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Jun 10 2014

Harrow’s Incoming Mayor – Labour’s First Crisis to Deal With

harrow_council_logoThere’s been lots and lots of distinctly unhappy noise emanating from right across the borough over the last week or so, about Harrow’s Labour Group’s – headed up by Cllr David Perry – decision to break with tradition and put their own candidate in as Mayor of Harrow, instead of Cllr Camilla Bath. Yes, there certainly are exceptions to promoting the Deputy, and this has been done this before, namely when one Labour Deputy Mayor was caught looking at porn on his work computer – an act for which he subsequently got fired – but to abandon tradition for no real reason, seems to be nothing more that Labour marking their territory. Like dogs do.

The position of Mayor – the first citizen of the borough – should surely be something worked for. Cllr Ajay Maru – and we’re sure he’s an incredibly nice bloke – has been a Councillor since May 2010, so he’s into his second term. Over the last four years, he’s attended just 82 meetings. Cllr Bath has attended 333. And we can’t find any evidence that he’s chaired any committees at the Council either, so it’s entirely reasonable to wonder if this apolitical position is simply a case of Labour putting a puppet in there.

So, we asked the Labour Group for a comment. They refused to comment until it was official.

A petition has been handed into the Group with almost 400 signatures – quite a feat considering that Dave’s non-announcement is just a couple of weeks old – earlier today. Dame Asaafu-Adjaye, who was part of the delegation (pictured below) presenting the petition, said “We know Labour has a big majority in the Council. However we hope they will listen, as they have already said they would, to the community on this issue – and let the Conservative Cllr Bath, who is deputy become Mayor, and they can propose the deputy from their ranks.”

camilla_for_mayor

 

 

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  1. John Nickolay (Mayor in 2008/9 after having been a Cllr for 17 years)

    It could be said that Labour are making a mockery of Harrow’s Mayoralty by yet again nominating a Councillor with hardly any experience and facing challenging commitments while representing the Borough until May 2015. Setting aside the superior competence, experience and seniority of Cllr Bath, it would be kind and fair to Cllr Maru for him to be her Deputy Mayor and thus obtain suitable experience and training during the next eleven months that would stand him in good stead when he would ready to become Mayor. There is supposed to be a protocol that requires nominated Mayors not only to have served a term of four years as a Councillor (which Ajay has done) but to have chaired a significant Panel or Committee (which he has not done). Furthermore he has yet to make a maiden speech to the full Council! A Labour Mayor installed in 2001 who had only served two years as a Councillor was clearly out of his depth and had to rely on Council Officers to write his speeches and help him chair Council meetings. It was painful to watch and unfair to have nominated the incumbent before he was ready. Ajay really is a nice guy and has the right personality to serve as Mayor one day but please, Cllr Perry, allow him more time to get acclimatised

    1. Don't trust wolves in sheep clothing

      Finally, a voice of reason and sound judgement. If Ajay Maru is as level-headed as we are made to believe then surely, he will do the honourable thing and allow Camilla Bath to be mayor whilst he serves a term as deputy. We will however soon see the mark of the man by what the outcome is.

    2. Someonewhocares

      It is a bit rich for those who decided to remove the (administrative) CEO role to be complaining now about the (honorary) Mayoral choice?

      If you really do not like the choice that has been made then why not work to change the system, for example have Councillors vote to decide who becomes Mayor? That might work better than all this complaining and debating here about ‘who is best’?

      Residents are more much concerned about the smooth and effective running of Council business than simply pandering to so-called ‘traditions’ anyway.

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    The above comment would seem to be a way forward. Let Ajay Maru serve an apprenticeship as Deputy Mayor and then become Mayor..

  3. sonoo malkani

    Totally agree with the comments made by John Nickolay and Concerned Harrovian.It’s fair to say that Ajay Maru is a gentleman but it would probably be wiser for him to learn the ropes before being sent out to serve as Mayor of Harrow.Great suggestion to make him our Deputy mayor,in all fairness to him.

    Cllr Camilla Bath has bags of experience and has served diligently as a senior Tory politician for many years.She is immensely popular and well-loved.I have always found her humble,quiet spoken and extremely sensitive to the feelings of others.She is a tremendous asset for Harrow and would be a perfect Mayor!

