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Sep 26 2016

Susan Says: “Labour Dictators Refuse to Discuss their Own Policies: Why?”

susan_hall_2At a meeting of the Full Council (22.09.16) Harrow Labour Group voted through their £356million regeneration program without any discussion or debate.

The Labour councillors unanimously voted to stop the meeting at 22.30 before they had reached the main part of the agenda, despite the Conservatives pushing to stay however long it took to discuss these important issues. This came after hours of talking away the allotted time by senior Labour councillors. The Labour Group did not want to allow any discussion of their own policies.

In an obvious attempt to silence the opposition, Leader of the Council, Cllr Sachin Shah, preferred instead to use the three hour meeting to posture and criticise the Conservative Government’s national policies rather than discuss what he is doing for Harrow.

As well as the regeneration program, other issues not discussed included the Council’s Community Safety Strategy and the pay rises for senior directors.

The Council’s regeneration program was described in the report as, “a once in a generation opportunity to make a real difference to the quality of life in the borough” leading to speculation as to why the Labour Group refused to talk about it. The report, a mere 12 pages long, did not present any detail, costing or contingency planning. It said “It is difficult to judge exact values but the total contract value for building works for the entire programme is in the region of £350m…” Plus of course the £6 million for consultants!

Cllr Susan Hall, Leader of Harrow Conservative Group, said: “£356 million is a colossal sum of money and for Labour to prevent any discussion demonstrates a reckless disregard for tax payers. Any Harrow resident who has ever hired a builder will understand that unforeseen problems and costs occur. Time and budgets can soon spiral on the smallest of projects. The stakes here are huge.”

She continued: The regeneration report was written in the name of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, surely they would want to discuss their own report? Unless they are ashamed to discuss a vague and poorly put together report in front of their own councillors. If we had been allowed to discuss, colleagues in my Group and I had important questions to ask on the eye watering £356m. This project will double the Council’s debt, burdening Harrow tax payers for generations to come. It is vital that the Council takes these decisions carefully. Not in the reckless way we saw last night.”

She went on: “Cllr Shah talks of wanting to work together but when it comes down to it he won’t even answer our questions. It is nothing more than a desperate attempt to cling on to power by a weak and ineffective Leader. This was an outrageous affront to democracy. Our Country has a long and proud tradition of free speech, fair play and democratic values. Labour’s appalling actions at last night’s meeting to shut down debate flies in the face of all that is right. This is not the first time they have used Machiavellian tactics to stifle democracy in the Council Chamber but it is quite frankly the most egregious.”

Concluding, Cllr Hall said: “Cllr Shah may think he has silenced us in the Chamber but he cannot silence us outside it. I will be discussing with my Group how we take our concerns for democracy in Harrow to the highest possible authority.”

 

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  1. Jeremy Zeid

    Polly Parrot “it’s the cuts” Shah also squawked that “I’ll take no lectures from the Tories”, which explains perfectly how he and his utterly dysfunctional Labour group kerp making the same mistakes. Not one capable Councillor among them. As usual allI got was meaningless waffle in answer to my question. Now you know why when I refer to Harrow, I remove the “O” from Council.

    1. Someonewhocares

      JZ: Hypothetical question: I realise I am wasting my time writing this but if someone arbitrarily reduced your salary and then you experienced difficulty whilst paying your bills in subsequent years/reductions would you blame then yourself?. (I thought a ‘personal’ example would be best here as you have made it so personal too)

      Seriously this whole issue is not news, it is also countrywide, and again (lest we conveniently forget) it was imposed by a CONSERVATIVE Department/MP (DCLG/Pickles)

      http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/12/dclg-funding-councils-%E2%80%98cut-more-9%E2%80%99

      Open you eyes and do some basic research yourself: Many Councils have run into similar difficulties, and as expected and anticipated, further cost-cutting exercises WILL cause bigger problems. Many other Councils have complained about The Cuts because the problems were (and still are) caused by THE CUTS!

