Category Archives: News

Divisiveness has no place in Harrow!

UPDATED: Local community has worked hard to maintain good relationships amongst the groups of people in Harrow, a most diverse borough. Often Harrow council and police have organised come together events for Harrow communities to show unity against deplorable activities home or abroad that have adverse implications for the community cohesion and relationships locally.
But there are concerns that some, like in Harrow East Tory party, use their elected position to stir up emotions and endanger community relationships by taking sides with international sensitive situations such as the ongoing dispute in Kashmir (India) for self promotion / satisfaction.
Div Tories2
British government and Tory party positions are to let India and Pakistan resolve their internal and external issues, without blaming either side like who is/ is not breeding terrorists. Such a balanced approach makes good sense, particularly at the times of high tension between the two countries as is now.
Div ToriesWhile the two Tories (photo) are responsible for their poor performance, Harrow East Conservative Association has selected and nurtures them.
Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, who has calculated his votes, is well reported for divisiveness  (2) and endorsing far right elements (2) but it is somewhat unfortunate that a Belmont councillor, who is paid to serve her ward residents in council matters, has to follow the MP’s undesirable footsteps.
Tory Cllr Anjana Patel was defeated in West Harrow, rejected by the Cllr Susan Hall dominated Harrow West Conservative Association and given asylum by Harrow East Conservative Association apparently in a show of power to HWCA, particularly the old rival Cllr Hall.  She was then stitched up to Belmont (to tease Cllr Hall?) and therefore her apparent insecurity/ vulnerability seemingly requires the MP’s protection and support (Harrow council could note that Ms Patel tweets as Cllr Anjana Patel).
However, any divisiveness in Harrow is not acceptable and must be challenged!


Blackman didn’t know which way his constituency voted on Brexit

Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East recycled ongoing wider Brexit chaos by wrongly claiming that Harrow East voted 50/50 for leave or remain.
Mr Blackman claimed this while supporting Brexit on TalkRadio where the presenter Alexis Conran pointed out to him that Harrow East is a Remain constituency.
In the London Borough of Harrow 64,042 voted to Remain (54.6 percent) whilst 53,183 voted to Leave (45.4 percent), and in Harrow East, 52.4 percent voted to Remain and 47.5 percent voted to Leave, according to figures published by Democratic Dashboard.
bb4Mr Blackman in a most marginal seat heavily relies on his divisive approach to attract the Indian and Jewish background voters by taking sides with international disputed matters.
In emotion-raising argument, he argued that Brexit would enable more and better trade opportunities with India and Israel.
His general Brexit theme alerted the hardliners, “Western powers are caught between contrasting policy alternatives in key areas, including their dealings with the Middle East and their visions for the future of Iran and its regional power structure”.
“The election of Donald Trump set the United States on a very different course of foreign policy, thus necessitating that its European partners either follow suit or run a risk of being caught on the wrong side when bilateral relations start to deteriorate further” he continued.


‘Ban pupils mobiles in school’!

mobilePupils should be banned from taking smartphones into school, the minister for school standards in England Nick Gibb has told the BBC ahead of the government publishing new guidance for schools.
Another example of the government showing ignorance of school, teaching and interfering in the life of the school.
Schools already have the power to ban phones from being taken on to the premises by pupils and the headteacher determines whether this is appropriate.
Feeling in Harrow is that supervised use of mobile phone, a pocket-sized computer, as a learning tool, has many advantages, since there is a general shortage of school computers, stop clocks, camera equipment and data loggers due to government cuts in school funding.
There is no appreciation by Nick Gibb for the schools imaginative use of pupils mobile phones to minimise the adverse impact of the cuts in the school funding like not having enough computers and equipment for pupils use.
Pupils are encouraged to use their mobile phones at the tutor time to check homework etc, in lessons to take photos of the board if sets of data or notes are needed and in science lessons for video experiments.
It looks that the ministers have no clue how a school actually runs.


New contractor for Council fleet services

The fleet services by a new contractor was launched at a ceremony held outside the Harrow civic centre. Go Plant Fleet Services will supply and maintain a wide range of machines, including some zero emission vehicles, and equipment for Harrow Council as part of an initial eight-year contract worth more than £25 million which went live on January 1.
The full service agreement, which includes fleet management services, will also incorporate the authority’s substantial workshop and the TUPE transfer of 10 existing maintenance staff.
Harrow Council has recently approved much needed central depot expansion at a planning committee meeting as the depot is a base for many machines, equipment and envirnomental services.  The opposition group formally declined to vote at the meeting.
Go Plant will provide both full contract hire with maintenance for around 140 brand new assets including compact sweepers, 7.5 and 12-tonne refuse collection vehicles and 60 accessible buses.
The deal also includes grounds maintenance equipment such as tractors, mowers and rollers as well as quad bikes for weed spraying activity. The company will provide a ‘maintenance only’ service for the remainder of the authority’s 350-strong fleet which also features RCVs, road sweepers and various light commercial vehicles.