    This is one person who keeps her counsel to herself,genuinely values all our communities,never vies for the lime-light and is happy just to serve in whatever capacity.She would make an outstanding Mayor!

    Camilla refuses to indulge in petty behaviour and steers clear of controversy.She has oodles of experience and a warm personality ,which endears her to all who meet with her.It would be nothing short of churlish to deny her the opportunity of becoming our new Mayor.,especially as she has patiently awaited her turn and has ably served,as Harrow’s Deputy Mayor for almost a year..

    She is a great role model and exemplary human being.Camilla would certainly help raise our profile and is a UNITING FORCE within Harrow Council—a highly prized quality which has been in short supply for some time.Her appointment would definitely help to heal some of the wounds within the Local Authority ,which has passed through an extremely turbulent and unsavoury year of undignified behaviour from many ,on all sides.She is a brilliantly talented lady,hugely admired for her sense of decency and fair play.

    She truly is an outstanding lady who gets on with the job most efficiently,without drawing any attention to herself.Her quiet confidence and love of our people makes her eminently suitable for the prestigious position of Mayor of Harrow.What better way to show we have moved forward like mature adults,with a Tory Mayor and a Labour Deputy Mayor!

    Whatever rules are made for the Mayoralty in future,TOTAL FAIRNESS must be at the core of
    this important appointment.Let us behave like perfect Harrovians and set a new standard for our borough which will help restore our image as a wonderful place to be.

  4. John Clement

    Surely it would only be a crisis, if they were allowing democracy and fairness to creep in. We can expect years of this I don’t know how the community is going to try and ensure that the principles of fairness, and justice and basic competence of government are adhered to

  5. Harrow Cynic

    In what way is this a crisis? There is a faint whiff of hypocrisy emanating from certain quarters. There are PLENTY of examples in recent years when the Deputy Mayor has not been elevated to Mayor:

    1) The (then) Labour Deputy Mayor, Mano Dharmarajah, served a second term as Deputy to allow John Branch (Lib Dem) to be Mayor for the Municipal Year 2002-03. John had been Deputy 1997-98 but lost his Council seat in 1998, when Labour swept to power, but had been re-elected in 2002.

    2) Then we have the infamous case of (then) Labour Deputy Mayor Asad Omar, who had served in that position during the 2004-5 Municipal Year. Thanks to a shabby deal hatched up between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, he was by-passed as Mayor in 2005-6 to allow Paddy Lyne (Lib Dem) to become Mayor. Harrow Cynic knows this caused dismay and anger in Labour circles, especially after the courtesy extended to John Branch.

    3) In a sense ‘justice’ was done when Cllr Omar became Mayor for 2010-11. He beat Conservative nominee Chris Mote who had been Deputy Mayor in 2009-10.

    So, that is three occasions in recent years when the Deputy has not become Mayor – four if John Branch’s enforced absence in 1998 is included in the list.

    That said, Camilla Bath would, without any doubt, be an excellent Mayor: she has a long record of service, is a charming and pleasant personality and would, I am sure, carry out her duties with aplomb. Unfortunately, Cllr Bath became an innocent bystander in the car crash that was Harrow Council in May 2013, when she became Deputy Mayor following the formation of the Independent Labour Group. Her appointment would appear to have been part of the ‘deal’ package agreed between the Conservatives and the ILG: this would seem to have become an unfortunate entry on Camilla’s CV as far as Labour were concerned.

  6. Concerned Immigrant

    The Community has presented a petition urging the Labour Group to be gracious and let the Deputy Mayor be Mayor on 12th June.

    In addition to not having been Deputy Mayor, according to former Mayor John Nicholay, Labour’s choice “has not chaired a significant Panel or Committee, and has yet to make a maiden speech to the full Council.”

    The community values the Mayoralty and would like an experienced Councillor to be Mayor.

    Cllr. Ajay Maru should listen to the community and opt to be Deputy Mayor on 12th June. In the interest of community cohesion, Labour should re-examine its position. From 2010, we have had Asad Omar, Mrinal Choudhury, Nizam Ismail, Nana Asante as Mayors.

    Sidelining Cllr. Camilla Bath, and proposing Cllr. Ajay Maru will send the wrong signals.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Unfortunately our Councils have a ‘tradition’ of ignoring petitions (unless it suits them).

