Nov 30 2012

Harrow Council Launches Climate Change Strategy Consultation

Harrow Council has today opened it’s consultation for feedback from residents on its Cilmate Change strategy.

For something so important, we’d have though that the Council might have made a little more effort in both publicising the consultation, and in finishing the document that it is supposed to be consulting about.

The document, copy available here, is only half-completed, and shows the Council hasn’t a clue as to whether it has signed up to schemes or not. Apart from all that, it’s also so appalingly written, we’d hazard that few residents would be able to make head nor tail or it.

An example:

What on earth does that mean? Have they signed it? Haven’t they? And they’re asking residents for comments on this document, when they don’t even know themselves what they’ve signed?

Here’s another:




What’s the difference between ‘nil’ and zero? And what is the ‘Reported Residual’, as it’s not described anywhere on the page. The ‘TOTAL (A)+(B)’ column doesn’t appear to show any totals, other than a random number 74 which appears from nowhere.

It goes on:


The ‘Turnover £’ column doesn’t make sense, as it shows figues approaching almost half a billion pounds, which seems awfully high for something – but we’re not clear what.

The next example, Appendix D, shows some fairly simply numbers, including historical data, that Harrow should have to hand:


This table should have showed things like Harrow’s population over the last few years, and it’s recyling rate – none of these are included.

Street lighting, mentioned so carefully further up the document, is one big black hole:

Moving on to the plan itself – and remember, this is for consultation, so the Council is seeking residents’ views, so you’d expect the measures to be reas. Some of the measures – for example, the percentage of homes within Harrow to have water metres fitted, are simply left blank. The measures of reductions in landfill waste, recyling rates and amounts composted are similarly blank. In a strategy which people are supposed to look at, and comment upon, this is just shabby.

Item five says, “Climate change means that the seasonal weather patterns we are familiar with are changing. It is difficult to predict precisely what these changes will be but it seems clear that we will experience milder winters, earlier springs and warmer summers….” There is, however, no evidence of this. Ironically, this comes after two winters which were colder – and had more snow than previous years, and a summer which was a complete washout.

Item six details the Council’s Footprint, yet leaves many of the timescales entirely empty. For the action of ‘reducing the amount of fossil fuel used [in vehicles]’ they don’t even give a suggested reduction. 50%? 1%?

All in all, this could be a descibed as a half-hearted strategy, rushed out without proper due diligence, with nothing more than a mediocre attempt at seeking residents’ input.

Should you wish to comment, you have until January 11, 2013, and you can comment here.


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