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Sep 11 2014

Harrow Labour: The Honeymoon’s over, let the cuts begin

harrow_council_logoIt must be a Thursday, as the local press – iharrow, of course, excluded, because Dave doesn’t like us – got summoned to the Civic Centre to hear about how Dave’s cabinet will save lots of money. The irony of this being announced just a day or two after he promised to throw away £180,000+ per year on a Chief Executive to help him out, wasn’t missed. Dave’s put together a booklet on a programme of “consultation” called TakePart – you can download it here, or visit the Council’s website section all about it.

Options, Dave says, for the “first round” – so, apparently, there’s more than one – of cuts include:

  • Reduce grass cutting in public spaces.
  • Cut the number of senior managers in the Council.
  • Closure of Emergency Relief Scheme due to removal of Government grant.
  • Negotiate with suppliers to cut what they charge the Council.
  • Cut funding provided to the voluntary sector.
  • Switch off some street lights, or reduce the hours that they are on for.
  • Reduce the number of staff answering the main switchboard. This means the average waiting time will increase.
  • Removal of the Friday and Saturday night Environment Health noise nuisance response service and a reduction in the size of the team (maintaining minimum service levels for Environmental Health).
  • Close the Harrow Arts Centre and look for an alternative space for it to continue from 2016 onwards.
  • Cut the number of Council committees.
  • Close or reduce some of the Council’s early support services to families, including Children’s Centres.
  • Close the Harrow Museum.
  • Don’t provide as many short respite breaks to children and carers as we do now.
  • Remove additional road/pavement sweeping near shopping parades.
  • Introduce a separate weekly food waste collection and charging for a fortnightly collection of garden waste.
  • Stop locking park gates, increase biodiversity in parks and cut the number of times litter is picked up. Move to community management of parks.
  • Close some of Harrow’s libraries.
  • Cut the costs of maintaining Council buildings.
  • Cut some support provided to older and disabled people in Harrow under the Supporting People Programme.
  • Review Fees and Charges charged by the Council, including parking charges.
  • Do more online and by email to cut the costs of postage.
  • Stop funding community festivals.
  • Share Council services with other boroughs.

And the best? Tucked away further on on Dave’s leaflet is:

  • We are also considering asking local people to do some jobs themselves, with Council support – for example gritting some side roads in winter.

Of course, the launch event was held in secret: despite claiming the event is public, only a select few – primarily the voluntary groups, we’re told – got invited. But, Dave – it’s okay to crank up the wage bill by appointing yet another Portfolio Holder Assistant to prop up your cabinet. Jobs for the boys and all that, right?

Outraged? Call Dave and tell him: 07505 430133. Or feedback via the Council’s website. But whatever you do, do something.

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16 comments

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  1. GrahamL

    So if all that is cut what exactly is my council tax paying for? The basic I expect is my rubbish collected as that is the one service that everyone in the borough uses and relies on.

    I also expect my council to maintain the borough keeping areas clean, just look at the dumps they have created in Wealdstone, Rayners Lane and South Harrow. You go to areas like Eastcote and Ruislip and wonder why a neighbouring council can maintain areas but our council seems unwilling to do anything to look after our borough.

    I also want parks maintained and secured, but I guess Comrade Dave likes handing them over drug dealers and muggers, probably brings in more Labour voters!

    As soon Labour got back in it was obvious that they were going to cut our basic services and increase our council tax. All Labour seem intent in doing is holding their expensive multicultural claptrap Under One Sky and greasing the palms of their core voters, don’t worry about the rest of us!

    As the saying goes ‘the poor have been voting Labour for 90 years and are still poor’! When will people wake up and realise they’ve got no interest in improving our lives!

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    Words fail me. I thought councillors were meant to work for us not the other way round. Why can’t the councillors VOLUNTEER to do some of the jobs GRATIS (gritting, weeding flower beds, picking up rubbish, etc.) to justify their existence? It seems most are there to enhance their balance at the bank.

    By reducing the number of libraries perhaps they hope literacy levels will decrease and folks will not realise they are being duped. With the reduced lighting they think the voting plebs will literally be in the dark and not notice the decline of Harrow.

    The consultation is a farce because they will ignore anything that does not fit in with their ideology.

    How can you call an event a public meeting when it is held in secret? Also they are asking for volunteers at the same time as reducing the grants to voluntary groups.

    I am not surprised that iharrow.com was not included because (although they would claim to treat us plebs as equals) it would seem some folks are more equal than others

  3. mike mcfadden

    Its like picking up and old newspaper whenever Labour need to make cuts its always against those least capable to fend for themselves the old, weak. sick and disabled. What I’m intrigued to know, is how many “failed” asylum seekers illegal immigrants and “lost children” Harrow took in and how many are still here!!!! The mess caused by far too many people living in house’s of multiple occupation. Why won’t they tell us the true cost of mass immigration into the borough of destitute or poor who live off benefits the real cause of many of these cut backs because they totally distort the cost of living for us all. I’m not bashing the poor but it seems sheer madness to encourage people to live in an area who are nothing but a drain on our services and totally disrespect out culture and way of life. Look at our streets many parts of Harrow now resemble areas in places like Mogadishu or other slum cultures. What Harrow needs is “good” husbandry not idiots that spend, spend and spend.