      Residents really don’t care how many Panels or Committees a candidate has been on, and as far as we can tell, they really just become a ‘token figurehead’ for Harrow and, with respect, not a key player as far as important policies are concerned. Residents simply want the MAIN Council to work better, and more coherently, and this whole Mayoral issue is merely peripheral to that.

      Any ‘wrong signals’ are purely an internal matter for Councillors and overall seem to be more about egos than anything important.

    2. Harrow resident

      Sorry but the Tories and the ILG sidelined the people of Harrow when they ousted the democratically elected Labour administration from office in may 2013. I understand that Cllr. Maru was the elected choice of the Labour Group at their AGM last year to be Deputy Mayor and if not for the Tory/ILG coup d’eta he would have served as Deputy Mayor in 2013/14.

      The people of Harrow corrected this on 22nd May when they elected a Labour administration to govern and they also wanted a Labour Mayor – they expect nothing less tonight…

      1. Concerned immigrant

        I expect the Tories to be arrogant and cater for their selfish ends. I voted Labour because I believed they represented the residents interest. They are however sinking low to the depths of the Tories by acting just like them. I thought labour was the better party but I’m now very disappointed. I was clearly wrong.

  7. Krishna James

    I appeal to people of Harrow to apply some scrutiny and take the oppertunity to attend council meetings as it is your right to do so, I am sad to say there was lot left to be desired as far as democracy within the Local Political Groups was concerened, most people say this is politics but I say politics is too important to be left to politicians. I am afraid the voters were not there to see that Labour and Conservatives got together on 14th Sep 2013 to get rid of ILG, setting aside 80% of Harrow Constitution. The actors should have recieved Oscars at the least! It is a real shame that the truth seems to get lost as usual, especially the truth of following rule of law and processes and procedures, until the AGM 2 of the labour group ILG members had accepted the new leader but when he changed the processes for AGM 2 trouble happened, people had been pre-chosen to hold office regardless of election or skill and this led the Majority of ILG doing a test run and saw blatent nepotism at play, simply unfair on the people of Harrow. I was brought up with values that people with the best ability should be put forward to get the best for the rest of the community. Call me someone who put principals and ideals and people before self even though I have been accused of being self interested, If I was only self interested I would have kept my head down and followed the status quo and would atill have been there now in Marlborough but from my schooling daysl in Kenya which by the way were all paid for by scholarship from charities I was brought up to hold prinicipals and while Nursing in this country I had a Code of Conduct to follow, perhaps myself and other ILG members had a sense of justice and fairness which simply does not exist any more. It certainly did not exist in the local Labour group in Harrow, perhaps people did not have the backbone to stand up as some of us did. I am afraid things did not change on polling day either, unsavoury/ False allegations were made to the police about ILG meaning the police were called out to 4 polling booths. Polling station staff as well as other candidates did not appear to know the latest rules on canvasing on polling day, we did our homework and had carried coppies of the rules and also contacted the elctoral commission. Call ILG naive if you want but waste of police resources is not something people of principals do, a real threat must have been felt to use such nasty tactics, but then thats how it has been for a while.I feel very strongly for the people of Harrow that many players have used the local population for their power games and control without thinking about the long term benefits or not to people. I for one would have loved Ajay to become a Mayor but all in good time, as a Hindu and a Gujarati and fellow Kenyan of Indian origin I would have been proud of him but also as someone having lived in UK for last 45 years I have a keen sense of Brtish justice and fairplay and especially paying some dues as a Councillor before one becomes a Mayor. It is a very responsible post and chairing skills are vital which are only gained by chairing. It is a great shame things have come to this, all right thinking people would not want events to happen as they did, life would have been much smoother not to rock the boat as they say, but then change would never happen either. Thank you to all the people in Kenton East who voted for me and the other two ILG candidates and also thank you to people of Marlborough who I had the privilage of serving for 6 years.

    Former Councillor Krishna James

  8. Dame Betty

    As you may be aware there were reasons for the split in Labour.

    Also only 30% of residents voted in the local election, and therefore only a minority has spoken. Also more people voted Conservative than voted Labour even though Labour has more seats.

