Nov 27 2014

Help Needed (Desperately) To Shape The Harrow Of The Future

harrow_council_logoHa Ha Harrow – which describes itself as ‘laughable tales from the saddest borough’ has a new blog this week, about the lunacy of the Take Part consultation, particularly how pointless it all was. It reads, in part:

Harrow Council’s eight week Take Part consultation on the first round of proposed cuts started, ran and ended without any specific information about the proposed cuts.

As a vehicle for reasoned consideration, the Take Part Budget Consultation Questionnaire was a travesty. It listed options that are likely to be divisive, offered them in a confusing negative form, and asked them twice, as if respondents would volunteer that the community is likely to be of a different opinion to themselves.

The perversely constructed questionnaire is likely to have defeated any sensible respondent for other reasons too. There was no information available about the various options. We have no idea what the cost of the individual services are, what the scale of each of the proposed cuts is, how much saving each will create (if any), or what the trade-offs would be. In most cases it’s “reduce” “close some” or “cut some”.

How much? How many? Which ones? How could anybody say how much impact it would have without knowing the answers to these fundamental questions?

Done properly, this could be an opportunity to refine and improve services, instead of a slash and burn exercise.

It’s a well-written and worthwhile read – you can get to it here.


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