Apr 08 2013

What the bloody hell is Harrow Council doing?

harrow_council_logoBack in January, we noticed a footnote in a set of Harrow Council’s meeting minutes, where they’d agreed to make one of their corporate directors redundant. At the time, we wondered just how much, exactly, he’d get as a golden goodbye.

After much prodding and poking, the Council finally got off its backside and responded to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, taking more than twice as long as it is allowed to, by law. Again.

Andrew Trehern, ex-Corporate Director of Place Shaping, should now be clutching a cheque to the value of 66 weeks redundancy pay, which works out to over £175,000. And yes, that’s £175,000 of council tax payers’ money. Not a bad little earner.

It’s amazing on a number of points, but for starters:

No doubt many residents – and those ex-employees taking a trip to the Jobcentre shortly – will be shaking their heads and wondering just what’s happening with the Council.

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  1. Susan Hall

    Our wonderful front line staff lose their jobs, some of our most competent Managers are also losing theirs through the hopeless and misguided PRISM restructure. As taxpayers we are going to get reduced services for which we are paying an extra 2%. Why? Because this hopeless Labour administration do not understand how to manage money correctly. They do not understand that paying millions of pounds to consultants does not get our streets swept, will not help the average hard working member of staff who now faces redundancy and will not keep our exceptionally high council tax down. As for protecting our most vulnerable, which is essential, without prudent finance it is difficult to say the least! Labour Politicians please roll up your sleeves, open your eyes and try and rescue the disaster that you are presiding over, you are so privileged to be running the Council yet your priorities and abilities are sadly lacking.

  2. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Susan – it’s Labour administration DOES not understand, not DO not understand. It’s IT DOES NOT understand, not THEY DO NOT understand. It’s try TO understand, not try AND understand. But credit to you Susan since a non-public school education will never teach as well as the jolly spiffing what-ho! public boarding school education does that the likes of Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Soames et al and of course my good self were privileged to attend, so I guess one should forgive your gramattical howlers…after all you have done very well despite receiving an inferior education!

  3. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    grammatical – bloody iphone keypads!

  4. Susan Hall

    Thank you for pointing this out Will I shall certainly learn from this. Thankfully my second rate education did not get in the way of my being able to understand when money is being wasted, Services are being cut and good men and women who do the jobs we residents want to see done are losing their livelihoods . Our duty is to the taxpayer and residents. They elect us and we have to make sure we provide for the vulnerable and ensure all Services are delivered in a cost effective way. Given that you have indeed had such a superb education I am sure you can see the consequences that will inevitably ensue from the disastrous decisions your Labour colleagues are making.

  5. VoiceOfReason

    Cllr Stoodley is an odious little man who brings no value to these forums.

  6. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Susan I totally agree with you – aside from my party’s policies (of course!). Please don’t ever think that just because Cameron, Clegg, Osborne et al inc. me had an education that at today’s prices costs £35,000 p.a. it makes us superior to you in any way, shape or form. Sadly though for what I call “real” or “proper” tories like you and your gang it highlights the hoighty-toighty “holier-than-thou” know-better arrogance that is endemic in us ex-public school boys, which is why Thatcher would have nothing to do with them; what I can’t help wondering, bearing in mind that I was at school with Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Soames etc in that system in the 1970s, is why do you?!! I would never have affiliated myself with Labour in the early 80s, indeed my vote back then lay with the SDP – Dr David Owen having gone to the same school as me and all that – so it genuinely puzzles me why you “REAL” grammer school & state school tories toady and lapdog up to those know-nothing ex-public schoolboy gits whilst knowing that they are likely to cost you power for another 13 years. You know I believe in democracy and fair play and you need two parties at least for that so okay cool. But Cameron’s mob? Give me a break Susan! I grew up in their environment; I know their agenda – I was TAUGHT IT ALSO!! The backlash once they’re done will cost your party dear; unless they’re planning to fight off an orchestrated foreign invasion of UK territory soil somewhere like Thatcher did, the Tory party is done for; which is a pity because democracy needs at least two ELECTABLE parties…

  7. Praxis Reform

    @VoiceOfReason I find much of what Cllr Stoodley says to be objectionable, but I do hope that he will continue to patronise this site. If Harrow’s Councillors are prepared to pop onto local websites occasionally, I believe it demonstrates that they are taking an active interest in local issues and thus will (hopefully) be better aware of what’s going on in the local area and glean some inkling of the concerns that local people might have.

    There is also a small possibility that we may learn something from Cllr Stoodley, apart from how poor our spelling and grammar is.

  8. AllThingsGood

    Harrow Council haemorrhaging taxpayers money, 175,000 pay off, punishing the elderly and vulnerable, and generally running this borough into the ground. This never was and never has been a listening council. As an aside I agree with Voice of reason about Cllr Stoodley, your posts are of little interest, and your stinging attacks on some people show a sign of weakness. It never hurts anybody in life to show a bit of humility.

  9. Susan Hall

    In response to Praxis Reform I can assure you that I and many of my group do read all the sites daily but until recently I have not commented. I certainly do take note and often wish we Tories were in a position to change things. The reason I have started to comment is because I feel so strongly about the terrible decisions that are being made. The new PRISM restructure will see Harrow losing spectacularly good Officers who have worked their socks off for us for years. Nobody seems to value the wealth of experience and depth of knowledge relating to Harrow specifically some of these Officers have and they are most certainly not being treated, in my view, in a respectful manor, I am so ashamed to be anywhere near these disastrous decisions and want everyone to realise what a mistake is being made and how we totally oppose this. As for the reduction of street cleaning, cessation of park locking and reduction in general park maintenance, I am truly appalled. These are the areas that every single tax payer benefits from. iharrow has highlighted the latest concerns from the housing department. I really dread to think what will become of Harrow if our labour administration do not pull their socks up and start listening to and understanding what our residents really want. Harrow residents deserve so much better.

  10. VoiceOfReason

    @ praxis reform – you are of course completely right. I wish this site was not dominated with views from just Will Stoodly and Susan Hall. There should be much more interaction through these forums with other Councillors but obviously it is too much trouble for the others to comment. So,yes, credit to these two for at least trying to engage with us. Whether anyone really takes any notice of our ramblings on here remains to be seen. I have yet to have any evidence that Harrow council takes any notice of what we say and how we feel about the way our Borough is run. But, at least it gives us the satsifaction of getting things off our chest and a free spelling lesson to boot.

  11. Praxis Reform

    @VoiceOfReason as Cllr Hall says, it’s possible that other Councillors read the site, but I’m sure 64 Harrow Councillors all adding “I agree” would make for pretty dull reading.

    One of the problems of our political system is that once elected, Politicians can do pretty much what they please, even if it’s completely different to their original manifesto… This is a praxis that I think needs to be reformed (big cheesy grin).

    But, imperfect as things are, if we all exercise our rights to free speech as often as possible, there’s a very very small chance something will change.

    If we all stay home and adopt that terrible English habit of saying “things are bad, but mustn’t grumble”, then it’s guaranteed that things will stay the same.

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