Sep 19 2013

Somebody please wake-up Cllrs Ashton, Gate and O’Dell

harrow_council_logo2Monday night’s Council Meeting was always going to be a defining moment in the history of Harrow. With motions calling for the replacement of the leader, and – were that carried – motions for a new leader to be chosen, it was one that should have been engraved in every councillor’s diary, if not upon their forehead.

So, how come three of our councillors were missing?

According to the Council’s records, Cllrs Marilyn ‘Mazza’ Ashton (Conservative), Anne Gate (Labour) and Phil O’Dell (Labour) weren’t there. We wondered how they’d miss such a vital meeting where, literally, every vote could have made a difference. So we asked them:

Dear Councillors,

You were notably absent from Monday’s Council Meeting, which was clearly always going to be a defining moment for local politics.

As councillors, you work for us, Harrow’s residents – whom, you might recall, voted you in – and I wonder if you’d be able to tell me why you weren’t present.

As soon as we get a response – if we get a response, that is – we’ll let you know. We’ve banged on before about some councillors not pulling their weight, but it’s worth looking at their attendance statistics just one more time:

Marilyn Ashton – 57%
Phil O’Dell – 70%
Ann Gate – 73%

No doubt there will be more to come…

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  1. Linda Robinson

    I thought I saw and heard Cllr Marilyn Ashton there, from where I was sitting and listening. If I was mistaken I’ll be disappointed, because she’s my ward councillor and she’s not normally one to fail to stand up and be counted. And because if she wasn’t actually there it will confirm that I am going senile and imagining things.

  2. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    She was on holiday. So was Phil. Because the meeting was only supposed to be on the CIL. The leadership motion was, in our view unlawfully (ie contrary to the LGA 1972), accepted only 7 days before the meeting.

  3. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

    I understand Cllr Ashton was away yet again. I remember well when she and hubby stood down anouncing that they’d had their time on Council and that they’d like to “go to the theatre” and to “spend more time with their grandchildren”. And then came the Stanmore Park by-election when Mark Versallion stood down. I with others applied to stand. inagine the irritation at hearing that I and the other potential candidates were described to senior party councillors, by the shy and unassuming Mazza, as, “effing useless” and “they’re all dross”. imagine too the annoyance and anger, that having been told by Our Mazza that “what makes you think you have a god given right to a seat” that she had decided to unretire and been selected for the safe seat that she couldn’t allow to go to mere “dross”. And now she’s back, a 57% attendane record is shameful especially as she always hammered on about how we shoukd always attend all meetings, committees and outside bodies.If she was a UKIP councillor, we’d be looking at reconsidering her eligibility to stand. Being a Councillor is a privilege not a right. in 4 years I missed 1 meetng but attended extra committees and meetings to kerp up with local matters. No doubt we’ll get a slew of invective, I stand by every word.

    1. marilynashton

      I wasn’t going to reply to this very unpleasant pack of lies, but really it would be wrong to let this tirade of abuse go unchallenged.

      It would be unhelpful to make adverse comments about Jeremy since frankly I believe that he is unwell and cannot help it.

      However, at no time did I ever say anything of the sort about my colleagues as is suggested in Jeremy’s entry. As I said above, what Jeremy has said is a lie and I cannot imagine where he got this from. I should add that the word ‘dross’ is not a word I have ever used to decribe anyone in my entire life.

      I was selected in the correct manner by the local Party to stand in a difficult by-election where one of us had stood down. By-elections are not easy and are hard work. The result can never be taken for granted for any political Party because a by-election is ‘the only game in town’ and so one must really work hard to ensure a good result, which I am pleased so say we delivered for the Conservatives on July 28 2011.

      I am very proud to represent the people of Stanmore Park where I live and have lived for many years. As I have said before, I work extremely hard and I am involved with the local residents assocation, The Stanmore Society, a wonderful organisation with excellent people who truly care about Stanmore. I am deepty concerned about the potential development in the heart of the District Centre and have been working tirelessly in campaigning for a better outcome there than that which has been suggested under the Labour administration.

      I trust that this entry brings about an end to this nasty attempt by Mr. Zeid to damage my reputation and frankly that of my colleagues in Harrow East Conservatives with whom I have an excellent working relationship and good friendships.

      1. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

        Faulty memory syndrome from Our Mazza.

        Welcome to Harrow East Memory Challenge.

        A memory jogger: You went to her house just before the candidate selection. Ring any bells yet?

        OK Marilyn, your starter for ten…. Who, together with another mutiple party but now independent member, did you rail and brief against when you didn’t get your way with getting the Shadow Planning brief?