    The people of Harrow have not said they want a Labour Mayor who is yet to make a maiden speech at full Council, and have delivered a petition to the Labour Group.

    The facts are that Cllr. Bath is far more experienced, and should be Mayor as she has served as Deputy Mayor. Residents who value the Mayoralty believes it deserves the best. Cllr. Maru can gain valuable experience by serving as Deputy Mayor.

    That would be the gracious and mature thing to do.

  9. Awula Serwah

    Harrow Council has elected Cllr. Ajay Maru as Mayor and Cllr. Krishna Suresh as Deputy Mayor.

    Councillor Chris Noyce suggested that there should be a cross party Working Group to determine the criteria for selecting Mayors. It seems sensible that the position of Mayor should go to the most deserving Councillor, and not be determined by the party with the most votes.

    Harrow deserves the best. Hopefully a Working Group will be set up and will have clear guidelines on the required qualities for the position of Mayor. Being energetic in itself is insufficient.

    It was clear that Councillors Camilla Bath and Chris Mote are long serving Councillors with experience and skills.

    Cllr. Camilla Bath is a beautiful person and the Community would have liked her to be Mayor.

  10. Concerned Harrovian

    Dame Betty

    Was your petition presented last night? What was the response to the petition? It seems that grace and maturity were in short supply.

    Awula

    The Conservative party had the most votes but Labour party gained the most seats.

    1. Dame Betty

      The Community’s petition was handed to a support officer at the Labour Group Office on Tuesday 10th June. Cllr. David Perry emailed to say he was looking into it…

  11. Susan Hall

    Awula, the Constitutional working group is where these things are discussed. Thats where changes or tweeks are decided upon cross party. It was at this group that it was decided to have non executive members on Cabinet and to let the main Opposition take over the lead of the Scrutiny Board. This was agreed earlier this year with full agreement of both Labour, Independent Labour and Conservatives. So what happened the minute labour won the election? They changed the constitution immediately to suit themselves. One of their members told me it was only agreed because they thought they would lose the election. What a disgrace, they cant keep their word. So I am afraid any agreement with Labour would not be worth the paper it was written on. They would probably gone back on any agreement to do with the Mayor They are a disgrace and clearly cant cope with scrutiny or challenge.

    1. Harrow resident

      Oh dear, oh dear. Councillor suzie, how bitter we are in defeat. Spouting utter rubbish as usual. The non-executive cabinet posts were agreed in a backroom deal last year that put the ILG in power – they came with a £5K SRA which was the payoff from the ILG for you & Bazza propping up their administration (with seats in Cabinet to make sure they voted the right way).

      As to the Labour Group expecting defeat? Not bloody likely as you managed to lose 2 by-elections last year in key marginal wards. And you seemed to spend most of the recent election campaigning in the key Tory target wards of Roxeth and Marlborough.

      You should had seen the benches behind you last night. There was a complete visible lack of support for you. There can be no doubt that a challenge will soon coming but who will wield the knife? Will it be Paul or Marilyn (who is conveniently ‘on holiday’ at the moment)? Oh dear…

      1. Awula Serwah

        My understanding is that non-executive cabinet members don’t have voting rights. The idea is for cabinet to have the benefit of greater scrutiny and accountability. I would have thought that this would promote transparency, better decision making and be of benefit to residents.

      2. john wayne gacy

        i salute you resident indeed you have rattled suzies cage her ego has taken a right good battering and been smothered in truth and she cant take it as of all her ilk when confronted with the truth they turn like trapped rats and want to attack and bite he fit the profile of a psychopath perfectly so all you suzie fans be warned.

  12. Susan Hall

    Harrow Resident – who – oh thats right another who is hiding behind a made up name. You would have so much more credibility were you to use your own name, only cowards throw stones from anonymity. At least I stand up to be counted whether you like what I say or not at least you know what I say and what I stand for – unlike you

  13. Concerned Harrovian

    Now that David Perry has been elected leader will he allow meetings to be recorded. Residents who cannot attend the meetings can then watch at a time to suit them. Ricky 123 has already volunteered to do this. This would help transparency and the councillors could be seen in action or non action as the case may be.