    Those councillors that encouraged a drain on our financial resources should be made to personally reimburse the tax-payers because its time to get real. Stop bashing those that pay for a local services by giving our resources away to those that turn up demanding their rights. What about putting our own peoples rights first?
    Why should those that have worked and paid taxes for 40/50 years be told by those paying themselves far too much money that your services are going to be cut of taken away to pay for the exorbitant wages of council employees and for those that have been encouraged here to live for free!!. It really doesn’t make sense to hard pressed tax-payers.

  4. Concerned Harrovian

    Mike

    It is called paying yourself mega bucks to pass the buck! The particular cut that annoys me (as well as the rest of the cuts) is the mean-spirited cut to respite breaks for carers. Carers save the country and Harrow a good deal of money by caring for their nearest and dearest.

    If these people were to stop caring tomorrow and let Harrow look after the folk in need of care then Harrow would really be in trouble. Why don’t the administration consider the mental health of the carers who will be put under intolerable stress?

    Carers care day in and day out. They don’t work a two day week. I am happy that my Council Tax goes to providing whatever support they need. Perhaps reducing the number of councillors would help the situation, Those councillors no longer in post could then work GRATIS,FREE,VOLUNTARILY to fill the gaps and in their spare time weed flower beds, grit roads and pick up rubbish as they expect other Harrow residents and workers to do

    I hope some councillors will feel able to defend the RIGHTS of carers on iharrow.com. I suspect there will be the usual silence and lack of response from others.

  5. sonoo malkani

    The list of impending cuts beggars belief!Now the public of Harrow is being penalised for voting in a Labour-held Council.I am a Carer and find the cuts to Carers needing a small be=reak quite impossible.I don’t use the service personally but know many who rely heavily on this for their well-being.

    As a Neighbourhood Champion I find it really annoying that our street lamp has been switched off several times last week.I complained and it was put back on only to have two nights in COMPLETE darkness this week already.This is a SECURITY ISSUE for many neighbours and senior citizens living on their own.Not a laughing matter!

    Now that we are seen to the safest London borough Harrow Council have foolishly made these cuts and can expect a spike in burglaries and car thefts in neigbhbourhoods —especialy with many festivals in the offing and darker nights not far off.What short-term thinking!I cannot believe what is happening in Harrow.

    Regarding leaving park gates open at night,we can expect plenty of problems with drugs and all sorts of crime which goes hand-in-hand.Are Harrow Council really unaware of what the consequences of their actions will be.We have been there before but have learned nothing it seems.Don’t blame your police for any increse in crime.Speak with Harrow Council and those in charge of our environment,safety and health.

    To add insult to injury our Council wishes us to pick up our own litter,help with all sort of jobs voluntarily and then proceeds to plan charging us to take our garden waste away.What are we paying exorbitant rates for?These are also set to go up.Then they wish to shut down our libraries and impoverish the entire community.We are MOVING BACKWARDS it seems,rather rapidly in Harrow!

    Hillingdon which is next door is thriving.I cannot imagine what our problem is.We have to stop this rot and keep our borough clean,safe and crime-free.I hope this is not a REAL list but some silly concoction.Really ill-thought out and will antagonise most rate and taxpayers.Really exasperating!

    Try catching more fraudsters and benefit cheats instead of penalising and punishing hard-working tax-payers and the honest citizens of our borough.

  6. PraxisReform

    This is backwards… We all want to see less bureaucracy and waste, but if an organization the size of Harrow council hasn’t been hasn’t been negotiating the best prices with suppliers all along, then I wan’t to see the head of Purchasing at Harrow council sacked right now, on the spot.

    But, rather than putting Harrow through the death of a thousand cuts, how about a little entrepreneurial thought?

    What about attracting more businesses to the area – which in turn will bring in more business rates, decrease local unemployment and encourage those new staff to spend in local shops.

    With all this training of council staff I keep hearing about, how about opening up that training to local businesses? Having a few extra people sit with council employees being trained would cost little more aside from a few extra refreshments and some certificates.

    How about making Harrow council services more efficient, so that the council might, for example, be able to bring in extra money by offering waste disposal services, catering or street cleaning etc. to other nearby boroughs, with a package more attractive than whatever Capita or Serco etc. might be offering at the moment?

    None of this is rocket science, and I’m very surprised that Dave has solely concentrated on cuts, and completely forgotten about any other ways of finding money to balance the budget.