        Who was the other person you, your significant other and another “worthy”, tried to oust as Chairman just prior to the 2006 elections?

        NOT LIES, Marilyn, the truth, corroborated by and witnessed by several people. So, either you are being “economical with the actualité” or suffering from selective amnesia.

        You may wish to reflect on this when you are next sitting on the Bench judging others.

        Toodle Pip

        1. marilynashton

          Mr. Zeid, I know that you said to certain people that you were sorry I didn’t die in that terrible car crash we had a couple of years ago and all because you are bitter that you failed to be selected for a better seat than the one you lost in 2010. Nothing to do with me I should add. What a wicked, twisted and nasty person you are. UKIP should drop you without delay or risk being embarrassed by you as we were. Please stop this abuse.

          1. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

            That is a LIE, a LIBEL and you know it. I was one of the first to offer help whan I heard and you know that too. I suspect that there are those on your old coterie who were making mischief, and I suspect he-who-has-changed-parties-many-times was the source.

            As for wicked and twisted, I suggest that you look in the mirror, that you’d believe such a thing.

            I NEVER said such an awful thing, ever, and in your heart you know it. And by the way, as Chairman of the Association you would have been party to any decision or consultation re selections.

            You cannot rewrite history which with multiple witnesses, is on my side.

            You brought this on yourself. As an added thought, under 2 weeks before the selection results and long after that terrible accident, I was repairing your outhouse fascia and assembling garden furniture. That was after I allegedly wished you dead (which I didn’t and wouldn’t), why firstly employ me? Why on that day in front of David did you say “we need you back on Council? If he intended to stand why did David state then that he’d had his time on Council and wasn’t going to stand again, only to miraculously appear on the list for Canons? Why was I banished to unwinnable Queensbury instead of my hard won marginal Kenton West, and dont reoeat Brian Jones LIE that I refused Kento West.

            You cannot back up anything you have said or written. I have multiple witnesses and a timeline to back it up. In other words EVIDENCE, reliable WITNESSES and PROOF.

            As I said before, you may wish to consider your actions when you sit on the Magistrate’s bench in judgement of others.

            I stand by EVERY word and so do my witnesses. I don’t kbow what happened but this definitely seems to be due to my friendship with and support for both Susan, Barry and others.

            Note to editor. The statement by Cllr Ashton is a provable LIBEL. She would be advised to put the JCB away before she cannot dig her way out.

          2. Melanie

            I can only ‘speak as I find’ and I find the comments about Cllr Ashton very spiteful and unbecoming of anyone seeking office as a representative of residents as a councillor themselves. Personally, my experience with Cllr Ashton was faultless. When my parents retired to Stanmore and my father then unexpectedly died, I was concerned how my widowed mother would cope with some issues that needed resolving. However, she contacted Cllr Ashton, her Ward Councillor, who solved all the problems extremely quickly and additionally provided comfort and a sympathetic ear, far beyond her role as a Councillor. For the help and support she provided at an extremely traumatic time, I, and my family, will always be grateful. Councillor Ashton has rightly earned her place as a representative of the residents in her Ward and they all hold her in extremely high regard. That is the yardstick one should use when looking at Councillor’s actions.

          3. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

            Melanie. You are right. Marilyn can be very kind, generous and good hearted, I’ve seen it at first hand. Sadly on the matter concerning me, she is completely wrong.

            However, this is not a good place to air these matters, but the record must be set straight and as I wrote, I stand by every word.

  4. Melanie

    Councillor Gate doesn’t even live in Harrow any more. She’s moved away. Sympathetic though I may be to her situation, it isn’t right if she doesn’t live here, to keep her title and stipend when she’s obviously not in a position to do the job

  5. Melanie

    I wonder how residents in Harrow-on-the-Hill feel about their interests being looked after be Cllr Gate, who lives nowhere near Harrow and Cllr Gawn, a convicted fraudster? Praise be that we have Cllr Williams running around doing the Herculean job of representing everyone. Just because Cllr Williams does the work of 3 Councillors, does not mean he should have to. It’s about time Harrow-on-the-Hill had some decent representation, if that cannot be obtained then Cllr Williams should be recompensed for doing the work of the absent and the convicted.

  6. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    Agreed Melanie. Simon’s a hard worker.

  7. We had a reply from Cllr Marilyn Ashton, which is reproduced verbatim here:

    I must object to Jeremy Zeid’s allegation that has been made about my not attending the Extraordinary Council meeting on Monday September 16.

