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Jul 27 2014

Susan Says: Heading Towards a Dirtier Harrow

susan_hall_2Harrow Council’s Labour administration is set to cut residential street cleaning services from next year, after Cabinet agreed to cut the service’s budget by £172,000 last night. The administration plans to switch to a reactive or ‘zonal’ cleaning system – instead of the current ‘cyclical’ approach which ensures all streets are cleaned on a regular basis. The move has been condemned by the opposition Conservative Group, who point out that not only will it make Harrow dirtier, but that Council reports show the extra investment their previous administration had put into street cleaning was already paying off.

Conservative Group Leader and Environment spokesman Cllr. Susan Hall said: “Whenever Labour look to make cuts they always seem to go after services like street cleaning first, against the wishes of Harrow residents and despite knowing it will make Harrow dirtier. It’s also so disappointing after the extra investment the Conservatives put into street cleaning had started turning things around. Cllr. Varsha Parmar assured me at Cabinet that all residents affected by this cut will be written to, so it will be interesting to see if that happens or not.”

Also at Cabinet, Labour pushed through a full cut of the £100,000 the previous Conservative administration had put into the Neighbourhood Champions scheme. Labour have already confirmed they will change the name to ‘Community Champions’, but refused to reveal further details about their plans until September. Cllr. Hall said: “It’s a terrible decision because that funding was going to do wonders for the scheme, but it’s also deeply insulting to over a thousand residents who are already Champions. Labour are essentially telling them that what they do isn’t valued enough, and are keeping them in the dark about what the future holds.”

Cllr. Hall concluded: “Incredibly, the day after pushing these cuts through Labour announced their plans to look into bringing back the Chief Executive role – the cost of which would cover both these cuts in full. It’s a very clear sign of Labour’s warped priorities!”

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16 comments

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  1. Terry Mills

    reactive cleaning = we will only clean your street if enough people shout loudly enough.
    Neighbourhood / community champions = silly name. What was wrong with road stewards?
    But if the system is deleted, the reports of problems will decrease, and if you don’t know about them, you can’t be expected to rectify them – until the next election.

  2. Harrow Dude

    Susie where or how do you spend £100k on a scheme which Harrow Council describes as..

    Neighbourhood Champions are volunteers whose role is to inform us about everyday street level nuisances so that these issues can be speedily resolved, including: litter; graffiti; fly-tipping; noise; defective street lights. They can report to us via: our website, by email, by phone.

    Call them what you like there will always be residents reporting issues to the Council and there always has been so can you explain why it should cost £100k for what is a voluntary role

    Lets not forget that you poured money into your favorite service by taking it from those that you are not so fond of. Your rob Peter to pay Paul style of accounting is never sustainable.
    Yes the streets were cleaner but that was due to an extra 30+ agency staff brought in pre election (you never did tell us how much you spent in 8 months). Tell us how throwing copious amount of money into the New Harrow Project worked out for you Susie?

    For the record zonal cleaning does not and will not work for Harrow.

  3. PraxisReform

    Clearly at one time people were standing around scratching their heads saying: “The place is a mess with litter, graffiti, fly-tipping, noise, defective street lights, etc. If only there were a website, email, phone line or an elected group of people that the mess could be reported to?”

    The Neighbourhood Champion scheme solved this issue, once people had been paid the bargain basement price of £100k to learn how to send an email or dial a phone number.

  4. mike mcfadden

    Time to re employ traffic wardens to street wardens and put heavy fines on those dropping any thing from a coke can to sacks. Time too face the facts. Most if not all those I’ve seen dumping are not English born many could be non-residents living in sheds that perhaps should not even be in the country. Unless we are prepared to wake-up and smell the coffee we may lose a lot more then our dignity. Harrow is becoming a failed borough and who knows what will follow.

  5. Susan Hall

    Praxis Reform. You clearly do not know or understand anything about Neighbourhood Champions. They are all good people willing to make a difference in their area. The Scheme gives people an opportunity to report things in an easier way. They are given training on what departments deal with what and they have greater contact with the Police. Partnership working is always beneficial to residents. Neighbourhood Champions are ‘can do’ people not those that just want to critisise everything that is said and done. The 100k pays for the conference, contact officers, literature for Champions, development of the web site and many more things. It is the Councils support for the scheme. You and Harrow Dude clearly just want to throw stones. Its very disappointing. Some of us really care about Harrow and want to make a difference yet others just seek to cause trouble. To those of you reading this that are Champions I thank you for all your hard work and for the fact that you care. We must just ignore some of these idiots who hide behind their fictitious names. At least I use my proper name and am prepared to stand up and be counted no matter how much you sling at me.

    1. mike mcfadden

      Susan, I did hear a rumour and you may think it far fetched that their are elements with wilful intentions to pull down a neighbourhood by using anti-social methods rubbish/ unruly conduct and by people planted in an area then buying up the houses cheap to let to councils for social housing!! Dishonest and illegal but I feel needs taking notice of in these unusual and turbulent times.

