Sep 04 2013

Harrow Council: How we look after vulnerable people… Not.

harrow_council_logo2The Harrow Times has an article today about a Mrs Cursons, a 74 year old woman who collected a parking ticket after stopping and helping her husband into an opticians in Harrow. Her husband, a 78 year old suffering with bone cancer, was unable to walk from the car to the shop.

Harrow Council refused to cancel the ticket; Mrs Cursons appealed it all the way to PATAS, where the independent parking Adjudicator who said “Although I have not allowed this appeal I find that the circumstances of this case make compelling reasons why the notice to owner should be cancelled and I recommend that the local authority cancel the notice to owner.”

Harrow Council still refused to cancel the ticket.

Fortunately, following representations from Cllr James Bond and the Harrow Times, common sense has now prevailed: the ticket finally got cancelled.

In a statement today the council’s head of services for collections Fern Silverio said: “The council has withdrawn this penalty charge notice, and we would like to apologise to Mrs Cursons and her family for any distress this issue may have caused.”

Gives you a nice warm feeling, doesn’t it? You can read the full article here.

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  1. Melanie

    I made an official complaint about Fern Silverio months ago. A seriously ill, disabled resident had spent about 8 weeks trying to get in touch with him regarding the sudden termination of her taxi card. As she was having daily treatment, the sudden stoppage would mean that she would be unable to get to the hospital to have the life saving treatment she so desperately needed. She begged, pleaded, cried on the phone to have at least some rides restored. She explained that without the treatment it was likely she would die. Fern Silverio’s answer to her problems was that she should pay for the taxi herself or die. It wasn’t of any interest to him.
    I have never had a reply to my official complaint. I got my usual phone call from Mike Howes telling me that the Council were going to sue me for defamation of character. That everybody in the Council hates me etc; etc;. What sleepless nights I’ve had over that!
    The question that should be asked by the Conservative Group is not whether Independent Labour can successfully run our once beautiful Borough. But, how have such people like Silverio got away with this kind of behaviour for so long. A thorough audit should be taken of every department.
    We, the residents of Harrow, are fed up of being treated like fools. Councillors and Council Employees should remember, they work for us, we don’t work for them. Fern Silverio is an excellent example of a council officer who should not be let loose anywhere near vulnerable people. Yet despite complaint after complaint about his rudeness and arrogance, he’s still there. Enough is enough, the time is coming when the residents will take Harrow back.

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    Melanie. perhaps you could call yourself e-mailen because you are corresponding with Fern Silverio on such a regular basis. I hope he has a change of heart and becomes Mr L.F.Reversioni.
    It is astounding that a Council employee can display such utter contempt for vulnerable residents. The suggestion that you should be sued for defamation of character is bonkers. Only thing is if this pair are made redundant they would probably leave with a fantastic sum of money to which residents will have contributed.

  3. Praxis Reform

    Well done Cllr Bond, it’s nice to know that Councillors do have some use after all.

    The thing that surprises me here is that the person that issued the ticket, and probably half a dozen other people at the Council, would have seen the facts of the case and could have reasoned “let’s not give a seriously ill man more problems than he already has”.

    But instead they let it drag on through the appeals process, which makes you wonder if all this was a result of malice, incompetence or complete lack of compassion?

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