  7. mike mcfadden

    Voting Labour is the closes you’ll ever come to treason and total waste in my view. They follow Keynesian economics which means spend spend and spend and the economy will fix its self BUT what do they say when we’ve run out of money? Spend spend spend. Sadly it seems The Heir-to-Blair is doing exactly the same by borrowing an extra £4000 per second to keep up this pretence that the economy is expanding. Only our debt is expanding. Get ready to batten down the hatches as our economy falls off a cliff after the next general election that will mean nothing except the lying has to stop!!!!! “After the blood letting”

  8. Concerned Harrovian

    Good points Praxis. Harrow has marvellous transport links to central London. From Harrow and Wealdstone station it is only 12 minutes to Euston and of course 12 minutes from Euston to Harrow Surely that is something Harrow ought to be promoting to businesses. Unfortunately, the only entrepreneurial spirit shown is by the rogue landlords making their ill-gotten gains. If Harrow is allowed to descend into a dirty dump what businesses will want to come to Harrow?

    Is the fake florist still in North Harrow or is the shop now occupied and running as a profitable business? Does anyone know, and if it is still unoccupied, how many years has it been like that?

    1. PraxisReform

      If ever I mention Harrow to people, all they seem to know is the hill and the posh school.

      Now, imagine that you were thinking about opening a shop or some similar business in Harrow, the first thing you’d do is come out of Harrow-on-the-Hill station, walk past the boarded up post office and office block, turn right onto Peterborough road, go past the vandalized pub and a load of permanently shut shops, pass over the railway lines where just before you get to the hill, you’d see that most of the shops are shut.

      So, if you were planning to open that shop, would you want to open in the middle of a row of closed down shops? or would you just go to another borough, where you’re going to get much more footfall from people walking by your shop on the way to other open-for-business shops, and well known local sights etc.?

      Come to think of it, a while back someone told me that the kids at the posh school have special anonymous black blazers that they wear if ever they have to come to the town centre, since otherwise the local toughs tend to beat them up.

      1. mike mcfadden

        Praxis, You can most certainly put Harrow’s demise down the councils obsession with Political Correctness (the lost of free speech) and their mania for Multicultural nonsense that has clouded good sense and judgement. It seems Harrow kept promoting a socialist agenda against the wishes of the people by encouraging the poor and work shy to come a live free in Harrow and penalising hard working home owner occupiers with fines and general harassment with parking etc. So you must now ask yourself who’s making all the money from social tenants that live on benefits!!

        1. PraxisReform

          I don’t see anything wrong with a multicultural Harrow, London has been a mixture of different races and cultures for many many years. So, I’ll gladly accept a Council full of poor, black, disabled, lesbians ***So long as they’re competent at what their being paid to do***

          The problems come when we’re told that Councillors, Police or some other special interest group is *better* than the rest of us, when instead they are supposed to be working for us.

          This might seem like a very simple point, but the entirety of Westminster and the political class has forgotten it, and then wonders why the public dislikes Politicians so much.

    2. Timeforchange

      Yes the fake florist is still there in North Harrow. A search on google would suggest it became a fake florist in June 2011 so 3 years!

  9. red mirror

    when all else fails they take you too war and that is exactly what they have planned not that the rothschilds or jp morgans warbergs /rockerfellas will be doing any fighting oh no it will be poor old vaccine filled johnny sitting in hen hut munching on his msg fillet o sh*t burger who gets drafted and yes thats on its way too yes they send the goyim to go and get blown to crap while they get even richer selling arms what makes me SICK is people are more concerned over being neighbourhood champions IF PEOPLE DON’T WAKE UP REAL SOON IT WILL BE THE BOOT STAMPING IN THE FACE OF FREEDOM FOREVER DON’T SAY YOU WERENT WARNED PEOPLE.

  10. Mike N

    Has anyone else filled in the Harrow Council online consultation? There are more questions about my age, sex, religion etc than there are about what I think they should be spending my taxes on. Near the end is even a question asking if I’m the same sex as when I was born ! What a farce.

    1. mike mcfadden

      Sad fact of Harrow and other Loony-Labour borough’s. There only real aim is to protect homosexuals and ethnic minorities the rest don’t count because of the perversions with Nu-Labour. Look at Rotherham child abuse. Nobody could see it because nobody was looking. We must look and question every time these Politically Correct numptie’s open their mouths!!! Look at white flight in London were P.C was used to distort facts and reality. Nearly, every loser I know goes P.C when they lose an argument and start to get offended. The truth may offend you but that doesn’t make you right. Enough is enough things must change and we must get our country back.

  11. Concerned Harrovian

    Quote”Mike N

    September 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm (UTC 1) Link to this comment

    “Has anyone else filled in the Harrow Council online consultation? There are more questions about my age, sex, religion etc than there are about what I think they should be spending my taxes on. Near the end is even a question asking if I’m the same sex as when I was born ! What a farce.”

    Your comments made me roar with laughter. Unfortunately, they are true and no laughing matter .The £3,000,000 being spent from our Council Tax to employ PR staff to give people a better opinion of the administration it is bordering on a tragedy!

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