How inclusive is the Harrow council?

“Our workforce is diverse, talented and adaptable and our local businesses are wonderful. With this support and their own skills I have every faith in them to be able to rebuild and flourish” said Cllr Keith Ferry, business, property and leisure portfolio holder as Harrow Council launched its Draft Economic Strategy which aims to respond to the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and support the recovery.
Cllr Graham Henson, Harrow Council leader added: “We have also worked hard to secure millions of pounds in external funds to deliver a range of employment, business support and infrastructure programmes.”
All this sounds well but how the strategies outlined in the plans help the small street businesses predominantly run by the cultural diversity like Afghani, Pakistani and Turkish communities?
(for example, Station Road Harrow and High Street Wealdstone are kept alive by these businesses, though not acknowledged)
The following core of the Draft Economic Strategy is of little relevance to these street businesses, considering the nature of their business.
The strategy says that in the immediate term the Council has secured over £16m in external funds to deliver a range of employment, business support and infrastructure programmes, and these include:
– An expansion of the Council’s job brokerage scheme and the launch of a vacancy bulletin supporting those who became unemployed to work with sectors, such as social care.
– Transferral of apprenticeship levy funding to SMEs to create new apprenticeships in care, health, construction, and digital sectors.
– Expansion of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and employability provision to deliver outreach services.
– Promotion of our Jobs, Employment and Training Programme as well as the Work and Health Programme
It looks that the council still has a long way to go in developing meaningful and inclusive ethos, policies and community support across the council, which are needed as the ‘community cohesion’ cannot be achieved in vacuum.