoHarrow Arts Centre, now being almost propped up by an outfit called Cultura London, announced it’s new CEO this week. No surprises to see that the role went to CEO-in-waiting Sandra Bruce-Gordon. Nothing wrong there, then.

Ms Bruce-Gordon, as we noted here two months ago, worked for the council as Interim Service Manager Arts and Heritage – the very position which would have probably recommended giving the Arts Centre away to Cultura London in the first place. No indication, of course, as to what salary Ms B-G demanded.

Given that fellow board member, the erstwhile Labour councillor for Greenhill, Cllr Sue Anderson (yes, the same Sue Anderson behind that patch of greenery at the arse-end of Harrow on the Hill station) was, and remains, the portfolio holder for community, and the one who would have supported Ms B-G’s recommendation, it’s all starting to look a little odd. And smell a little fishy.

The spiel on Cultura’s website says: “Sandra’s vast experience includes management of theatres of all sizes, (including management of theatres in Glasgow during its year as Cultural City), arts & cultural development and consultancy. Regeneration projects that she has led include Manor Farm Site Ruislip, Hogarth House Chiswick, Gunnersbury Park Museum and Bilston Town Hall Wolverhampton. The first person to manage public libraries within the private sector, Sandra was previously General Manager for John Laing Integrated Services and Chief Executive of Hounslow Community Services.” Not a mention of her time at Harrow, where she seems to have set up her next role quite nicely.

Smell bad? No, it bloody well stinks.


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  1. F.D.Billson

    Anything to do with this council stinks,it has shown that it is certainly not in power to act upon the wishes of residents . They have abdicated their responsibility for HAC and certainly cannot be trusted to see that the intended outcome is finally reached. They are sitting on some prime development land here and their activities in the background should be closely watched by residents. The sooner this council is out, the better for all.

  2. Concerned Harrovian.

    it is very odd that when you look at the Cultura website (the charity that is taking over the Arts Centre) you see Councillor Sue Anderson is a board member. How can she be a councillor making decisions on the Art Centre when she is on the board of the charity Cultura that is taking over the arts centre. Isn’t this a conflict of interests?

    Can anyone tell me what is going on at the Arts centre?

  3. Ben Ones

    At some point in the next year it wouldn’t at all suprise me that suddenly HAC will close and affordable housing will have been approved for the site. This will help boost voter numbers for the current lot in power.

  4. Peter Hamill

    Harrow Arts Centre? Harrow has nothing in its centre except a variety of cafes pubs and small shops. It offers nothing. To have the ‘Arts Centre’ in inaccessible Hatch End is ridiculous and overly expensive. A theatre in Central Harrow would bring life back to the miserable area. Harrow once had a theatre, several cinemas, swimming pools and LIFE. Now it has very little. The centre is dead at night. The hotels – the Cumberland, the Comfort, the Kempsford are all shut down. Harrow needs art and culture. At present it has neither. The money spent on Cultura is money wasted. Harrow councillors have no real interest in the arts which is a great pity as there is great potential in the Borough.

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