Category Archives: News

MP proactive in policing matters

GarethIn expressing concern about the lack of government’s plan for policing, National Audit Office says that Home Office has ‘no overarching strategy’ for police.
”The Home Office must urgently address a lack of a plan for policing and “significant gaps” in its understanding of demand for police services” NAO demands.
In a separate move, Kevin Moore, a senior retired police officer in a petition to the home secretary says “I care deeply about protecting our communities and the state of policing and it’s heartbreaking to see the cuts being made. In this country we’ve lost 25,000 police officers since 2010. And the effects are clear to see – with over 91% of crimes taking place without anyone getting charged”.
In talking about how he is addressing crimes and inadequacy of police resources in Harrow, Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas (photo) explained:
“Due to the notable crime incidents in Harrow, residents are anxious about this and as a resident of Harrow, I share these fears” he said.
“I have continuously raised the issue of underfunding of our Police and the threat this causes to our community. Violent crime in Harrow has increased by 60%, and it is no surprise that this increase correlates to the reduction in police officers on our streets” he said.
“The Metropolitan Police has lost £600 million from its annual budget since the Conservative Government took power. If proposed plans are followed through, the Met will need to find another £400 million in savings. We in Harrow have seen these cuts in action, losing 173 police uniformed police officers from our streets since 2010. As well as a reduction in services at South Harrow Police Station” points out Mr Thomas.
He informed that he is in regular contact with senior members of the Metropolitan Police to discuss resource allocation, policy and operations, making the case for greater resources for Harrow, to keep our streets safe.
“During the summer, I went on a ride along with the Police, so I can see first-hand the Police face on a daily basis. It is clear that the Police are doing a fantastic job at keeping our community safe, but they’re struggling by a lack of resources” added Mr Thomas.


Blackman divisiveness!

DilitHaving calculated his votes, Harrow East MP Bob Blackman asks again what progress has been made in developing the legislation required to remove caste as a protected characteristic from the Equality Act 2010.
Replying to his Commons question on 13/09/2018, Victoria Atkins the parliamentary under-secretary of state for the home department, minister for women, did not inform what progress has been made but made interesting comment “I always look forward to the six-weekly question from my honorary friend on this matter”.
Under the Equality Act 2010 the government has a duty to include caste as an ‘aspect of race’ but Mr Blackman wants this to be repealed.
General perception is that the caste discrimination in the UK is mostly by Indian background Asians – upper caste and Tories.
Chair of CasteWatch UK, Satpal Muman said “ Hindutva (the central idea advocating Hindu nationalism) supporters in the UK who are close to Indian prime minters Modi have been instrumental in the government decision to not legislate against caste discrimination (in the UK)”.
Mr Blackman is well known for his attraction to far right, in and outside Britain, as well as his divisive approach for votes from the Indian background voters (he is in a very marginal seat).
BBC recently  reported an alarming case of caste discrimination in the UK: a woman recruited from India to be a domestic servant for an Indian background family in the UK was paid 11p an hour has been awarded almost £18,4000 in unpaid wages in a ground breaking case – an employment tribunal found the thirty nine year old woman was chosen and discriminated against because of her low cost.
Few months back, Britain based South Asia Solidarity Group’s Campaigner Keval Bharadia urged UN to investigate the human rights violations against Dalits* and other minorities “occurring on a vast and horrific scale in India”.
[*the term dalits was in use as a translation for the British Raj census classification of Depressed Classes (castes) prior to 193].
“There is a horrifying rise in the rapes, mutilation, acid attacks and other forms of violence, often followed by murder, of women and girls of all communities, but Dalit women and girls and those from religious minorities are being specifically targeted” says the petition to UN.
Dawn Butler MP, the Labour party spokesperson on equality issues said “caste-based prejudice and discrimination is a gross violation of human rights and must not be tolerated”.
Harrow East Conservative Association nurtures Bob Blackman MP despite serious concerns about his reported involvement with far right.


Crime & police numbers in Harrow – matters of concern!

crimeLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan is investing in frontline policing, but like police and crime commissioners across the country, he is swimming against the tide of deep government cuts, which is why violent crime in the last three years has alarmingly increased in many areas.
Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas informs that since Theresa May took over as home secretary in 2010, Harrow has lost over 173 police officers. It comes as no surprise then, that in Harrow, we are seeing a substantial increase in crimes, for example, the Knife crime with injury was up by almost 60% in 2017, he said.
According to the UK Crime Stats, total recorded violent crimes in Harrow in July 2017 to July 2018 were 1646.
The total volume of violent crime in Harrow has increased by 4.6% when compared year-over-year in the period of July 2017 – June 2018, according to the Plumpot data base.
Robbery crime is the highest ranking crime category when category crime rate is compared to the national average crime rate.
Robbery crime rate has increased by 19.1% when compared year-over-year in the period of July 2017 – June 2018 (Plumpot data base).
Possession of weapons crime has also increased in the sample period, representing 29.8% annual change (source as above).
Labour parliamentary candidate for Harrow East Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick said, “Tory cuts to policing are putting the safety of Harrow residents at risk – I have been alarmed by reports of increasing crime”.
In another money saving exercise, Harrow has closed a number of traditional police stations for public, and Harrow borough commander Simon Ovens stepped down before Harrow, Barnet and Brent consolidated under one basic command unit (BCU).


