Jan 09 2013

Susan Says: Residents Frustrated by Harrow Planning IT Failures

susan_hall_150x150Yet more Harrow Council IT failures are causing problems for residents.

The Labour-run Council has been beset by IT problems in recent months; with an expensive outsourcing contract with Capita followed by delays to an e-mail rollout and a severe e-mail backlog. Now it has emerged that residents have experienced problems obtaining documents for significant local planning applications – particularly those for the proposed Marlborough and Vaughan School expansions. Reported problems range from documents not opening, old documents
being mixed up with new ones, and duplicate documents being present.

Cllr. Susan Hall, Leader of the Conservative Group, has been contacted by some of the concerned residents. She said: “Our residents deserve much better than this, and it’s appalling they have experienced so many problems when trying to obtain these planning documents. These are significant developments which the residents are hugely concerned about. How can the Council be said to be properly consulting on these proposals if people can’t actually get full sets of the proper documents? It’s gotten to the stage where the Council is offering to put all the documents on CDs for some of the residents who’ve reported the problems, but that won’t fix the underlying problems behind this – nor is it fair to other residents.”

Cllr. Hall concluded: “Labour’s IT problems in Harrow seem to be going from bad to worse. On top of the costly contract with Capita, and the various e-mail problems, whole areas of the Council’s website have collapsed in recent weeks. This includes both the Planning section, and the form for reporting public realm problems which, quite outrageously, will be the only way residents will be able to tell the Council about such problems in the future – according to cuts contained in Labour’s budget. On top of this we’ve got a rollout of new printers that’s been
beset by problems and delays, and has caused all sorts of problems for our staff.

Labour boast a lot about how much money they’re pumping into IT, but with all these problems being reported it’s clear they’re not getting value for taxpayers’ money; and it’s those taxpayers who suffer most when the Council’s IT doesn’t work properly.”

Cllr Susan Hall, Leader of the Conservative Group


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