  14. sonoo malkani

    I only have ONE overpowering emotion at this point—SADNESS for the PUBLIC of Harrow.It seems the internal bickering within our Council is going to continue and bitterness pollute our working.This really is most unfair to innocent citizens who feel powerless and are caught in the nasty cross-fire.

    The sniping is most unseemly and very undignified.People writing under cover are taking liberties galore!This should be stopped.IMMEDIATELY.It is counter-productive to every single elected Councillor and all those serving on our Council.People can have their say,but must always have civil tongue.Period.

    Hand on heart,I sincerely hope that all those in charge reflect on the adverse impact on Harrovians –especially as we are only 11 months away from the GENERAL ELECTIONS.

    We,the public,do not wish our sentiments to be ignored,making us hapless victims of the political games which are very much still in progress.

    It seems we have become a spectacle for folk to ridicule and openly disrespect.Is this what HARROW has come to?

    1. Someonewhocares

      ‘Is this what HARROW has come to?’ – Yes -and most residents are also saddened by that, and all the rather childish, ridiculous and unnecessary bickering. We expect better, and some decorum, from all our ‘professionals’, especially those we have entrusted enough to vote for.

      There are many challenges for Harrow and such in-fighting and arguing really will not help. It is not just a dream either – but a requirement (now that the post-Election dust settles) that all parties work together to resolve these issues, or Harrow will simply ‘come to’ much worse.

      Sadly it is clear that ‘certain individuals’ do not understand the true meaning of ‘opposition’, this is usually most effective when the criticisms are CONSTRUCTIVE, not merely attempts to provoke a meaningless fight about everything? Otherwise, as Sonoo indicated, we residents will all just become the hapless victims of such political games if these continue for long.

  15. Awula Serwah

    Susan, I still think it will be helpful for the Constitutional Working Group to set clear guidelines for the position of Mayor, so that the best Councillor is chosen. I am sure residents will show their displeasure to any party that circumvents the guidelines.

  16. Harrow Dude

    Susie, Susie, Susie your problem was you never had a plan ‘B’… ask any good strategist and they will tell you ‘always have a plan B’.
    However I think you are somewhat remiss in accusing Labour of changing the Constitution to suit themselves.
    Remember remember the 16th of September.

    You see Susie there is no point screaming and shouting about it now, you know as well as I do that the Tories didn’t lose the election YOU lost the election.

    If you want to be open and transparent why don’t you start by telling us how much you spent in the eight months after you usurped in your own words “the first Sri-Lankan Leader of Harrow”.

    Susie you lost and if you got played by Labour then the more fool you. I think that is what’s called a double bluff.

    How long before you utter “Et tu, Brute?” For I think I hear the metaphorical knives been sharpened.

    Is it true the Mayor owns more salons than you?

    1. john wayne gacy

      and dude there is no fool like an old fool poor susie never saw it coming the neil sedaka song queen of 1964 fit her nicely maybe a make over in one of her cheap salons would help though i doubt it you cant polish a t+++d lol.

      1. Melanie

        Excellent! I’d vote for you!

  17. Melanie

    I have no hesitation in commenting in my own name. Quite right, Harrow Dude, Susan lost the election for the Conservatives. The only question remains is why they haven’t kicked her out. I think she truly believes all of her own publicity. But, if you spend your group meetings dictating policy that you’ve made decisions about and are only presenting to the group to be rubber stamped, if you dictate who your colleagues may follow on social media sites and so on, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that, if you ever had a plot, you’ve lost it. Stand down before you’re moved on. Return to the other day job that you’re also not qualified for. Bye bye

    1. john wayne gacy

      well said mel susie is a egomaniac danger to freedom and democracy bye bye susie

  18. Karen

    Clearly the councillors and parties in the chamber have brought the Mayoralty into disrepute. They cannot be trusted to handle our affairs. We the people must be able to address this issue of incompetence and self-serving maliciousness. We need to rally and hold them accountable, then and only then will they realise that they can’t act and lie with impunity.

    1. Melanie

      The problem is, Susie decided to play fast and loose with the constitution to manipulate her way to power. She knew she would never get the mandate from the people. So now everyone’s at it. They should learn the lesson from her epic failure. Cheats never prosper!