    2. the red mirror

      untill you are asked questions that you find shall we say (embarrassing) then there is a roaring silence by the way maybe some people use a alias to avoid revenge tactics used to suppress the truth not unheard of within harrow council when dealing with evil we must use all tools available all is fair in love and war and can you say hand on heart that you have never posted anon susie?.

    3. Harrow Dude

      Susie once again I am not throwing stones i am simply asking questions I have always asked of you. By all means stand up and be counted (hopefully not double counted eh Susie) but your blatant refusal to answer questions or even refute the ones you don’t like is always enlightening.

      For the record I do care about the borough, today I reported two overflowing bins that have not been emptied for 9 days which I find strange as we have the same number of staff and the same management that keep the streets clean pre-election but it seems rubbish is been left on the streets longer for some reason.

      I am not knocking the NC’s in fact I applaud their ‘can do’ ethos. All I’m saying is I managed to report this problem without any training or attending any conferences and it didn’t cost £100k, as I suspect most people do.

      If you cast your mind back you were going to give us some figures relating to how many issues are reported by NC’s compared to ordinary responsible residents etc.

      I am still waiting…

    4. PraxisReform

      @Susan Hall You are correct, I don’t understand anything about Neighbourhood Champions… I don’t understand why Harrow residents are being charged £100K for an “easier” way to report local issues… If the matter is so tricky, why not just improve the council website to make it easier for everyone to use, give the people answering the phone / emails better training in how to respond to complaints. Or just direct people to the excellent https://www.fixmystreet.com/ website, all at virtually nil cost to Harrow taxpayers.

      Perhaps you can also tell us why ‘can do’ people need a conference and literature? £100,000 would buy one heck of a conference, do the delegates get champagne, caviar, smoked salmon and lobster?

  6. Concerned Harrovian

    I wish people could be fined for feeding pigeons as it encourages rats. we have laws against littering and soon I hope spitting. There is, however, no enforcement that is why people continue with these activities.

    Could we have rogues gallery with names and photographs in the local press? I do not care if it infringes the culprit’s human rights for privacy and a family life What about the rights of Harrow residents and workers to live in a clean borough? After all fly tippers are named and shamed. I guarantee publicity in the local press would reduce the problems.

  7. the red mirror

    the social engineering tactics of the saul alinski brigade again thats what neighbourhood champions is all about next they will be issued with arm bands and rubber hoses collectivism is a disease that destroys rugged individualism make of yourself a sheep and you WILL BE EATEN BY WOLVES.

    1. mike mcfadden

      Its surely time to wake-up and smell the coffee. Some of the going on in Harrow to say the least are undemocratic and that’s being nice.

      1. the red mirror

        yes mike youre being very charitable i would say be careful though you may be accused of paranoia by certain concerned parties.

  8. Concerned harrovian

    There has neither been any suggestion that Neighbourhood Champions should wear arm bands and carry weapons. They do not involve themselves in the private lives of people who live on their street.

    They are not a Stasi organisation. Do you honestly think the Stasi were concerned with potholes, non-working street lamps and fly-tipping?

    The value of the scheme is that if there is an important message to be delivered to residents it can be emailed quickly to the Champions who can then inform the people in the street. Things like a car the police want to trace, council messages, messages from the utility companies, etc.

    As a Neighbourhood Champion, I can assure you “the red mirror” that I will not approach you wearing an arm band and carrying a rubber hose to attack you. You are quite safe but, I do suggest you attend therapy to find out the cause of your paranoia.

    1. the red mirror

      the cause of my concern dear boy is the ever encroaching orwelliian police state if you cant see that then you are too close to the problem my remark was somewhat tongue in cheek although not far off the truth might i suggest that you spend some time studying history for those who ignore it are destined to repeat it just as the rumours of the death camps in poland were scorned in the begining the full horror soon emerged this nc is thinly veild collectivist nightmare stalin would be proud of run by change agents and fith columnists i dont have the time to educate you fully but please check out the alternative media (THE OTHERS TELL THE ODD PORKIE ) you should be so paranoid as to investigate the likes of common purpose etc please be fully conversant with the facts before you go around calling people paranoid prehaps some therapy would help you to remove your head from the sand.

  9. Willy Stoodley

    What interests me is the fact that the vote was split perfectly evenly-16% Tory and 16% Labour-and the only difference between their policies was whether to spend spare money on cleaning or on social services, so I hope all those commenting voted?! Because if you did, next time try to emphasise to others who didn’t that this is exactly the sort of difference voting can make i.e. if one of the parties had been a clear winner by even as little as 5% then we’d really have to put up with that democratic decision; as it is there’s no clear indication on what the majority of citizens want…

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