Unseat Tory MP Bob Blackman

Sequence pamA variety of Labour supporters attended the event, held on 8 September 2018.
Speaking at the event Harrow councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick, Labour parliamentary candidate for Harrow East, said she is a socialist who supports the Labour leader and would do her best to unseat Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East.
Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick is concerned about the cuts to school budgets in Harrow:“The Tories are failing to invest in our children’s future. They have slashed school budgets, overseen a crisis in teacher numbers and not delivered enough school places” says Cllr Fitzpatrick.
“Our local MP (Bob Blackman) has consistently voted for budget cuts meaning a huge reduction in funding to our schools” she reminds.
The author and Guardian columnist Owen Jones came to the event to support Cllr Fitzpatrick and said she would be an excellent MP (the video below contains his talk with the Harrow Monitoring Group).

Ashton late in hitting Corbyn

As Harrow Labour are holding Unseat Bob Blackman event this Saturday, Cllr Ashton, deputy chairman Harrow East Conservative Association, joins the mischievous attempts to oust the democratically elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, though somewhat late as people have moved on from the foreign assisted divisive politics of antisemitism.
Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has agreed the anti-Semitism definition which has been politically shunted around for weeks  but Cllr Ashton, who holds property in Israel and spends considerable time there while enjoying  the councillor’s allowance,  has criticised the Labour goodwill, “I don’t think anyone will be reassured by what the NEC have done”.
The NEC action would not prevent Labour activists from criticising the actions of the “apartheid” Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu or sympathising with  the plight of Palestinian people.
(would be interesting to read some of the Harrow people comments discrediting the Cllr Ashton’s statements)
There have been many assessments of why the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been witch-hunted, including the following:
“Israel is claiming that Corbyn and the Labour party are putting British Jews at risk. But the bottom line is that the Netanyahu government itself is actually enlarging the risk for the Jewish people around the world, because they are not dealing with the real problem, just the artificial problem. They are not concerned with real anti-Semitism, they only want to fulfil their political agenda of taking the issue of the Palestinian people off the world stage” says prominent Israeli advocate Eitay Mack.
Convenor of the Stop the War Coalition Lindsey German adds to what has been done to Jeremy Corbyn:
“there is now an alliance of right wing Labour MPs, the print and broadcast media, the Tories and indeed Benjamin Netanyahu – all united on finding ways in which every day they can spread lies, innuendo, misunderstandings and misquotes which paint Corbyn as the devil incarnate”.


Pleased to help!

Within three days of our reporting water leak outside a Wealdstone high street shop, Affinity Water responded positively and repaired the leak as indicated below (well done Affinity Water).
Somewhat surprised, the Delight shopkeeper Virgina said, “Thank you very much for getting a job done so quickly”.
Water burst


Opposition politics of ‘yellow lines’!

UPDATE: Cllr Marilyn Ashton now informs us that “the council wanted to impose on them (residents)  double yellow lines without a CPZ – the council has now agreed to delay the double yellow lines until a CPZ can be done”.
“So a result here for the good people in Stanmore Park” she said.

Stanmore Tory Cllr Marilyn Ashton, who came back to the council in a 2011 by-election but remained under clouds during her leader Cllr Hall time, now seems to be able to spread wings under non-vindictive leader Cllr Paul Osborn.
ECIn criticising the council decision to introduce double-yellow lines in Eaton Close, Stanmore, Cllr Ashton has accused the council of being “high-handed” and “ignoring” residents’ concerns over proposed parking changes in a residential street.
The controlled parking zone (CPZ) are mostly demand led.
The council explains the need for the CPZ here: “Double yellow lines to one side of this road means emergency services and council bin lorries can access the end of the road without any obstructions.”
Cllr Ashton’s concern looks shallow and point-scoring considering that despite being in a powerful position in a Tory administration, she failed to do anything about the  real ‘high-handedness’ and disrespect  for residents by Cllr Hall, then responsible for parking,  in implementing the CPZ.
Cllr Marilyn Ashton was planning portfolio holder at the time and her husband was the leader of the council.
Many, including in the Tory party, felt bad about Cllr Hall’s obsession with CPZ.
For example, Judicial review threat over proposed CPZ in West Harrow said that “Cllr Hall, who is in charge of parking schemes in the borough, vociferously defended her decision” and pointed out Cllr Hall’s  arrogant tone: “It makes no difference to me if West Harrow has a CPZ or not. I don’t work there and I don’t live there” she said.
In another example of Cllr Hall’s heavy-handed application of the CPZ and disrespect for residents, was the biting  statement that “to some degree the council have manufactured the problem (Pinner Road), in order to raise revenue by the CPZ Tax”.
Also, describing the Harrow West/Pinner Road  CPZ consultation and its disputed outcome under Cllr Hall watch, it was said, “What it illustrates is the level contempt she holds the local residents of the area in and around the Pinner Road, that she will tell an untruth, just to have her way”.
There was similar public outcry by others like the Watling Medical Centre in Stanmore which served a petition asking to change the parking times during the surgery times that were arrogantly imposed against their wishes. Their petition was basically dismissed under Cllr Hall watch.
Hypocrisy is not good, not even in the politics.