  19. Awula Serwah

    The personal attacks are unhelpful, let’s focus on the issues. I understand there will be a community petition urging the cross party Constitutional Working Group to set clear guidelines for the position of Mayor. This should ensure that the best candidate and not the candidate proposed by the party with the most votes on Council is elected Mayor.

    1. Awula Serwah

      Thanks for being gracious.
      We wish the Mayor and Mayoress well.
      We also hope that the well being of residents is what will guide all councillors.

  20. Susan Hall

    The Conservatives would certainly sign up to that Awula. Nana has been a brilliant Mayor and you a perfect Mayoress, thank you for that. Experience is certainly a help when fulfilling all the engagements as you will have witnessed. Having said that we wish Ajay well, he is a very nice person and we must all do what we can to make his year easier. I would not want anyone else to have to put up with what your sister suffered. We must all get behind the Mayor Ajay Maru

    1. Melanie

      Of course she’s been brilliant, she’s one of the ILG councillors, who you manipulated to bend to your will. The party who sold their souls to the devil in their own personal interest and with blatant disregard for residents, such was their arrogance. They got slapped down by the voters in May and quite right too. I am interested in how you have the gall to call her ‘brilliant considering her overspend. In reality there should be an investigation into how much ‘brilliant Nana’ has cost residents. Then residents should be invited to vote on whether we want our money used in this way. The Mayoral driver earns the kind of salary most of us can only dream of. The Mayor needs to provide us with value for money. Spending our Council tax without a care in the world does not strike me as ‘brilliant’. Give it up Susie, you’ve lost the plot, you’re talking rubbish and realise that it’s time to go. You have failed, you are a failure, at everything. Washed up, a has been, except you’ve never been anything. Time to go

      1. john wayne gacy

        melanie the best description of hall the delusional egomaniac i have read so far im glad people can now see her for what she is how ugly and hateful when that very thin mask slips to reveal insatiable media hungry self serving sociopath that she really is lets hop now she stays put in her vampiric hatch end belfry.

  21. Dame Betty

    Melanie, you seem to be a very bitter person, and I would like to help you. Bitterness is not healthy. I am happy to meet you at your convenience to see how I can help you have a healthier disposition.

    Ms Nana and others left the Labour Group because of racism. I cannot see Nana being manipulated by Cllr. Susan Hall. I am reviewing my membership of the Labour Party because I have experienced racism from Party members and though I have made complaints, they have not been investigated.

    What are the facts about the ‘overspend’? The budget of previous Mayors was overspent without any complaints from you. The Mayoral Budget was cut by £20,000 in Nana’s year, so it is no surprise that in her year the usual overspend went up by £20 000. Is the budget realistic and what does it include? Did Nana determine the salaries of staff? Are you suggesting that the Mayoral staff should lose their jobs, and that there should be no support for the Mayor, no reception after Mayor Making, or celebration of significant traditions such as Remembrance Day, and Laying of Wreaths on memorials around the borough and so on?

    You might not find Nana brilliant but others do. The personal attacks on Cllr. Susan Hall are unhelpful. You might think that Susan is a failure, others do not think so. Whilst I do not like how the Conservatives took power with the support of Labour through suspending the Constitution, she used that time to deliver what she thought were important priorities.

    1. Melanie

      Dame Betty, why would I be bitter? Funny how you don’t use your real name yet use the same language and exactly the same words as Susie! Why, as council tax payers, are we not allowed to question the Mayoral budget? I am a firm believer in tradition, but not at any price. There are certainly many worthy residents in Harrow who could lay a wreath on a memorial without such an overspend. Many public services have faced drastic budget cuts, I’m not shedding tears over the Mayor’s. I would rather the money went to a hospital, school or old age service. Thanks for your offer to help with my disposition, sweetie, but at least I use my name and don’t fancy myself as a ‘Dame’!

    2. Melanie

      And your Dameship, to prove I’m not bitter, I’ve called in every favour I’m owed (& a few I’m not) to make sure that Susie gets a lovely job offer from (hopefully) Boris. If not, some other bigwig, where she can feel important and do nothing. Then she’ll be out of Harrow and we can get some real Conservatives in. Waving her bye bye, even the prospect, makes me very happy.

      1. john wayne gacy

        two bafoons together the Boris and sue show maybe they could re enact rain drops keep falling on my head on a Boris bike with helmets of course wouldnt want anyone getting now would WE.

