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Jul 01 2013

Thaya Says: Thanks for Under One Sky

thaya_idaikkadar2I would be grateful if you would allow me to use your pages to say abig thank you to all who helped make Under One Sky a really great success this year. It was a brilliant family day out with an opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity which we have in Harrow. Although there are challenges, I am sure that with support from our Residents, Staff and Partners, we will come up with strategies to ensure that next year’s Festival delivers for Residents with all the positives and none of the negatives. We would like to thank everyone, but specially staff in Community & Culture who put in hours of planning before today and several hours on Sunday.

My thanks also go to staff from Public Realm who worked hard today to ensure that our environment remained litter free and pleasant. These are very challenging times for the Council: our particular local politics, challenging demands placed on our staff, unprecedented cuts by the Coalition Government. We appreciate the hard work of our staff in these difficult circumstances. We also appreciate the support of residents who value the great opportunity to come together and celebrate Harrow. On behalf of the Independent Labour Group (ILG), I would like to publicly offer our heart-felt thanks and appreciation for all that our staff do, day in day out, to ensure that expectations are met. Our staff, are our real unsung heroes.

I cannot emphasise enough that we do not underestimate how challenging it can be for officers in the current political climate. That is why I feel that this is the right time to thank all staff for the amazing resilience and dedication but particularly those who have dealt with increased and challenging workloads and targets. What makes this a remarkable story is that Harrow Council is achieving great things in spite of the reduction in our resources by the Coalition Government. The Chancellor has announced a further 10 per cent reduction in local government funding as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review for 2015-16. This decision to make further local government cuts follows a 50 per cent reduction in the council’s budget since 2010. Together we need to rise to the challenge and seek new ways of delivering for residents. Cuts are not a sustainable solution. I would
like to place on record, my personal thanks and those of my Independent Labour Group for the quality work you do which has been recognised with two awards:

  • Independent Award for the Best Council to Do Business
  • Call Centre of the Year Award

I would like to ensure that all our staff feel valued, supported and appreciated. I am aware that there has been a lot of change since 2010, all done with the best of intentions. In retrospect, some changes could have been handled differently. I am sure you recognise that this Administration will listen and is not afraid to review decisions if the result will benefit staff and residents.The welfare of residents remain our main priority.

Introducing free parking for 20 minutes is one way we want to support local businesses and our residents. Provided the pilot in Rayners Lane goes well, residents and local businesses will benefit from free parking for 20 minutes.

If we, the Independent Labour Group, can do anything to improve any aspect of life in the borough, please do let us know. The changes in Harrow’s politics are an opportunity to do things differently and offer residents an alternative they value. If you want to get in touch with the Independent Labour Group, please email IndependentLabourGroup@harrow.gov.uk or contact Councillors directly.

Comradely yours
Thaya Idaikkadar
Leader of the ILG

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