Feb 18 2013

Susan Says: Harrow’s Labour Council Refuse to Reveal List of Unlocked Parks

susan_hall_150x150Harrow Council’s Labour administration is refusing to reveal which of the borough’s parks will be left unlocked at night, if cuts in their budget go through. The Leader of the Council’s Conservative Group, Cllr. Susan Hall, originally obtained a breakdown of the ‘public realm service reduction’ cut in the budget – which revealed £70,000 was to be saved by leaving parks and cemeteries unlocked. However, further questioning of Cllr. Phillip O’Dell – portfolio holder for Environment and Community Safety – at Cabinet on 14th February, failed to reveal either the specific parks or the number of parks being considered.

Cllr. Hall said: “It’s honestly ridiculous; I’ve been asking about this cut since December, but Cllr. O’Dell’s answers always boil down to a variation of ‘we’re working on it’. Except this answer doesn’t make sense, because in order to have the £70,000 figure form part of the budget they either need to know which parks, or how many parks, are affected. Cllr. O’Dell refused to give me either piece of information.”

Cllr. Hall continued: “We can conclude one of two things from Labour’s refusal to give up this information; either that they’ve plucked the figures out of thin air, or that they just don’t want to be honest with residents. I know there’s a by-election next week and Labour are trying very hard to keep bad news under wraps, but leaving parks unlocked could have very serious implications; specifically increases in criminal behaviour such as vandalism, assaults and drug dealing.”

Cllr. Hall concluded: “I’ll remind Labour what their former Leader, Cllr. Bill Stephenson (Harrow Observer, 4th January 2007), said about leaving parks unlocked – that the idea was ‘ill-conceived and stupid’. I know this description can be applied to an increasing number of Labour’s decisions, but in this instance it’s pretty much a perfect fit.”

Cllr. Susan Hall – 07860 742 093

Leader, Harrow Council Conservative Group

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