        1. jthe red mirror

          [Comment removed as it was found to breach our House Rules on user-contributions]

      2. Dame Betty

        Melanie, funny how you make assumptions, and misunderstand points made.

        What makes you think I am not using my real name, and that I fancy myself a
        Dame? The Bible says “As a man thinketh so he is”. I was made a Dame in 1997 in recognition of my services to charity.

        No one is saying you should not question the budget, I am saying that you
        should understand what the budget covers. You might not value the
        Mayoralty, but judging from the number of engagements the Mayor receives,
        many do, and running the Mayoralty requires a budget and staff. Other Mayors overspent the budget but were not treated the same way Nana was. The challenge is to set a budget with which Mayors can reasonably be expected to work with and do their work professionally.

        I shall not respond to further comments from you, but my offer to help stands.

        May I appeal to all contributors to iharrow dialogue to please make their points without insults?

        Thanks and have a lovely day.

        1. Someonewhocares

          Ah, then that would be Dane Betty A-A then, and you are not a Harrow resident (but do charitable work here)? Interesting!

          Sadly under the circumstances some of those insults from various residents are rather understandable, probably inevitable and are also simply cathartic – and are based on the intense frustration and despair here caused mainly by the last year of wholly-unproductive ‘shenanigans’.

          ‘Councillors fiddle whilst Harrow burns’ and all that, with all due respect to Nero and Rome!

          Perhaps the Mayoral activities and budget data should just be made available to residents on a real-time basis? That way residents could see exactly what Mayoral duties entail and whether it is good value for money or not? ‘Transparency starts at the top’?

        2. Melanie

          *Yawn*

  22. Jenny

    I attended the civic centre expecting to see Camilla made mayor. What I got instead was all the Labour councillors behaving like children. I was disgusted that none of the Labour councillors wished Nana all the best and thanked her for all her hard work as mayor, what happened to British fair play and just good manners!. As soon as Ajay was elected, the Conservative group gave their support to the new mayor, it just showed so much class. I hope and prayer the constitutional working group gets something sorted, so the best qualified councillor is selected without any party politics. Susan Hall did not lose the election for the conservative group, I personally found that if I wanted something done it was a good decision to cc Susan.
    Susan supported myself and others when the Inshop Centre in Wealdstone was closing. Finally I am so ashamed that I voted Labour.

  23. Harrow Dude

    She used that time to spend all of the the contingency funds and put the Borough at risk…

  24. Concerned Harrovian

    I suppose those who want cuts to the Mayor’s budget are expecting Cllr Ajay Maru to turn up at events in his Mayoral robes on a bicycle or a go-kart and dispense with the cost of a driver.

    Perhaps the way forward if money is to be saved is for a volunteer from the party nominating the Mayor to serve as a driver and also volunteer for other supporting roles to enable the Mayor to carry out his duties and make a saving.

    The Deputy Mayor could also be involved in this as it would serve as an apprenticeship when they take up the position of Mayor in the succeeding year.

    I do wish people on this site would come up with constructive criticism instead of personal insults. It does not make people sympathise with their point of view and is repellent. I agree with Jenny that while you may not agree with other people’s views it is childish and off-putting to indulge in cheap name calling and displays of bad manners. After all good manners are not part of budget cuts. They cost nothing.

  25. Here we go...

    Dame Betty…..

    You call Melanie ‘bitter’ and then write ‘May I appeal to all contributors to iharrow dialogue to please make their points without insults?’………!?!?!

    P.S. If you’re not a Harrow resident with knowledge of the betrayals, U-turns and self-serving machinations that many residents in different wards were subjected to by certain Conservative Councillors, I suggest you refrain from comment.

  26. sonoo malkani

    Seems like we need metaphoric water-cannons to douse the emotional fires still raging in people’s hearts!It’s so sad and such a waste of energy.Surely it’s high time we got a grip on our emotions and moved forward,putting the past behind,binning all nastiness and adopting a CONSTRUCTIVE attitude which will serve us all.

    Let us remember,”To err is human,to forgive Divine”.NOBODY,repeat NOBODY is perfect.Please let us learn form our errors and start afresh,like civilised human beings.

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