Harrow challenges Government’s austerity programme

imagesA motion at the Council meeting on 18 July 2019 demands the incoming Tory prime minister to take responsibility for the terrible human cost of his party’s austerity programme and make the necessary investment to properly fund public services.
The movers of the motion councillors Graham Henson and Adam Swersky point out that “Austerity has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, and community centres”.
In Harrow, the impact of austerity has been shocking.  Already one of the lowest funded councils in London, this government’s reckless policies continue to put an unacceptable strain on our finances and cause damage to our residents, highlights the petition.
Over 30% of children in Harrow live in poverty where child poverty is rising to 40% in some wards. Last year, the Harrow food bank fed over 2617 people, including over 1041 children.
The Young Harrow Foundation’s Needs Analysis found that 20% of Harrow’s young people need mental health support while 17% need help with suicidal thoughts or know someone who needs this help.
The government has cut the budget of the Metropolitan police drastically, forcing a reduction in officer numbers with fewer 3,000 police officers and 3,000 fewer community support officers in the capital compared to 2010 – crime has increased.
This year, a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime has found a link between these cuts and the rise in youth violence which has also been witnessed in Harrow.
Harrow has  seen an increase in violent crime with knife crime becoming a more frequent occurrence.
Inevitably, it is our residents who suffer these strains, whether it be through reduced services or increased council tax, says the petition.