Jun 30 2014

Harrow Labour’s Decision ‘Slap in the Face’ to Local Charity

conservative_logoHarrow Council’s new Labour administration is under fire for its last-minute decision to change where a key educational facility is built, without consulting a single local resident about it. Up until last week, the administration had been in detailed discussions with the voluntary organisation ‘Kids Can Achieve’ about placing the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) at Cedars Hall. The PRU provides education for some of Harrow’s most vulnerable and high-risk children. However, at Thursday’s cabinet meeting Labour changed its mind, instead deciding to locate the PRU at the former Bentley Day Centre.

Conservative councillor Stephen Greek, who represents Harrow Weald ward where the two sites are located, grilled Labour cabinet members at the meeting and urged them to take a different approach. Cllr. Greek said: “It’s ridiculous – both these sites are in residential areas, yet Labour made this decision at the last possible minute without consulting anyone who lives nearby. They have also waived the Council’s call-in process so that nobody – neither the public nor other councillors – can scrutinise the decision. It is a complete slap in the face for local residents.”

[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Labour made this decision at the last possible minute…[/pullquote]He continued: “Labour have also treated Kids Can Achieve appallingly – the first they knew about this relocation was when it suddenly appeared in the Cabinet papers. KCA are a hard working voluntary organisation supporting young people in need. They are an asset to Harrow and do not deserve to be treated like this, especially after Labour promised to put the voluntary sector at the heart of decision making!  The Council must now act quickly to repair this damage, engage properly with local residents and other organisations, and secure the future of Kids Can Achieve in Harrow.”

Cabinet paper here.

This was technically the first decision taken by Harrow Council’s new Labour administration, and it was made without any consultation and with the call-in process waived. During the previous 9-month Conservative administration, not a single decision had the call-in process waived.

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  1. Barry Macleod-Cullinane

    It was also somewhat surreal that Labour’s new Cabinet Member for “Community, Culture, and Resident Engagement” stayed silent as she and her Labour colleagues took a decision WITHOUT any actual resident engagement BEFORE the decision was made. One wonders, then, what is the actual purpose of this portfolio?

  2. Honest and Open

    This is a disgrace. At what point is the Council, whose wages are paid by us the taxpayer, going to take our voices, the residents into consideration. Kids can achieve do not deserve to be treated like this. They run an invaluable service which was set up because of the lack of support in Harrow for kids with ADHD and other problems. If this is how the Labour administration want to run things, riding roughshod over everyone, then god help us all!
    By the way, the new leader is still not interacting or answering any questions on here, that to me speaks volumes already.

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Honest and Open

    This is exactly why meetings need to be put on the internet so residents can observe what is going on or not going on. Ricky 123 is poised to assist with this and his kind offer has still not been taken up. Seems residents are an afterthought and their views are to be ignored. Why are we bothering to vote in people who cut us out of the equation?

    Surely Kids can Achieve is a prevention measure and by tackling small problems before they escalate into large ones it will save the community and the children heartache. I foresee that short term saving will result in large expenditure further down the line when the children experience and maybe cause problems. The children of Harrow are the future. Are they not worth investing in for the good of all?

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