      It was interesting to note that the DCLG also had major cuts imposed on them by Osborne at the end of last year; Once they had imposed harsh cuts they were cut themselves (including Pickes) ! Now what happened to George? Ah yes – he was eventually cut too!

      Incidentally Susan, tell us all again just how you consulted with the ‘opposition’ and residents when you were breflly in power (and before these CUTS !)

      1. Susan Hall

        Easy answer. We had both Labour and Independent Labour on Cabinet with us. They were able to ask whatever they liked in public and private. We (Conservatives) were promised a place on the Labour Cabinet, we are still waiting two and a half years later.

        I would also suggest you read the article. It is a complaint about the £350 plus million Labour are borrowing to buy houses, build things and goodness knows what else. I am concerned about the repayment costs of borrowing.

        1. Someonewhocares

          Unfortunately that time was one of such turbulence and back-biting however that many thought that few Councillors were interested in the needs of the residents, only their own. Also these DCLG CUTS imposed had not bitten deep then. Many are now unconvinced (due to lack of any specific or useful input on the matter) that *any* administration could reasonablybudget for these CUTS; As we know, ‘Somethings Got to Give’; It has!

          I did read the article: Other ‘over-stretched’ Councils are also borrowing quite heavily too of course.

          It always surprised me though that your idol Thatcher was allowed to sell off Council Houses and yet Councils were forbidden -by law- to use the money raised to build more!; It was always going to ‘end in tears’; It has, surely, mainly for our kids now with little chance of ever owning their own houses: Simple ‘Supply And Demand’ unfortunately, further worsened by CUTS!

          As for your desire (to be in Cabinet) after 2/12 years it may be high time to stop holding your breath?

  2. Mike McFadden

    Mrs Hall, myself and local residents have tried to get answers from Michael Lockwood and others to why Harrow are trying to destroy family life in our part of Harrow. Something is drastically wrong with the planning in our area and mainly white English home owners are being terrorised into selling up. Then their once family homes are turning into gross HMO’s with all the problems those monstrosities bring.

    Ps: White flight is real. Doctor, Shipman was a real doctor, you know.!! Burying our heads in the sand is not an option.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Susan Hall

      Mike, I despair about the state of the entire Borough. Sadly we re not in control so its difficult to get anything done. As you will realise when reading the article, Labour do not want to discuss their policies or their eye watering borrowing which we taxpayers will have to fund for years to come.

      1. red mirror

        susan why the sudden concern over things fiscal?all i can remember of you is bothering folk after work in their local /parking in the town centre /blocked drains/and getting your mug in the paper.

      2. red mirror

        susan susan machiavellian tactics go hand in hand with politics after all the years that you have been involved in local government i am amazed that you are surprised by this. labour won declared they had beaten the tyrant then became the tyrant its an old old story for me political atheism is the only sane logical path to tread.HOW do you do it susan it must be very fustrating?.

        1. susan hall

          Red Mirror I have always had an eye to the finances, its vital. Without proper funding nothing can be achieved. The finances must always be paramount, after all it is residents money! I accept I have knocked on thousands of doors, that’s how us Councillors engage with our residents. I am also concerned about blocked drains, bins, parking and street cleanliness because I am aware of what worries the residents, they may seem menial to some but small things are important to most of us. As for getting my mug in the papers perhaps that’s because I am out there doing the work. At least I am prepared to engage with the residents, I note I am one of the few who is prepared to comment on this site, using my own name, despite the fact that I often have to take abuse. As for it being frustrating, you are correct Red Mirror, watching this incompetent lot running our Council, overspending, dithering on decisions,charging for brown bins and not even having the guts to discuss their new £350 million borrowing at Council – I could go on but I wont – it is worse than frustrating!

          1. red mirror

            fair comment susan it’s to hell in a hand cart alright i’ll say that.

          2. red mirror

            oh ps sue i tried going down the route of being transparent and giving my name when trying to protect a vulnerable work colleague who was being abused sexually i was promised anonymity unfortunately one lovely lady decided to side with evil and i got fed to the wolves i mention this only in answer to your critique .I think you know my name susie anyway nuff said god bless sleep well.

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