Impingement upon patient rights

Despite the NHS direction not to ban any medicine from being prescribed that can now be purchased without a prescription, the NHS Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has issued instructions to GPs not to prescribe these medicines which the GPs are
The list of medicines to which this guidance applies is here and includes vitamin D, skin creams, nasal sprays (like saline solution for babies and Beconase for adults), lubricant eye drops, haemorrhoid creams, constipation laxatives like Cosmocol, the commonly used painkillers, or dispersible aspirin to keep blood thin.
We have asked Harrow CCG to clarify their action that hits hard vulnerable, elderly, school age children or those on benefits, who are exempted from the prescription charges.
The NHS North West London made the following clear recommendations:
“Ask if they (patents) will buy it. If the patient’s answer is ‘no’ (i.e. the patient is unable or unwilling to purchase the product), or if you are not confident in their ‘yes’, the product should be prescribed.
“The CCGs are not asking any prescriber to have lengthy conversations with patients about this. If the patient says s/he is not willing to buy the medicine, or if the prescriber is not confident in the patient saying that s/he will buy it, the CCGs recommend simply prescribing it.
The NHS NWL letter was very specific, for example under “can the prescriber refer the complaint to his or her CCG?” it said:
If the recommendation above is followed, there should be little cause for a patient to complain. If he or she says that s/he is not willing to buy the medicine, or if the prescriber is not confident in the patient saying that s/he will buy it, the medicine should be prescribed. But yes, prescribers are encouraged to direct people who want to complain about the recommendation to the CCGs’ complaints team.
The Harrow CCG should fully follow NHS North West London recommendations to the prescribers and instruct GPs to do the same.
We have also asked the Harrow council leader Cllr Graham Henson to intervene as he chairs the Harrow Health and Wellbeing Board which is working in partnership with the Harrow CCG!



Harrow could lose a cinema and a church!

dsc_2324dAsprea 2 Ltd is preparing to submit a planning application for a residential led mixed-use development on the Safari cinema site, Station Road Harrow, that is partially occupied by much used V2V Community Church.
The cinema is used for Indian film showing and the church has become a hub for the community that hosts non paying breakfasts, lunches for the elderly and hundreds of children on an annual basis to help them become more confident individuals.
The Ilford based company (director Ghulam Alahi ) is proposing circa 80 residential units and around 1,500 sqm commercial and community floorspace.
Community Church is saddened that there is potential to destroy such a monumental site and  are determined to continue fighting on behalf of their congregation and the community of Harrow.
“We urge the community to protest and to petition the council to not allow this monument to be developed into yet another block of apartments” appeals the church spokesperson Danielle Goodman.
The planning application with some adjustments is most likely to be successful as it contributes to Harrow’s housing targets, though the Harrow opposition could come up with objections on the basis of material planning considerations like increased people, traffic movement and road capacity or they could use the Localism Act 2011 where the asset of community value, or ACV, regime allows a number of community rights, including provisions to help communities safeguard buildings serving a purpose to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.
The pre planning application consultation, organised by planning consultants Maddox, includes public consultation event 11am to 8pm at Jasper Centre HA1 2SU on 29.01.2019.


Council to increase some fees and charges

Many council charges are set to increase by 5%, including the burial charges, informs a report to the forthcoming Harrow council cabinet meeting.
Also, a new charge is proposed to cover the cost of arrangement fees for customers in care home or own homes who pay for care costs. The charges could be about £100 for setting up a community care package and slightly less than £100 for annual maintenance of a community care package. The council can only arrange traditional services such as homecare support and day care at council run day centres.
Harrow currently charges people with savings over the national threshold of £23,250, on a full cost recovery basis for the services provided but not for the cost to the council of making these arrangements for them.
While there is no increase in many charges, including car parking at the civic centre, on street and off street and the garden waste collection, some charges to increase more than 5% like for the special waste service – between 7% and 17% for collecting particular items. Pest control service increase is 5-7%.
rat-imageCommercial Waste Services are introducing an additional pest control service. This will offer a rat prevention service including a CCTV inspection of drains and insertion of rat barriers in drains – rat flap £165 and CCTV inspection £131.00. This has been developed out of increased requests for a prevention service.
Fees and charges in Harrow generate in the region of £30m per annum and provide significant funding support to the provision of those services that are charged for.