    Just so that your reader’s know, I did not know about any Council meeting on that night until after my husband had booked our flights. Nor was I aware that there were plans for a votes of no confidence in Cllr. Iddaikadar until long after the orginal Extraordinary meeting had been arranged. My son, who lives abroad, had already arranged to meet my husband and I on September 15 to spend some time together and so I was unable to re-schedule our family’s arrangements. Extraordinary meetings are just that, extraordinary. I should add that I have never missed a Council meeting since I was elected in 1998.

    As regards my attendance record, this is misleading since I have been appointed to only one committee – not my choice since I would love to do more if given the opportunity. I am a very hardworking and active Councillor who has had considerable exerience and served on the Planning Committee (which meets at least once a month) from 1998 through 2010 and in twelve years only missed three meetings due to ill health.

  8. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Marilyn – there’s no apostrophe in “readers”. I’ll be very interested to see your party’s position on Anmer Lodge 🙂 & likewise Melanie I’ll be very interested to see the Tory group’s position on Whitchurch playing fields, especially bearing in mind Susan’s pledges on public realm. Wherr will she get the money from if those two land deals are stopped? Hehehe 😉

    1. Melanie

      Councillor Stoodley, the saga of Whitchurch Playing Fields, now in its fifth year, is a sad and sorry tale. I shall not repeat the lack of public consultation or even the fact that a report was made to Cabinet based on absolutely no research. A fact that in the private sector would lead to instant dismissal. But, interestingly, knowing that hundreds of residents homes are at risk and that all those residents are living in a state of anxiety, you find it funny! What kind of Councillor laughs at constituents’, whether his own or not, misfortune? Shame on you, but I will not engage in a slanging match and mud raking with you. It is a waste of my time. However, I know where to find you if I decide to indulge myself. Mine’s a gin and tonic, thanks.

  9. marilyn ashton

    Willy – On Anmer Lodge/Lidls car park, nobody is suggesting that the site isn’t sold as long as what is built there is inkeeping and proportionate to the Stanmore District Centre and general locality. The point about this is simply that when Labour were running the Council they failed to adopt a Planning Brief which would protect this site, if sold, from inappropriate development. What happened instead was to market the site straight out without with the adoption of a Supplementary Planning Document. I came to see you when you were the Portfolio Holder for Planning with the Chairman of the Stanmore Society and begged you not to exchange contracts until a Planning Brief had been adopted. However, you ignored our plea and now we will have to see what, if anything, can be done to rescue the situation. As regards Whitchurch Playing Field/Pavilion, you have failed to understand this, since it is not a ‘land deal’ that is the cause of the problem here, but rather it is a flawed consultation in respect of the selection of a preferred bidder for the site, which has very clearly upset a large number of residents in the area. Can’t say I blame them. You don’t live nearby!

  10. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

    May I suggest that in view of the provable libels and fasehoods made against me a member of the public, that Cllr Ashton has demeaned her office and brought the Council into disrepute.

    Perhaps it’s time for Harrow East Conservative Association to review her candidacy for Council and the ultra-safe seat of Stanmore Park; Queensbury perhaps.

  11. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Yes well anyway, getting back to Whitchurch playing fields, Melanie what on earth provoked you to make the unfounded and libellous comment that I was laughing at constituents? If you meant the “hehehe” it’s at the Conservative’s group’s dilemma that they need land deals to go through if they want to spend more money on public realm. I’m also intrigued as to how you know where to find me, bearing in mind I live on a boat that moves around! Be that as it may I must say I do like the sound of a G & T with you on my boat chugging away with a few candles lit on the dashboard and dinner ready to go in the oven. So when did you have in mind! btw hope you can come to October’s Cabinet Questions?

    Marylin – Anmer Lodge is pretty much a done deal now – it’s no longer a question of “if”, more a question of “what shape” and I am delighted to have been the p/f holder when that deal went through, as it will really benefit the residents of Stanmore by improving the look and the traffic flow of the high street, it will provide more housing inc. affordable housing and/or CIL/s106 money, AND there’ll be a nice brand new M&S food store so people won’t have to trek all the way over to Edgware either on the bus or by car in the heavy traffic. So everyone’s a winner!


  12. MS

    I am totally disgusted by the ego’s, pettiness and mudslinging on this comment section. Instead of Cllr’s and prospective Cllr’s wasting their energy slagging off others, why don’t you try focusing solely on making Harrow a better place to live and work? I have lived in Stanmore for 25 years and it has gone from being a desirable area to one that is filthy and overdeveloped. There isn’t enough parking in the Broadway as it is, so how do we fit homes, a M & S and parking on there? Thanks Labour and Tories, for together, screwing residents.

