Dec 22 2012

Leader’s Blog: Thaya Idaikkadar’s End of Year Message

great_leaderMy name is Thaya Idaikkadar and I am immensely proud and honoured to introduce myself as the newly elected Leader of Harrow Council.

Like all councillors in the Labour administration, I am determined to protect the borough’s most vulnerable residents and make sure Harrow continues to successfully manage the most challenging financial climate local government has had to face for decades.

New Year is a time for looking ahead and making plans for the future. It also brings with it fresh challenges.

In 2013, Harrow Council will need to keep meeting its financial challenges. The Council has already found £51m of savings and we must find a further £24m over the next two years. We have made savings in the Civic Centre by reducing the cost of staff and the number of senior managers whilst protecting the lowest paid staff and introducing the London Living Wage.

We will retain weekly bin collections, at a time when many London authorities have moved to fortnightly collections; we will keep all of our Children’s Centres as well as Harrow Arts Centre, and we will ensure sports facilities remain available to the community.

We are protecting residents most in need, in particular, by helping them out of poverty and worklessness. We are launching the Harrow HELP Scheme to provide support for residents who are most in need.

We are encouraging growth and investment in Harrow by supporting the Town Centre, local businesses, district centres and by opening up our land to investment and we are working with our partners and listening to our residents to make sure the right decisions are made for the community.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]I want to wish you all a very happy Christmas…[/pullquote]

This financial situation has been forced upon us by a reduction in the money given to us by Central Government and by welfare reforms. And we continue to meet new challenges. On December 19, Central Government announced how much it would be giving to the Council as a settlement grant.

At first viewing it is worse than anticipated and we are currently working through the detail to fully understand the implications. We do have your best interests at heart and 2013 will also be a year where we will fight any unjust and unnecessary cuts to our funding.

I want to wish you all a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year and I look forward to keeping you updated on what your Council is doing for you over the coming year and beyond.

Photo credit: Harrow Council

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