  13. Susan Hall

    MS.The entire Borough has been allowed to become filthy under Labour and we are addressing that immediately, although only in post less than 2 weeks new cleaning schedules have been costed and agreed and you will notice a difference very soon. With regard to the parking I have been assured that provisions will be made. The plans are in early stages as yet and we will have to see what is proposed, I do hope you will feed your thoughts into the consultation.

  14. j p hobbs

    Well said MS !!!! I totally agree !!!!. jp

  15. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    MS – They won’t be fitting all of that in The Broadway – it’s all going on the old Anmer Lodge site. If you’re a Stanmore resident I’m sure that your local councillor would be absolutely delighted to liaise with the new portfolio holder for planning and urban regeneration to arrange for you to drop into the Civic Centre to view the three ideas Notting Hill Housing Association have for the site. I would have been absolutely delighted to arrange such for you myself but, alas, I am no longer the portfolio holder!

  16. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    MS – there is no apostrophe in egos or Cllrs.

  17. cantspellandwhocares?

    Wally Stoodles

    Do you thunk pepol reely need your continyued gramma and spilling lessions on here – it reely is becuming moist toresome

  18. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    As is people writing on here who can’t spell, write properly or use an apostrophe! I and many of my Councillor colleagues are not adverse to correction and indeed welcome education and thus improvement. Still, I ain’t stopping you going your own way…

  19. j p hobbs

    Well Willy my spelling and grammar is atroshus but I have been looking thru the dictionary for this word wherr to improve my education , cant find it anywherr “wherr doe she get the money from” I don’t know do you ?

  20. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    My dear Hobbs – this link will no doubt be music to your ears?!!
    Have a good weekend!

  21. j p hobbs

    Cheers Willy , Yes I believe it has been illegal under the same Road traffic act rules all the time so come on Harrow time for refunds and some honesty , I hope it comes out of Mick and Andys bonuses , time to get some new people in that know the rules if you are going to pay those massive wages . Perhaps the new leader will look into it now , one of her sidekicks told me he didn’t want to upset Labour as the camera is in their ward and he wouldn’t like it if it were tother way round , what sort of opposition is that . A H BUNNY .

  22. j p hobbs

    PS If it were about keeping the traffic moving the easy and honest way would be to put no stopping signs or cones all along that stretch not a hidden camera a couple of hundred yards away bolted to a private residence .

  23. Susan Hall

    Now now j p hobbs. You know full well that I did investigate this for you and have been assured that the camera is perfectly legal, in fact I have written to you on the subject. As for thinking that I would not touch something in a ward with Labour Councillors I can only say “stuff and nonsense!” I am already increasing the cleaning rotas in order that every ward in the Borough will become cleaner, the fraud team as well as the planning enforcement teams are being increased to investigate the unfair actions of some of our residents and of course I have found funds to support our wonderful Neighbourhood Champions, and increase them in every ward, which will help with reporting of crime and of course the cleanliness of their areas. I have promised a cleaner, safer and fairer Harrow and that is what I and my Conservative Colleagues will deliver and if I have to step on toes to achieve this so be it.

  24. j p hobbs

    Cllr Hall I never said it was you that said they wouldn’t tackle the problem because it was a Labour ward but it was one of your team , I was trying to be tactful not to name the person , over many years you have been one of the few that has tried do sort problems , I am sure that is why you have become Top Gun and I am pleased you have , PLEASE could you at least see the warning signs can be seen from all directions not just the one .
    I was talking to a guy from the R A C on Friday he assured me by law the signs must be visible from all directions and suggested I take this up with Harrow council . Once again sorry for the misunderstanding but if you check you will see I didn’t say it was you .
    Good luck with the massive task you have before you , the people of Harrow are worth it .

  25. Susan Hall

    I am already looking at how we could cost up a proper drop off area for the front of Harrow and Wealdstone Station. The problem arises when people drop off travelers and park/stop on the zig zag lines by the zebra crossing because this as we all know is illegal and drivers will always be prosecuted in those circumstances. It does not help that the journey to the back of the station includes some ridiculously high speed humps – something else for me to look at! Lots to do but one thing we definitely agree on is that the people of Harrow are most certainly worth it.

  26. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Yay, yet another iHarrow thread turned into a discussion about that ruddy camera! How we doing Paul – this must be the most commented on thread on your whole site?!

  27. P.Lumb

    Susan … this is just like the “night of power” when you masterminded that take over !… Free for all continues I see…. you like to get down and dirty but its a lonely place once the music stops ….so show some class and control this …there is lots to do…don’t give people the sparks ….keep quiet and get on with it …

  28. j p hobbs

    Well Wooly it did affect seventeen hundred Harrow citizens in the last financial year , don’t you think that is worth talking about , that’s just one of the many cameras ? well lets hear you then astropofies and all .

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