Draft budget 2013-14

Over the last few years we have been talking to you through the Let’s Talk consultations to find out which services you value the most. As part of this continued conversation we would like to encourage you to take a look at the details of the draft budget for 2013/2014.

You can read the draft budget cabinet papers online. The final budget went to Cabinet on the 14th February 2013 and  final ratification will be on the 28th February 2013.

Like every Local Authority in the country, Harrow Council is facing its most challenging financial situation in decades:

  • We have already identified cuts to the council’s budget of £62m since 2010
  • By April 2015 we will have already found savings of  £75m

Harrow is harder hit than in most other local authorities because:

  • The grant Harrow residents receive from central Government is one of the worst in London – Harrow receives £1,608 per head whereas neighbouring Brent gets £3,317.
  • This equates to £400m more per year than Harrow gets.
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52 Responses to Draft budget 2013-14

  1. John Rooth says:

    It is clear that there has been a huge increase in welfare costs due to large population increases in the borough and to hugely increased birth rates. This is clearly down to mass immigration.
    It would seem to be extremely unfair to cut services to those who have lived in Harrow for generations and have made large contributions both fiscal and community, in favour of those who have made no contribution whatsoever to society, the community, culture or humanity. You need to crack down on slum landlords such as Better Properties of Stamford Hill, who charge extortionate rents for run down properties, funded by Housing benefits.

  2. Jim Harwood says:

    Every year Harrow is dripping with money which they struggle to get rid of. Every year more and more roads have silly ‘improvements’ which create congestion and damage the vehicles of those who are working (some do) to pay for this wastage. More and more roads are included in CPZs without ever asking the community as a whole wheather they want them. This year £10,000 is to be thown away dragging two more roads into a CPZ, the residents want the whole CPZ removed but the council will not allow this option.
    This council has so much of our money burning a hole in their pockets and they use it to destroy our environment and reduce property prices.

    • Laurence Naddermier says:

      The latest round of yellow lines in the Rayners Lane area bears witness to this waste.
      The local resident’s have had their say and the Council have ignored it. We all want improved safety but what’s the point in legislating against the irresponsible few to the cost of the majority? Worse, the yellow lines are not effectively enforced even in key safety areas such as schools. And speed humps, even taken at 20mph or below, still wear a car’s suspension. We don’t want money wasted on more yellow lines that simply raise tension for residents and cause more anti-social parking across drives etc. At least spend money on dealing with the offending minority (with zero tolerance), not law abiding residents. Collect the cost of this from the offenders – NOT US! Put the money where it benefits….Harrow Young Musicians for example.

  3. Shan Mylvaganam says:

    There has to be reasons for Brent and other London Boroughs received more per head. You have not explained those reasons! My other question is, why did not Harrow fight for their fair share?

  4. Chris Eley says:

    I suspect that John Rooth’s submission will attract many protests – “racist”, “discriminatory” and so on. But in principle he is correct; the Council Tax payers of Harrow cannot be expected to take on the world’s problems. One issue here is that central government has, for years, been dumping national matters into the laps of local authorities rather than facing up to underlying difficulties themselves. It started as long ago as 1977, when the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act of that year forced local authorities to provide homes for those who had arrived from the other end of the earth, often giving them priority over locals who had been patiently waiting for a council house for years. (I should know, I was at the time a Housing Officer – although not here in Harrow.) By all means let’s benevolently share any surplus we generate, but in times of shortage we need first to look after our own people. My criteria for allowing even one more immigrant or asylum seeker into this country would now be that we, as a nation… [1] Have no structural unemployment [2] Have no housing shortage [3] Are self-sufficient in energy production and [4] Are self-sufficient in food production. In terms of the more local matter of the Borough budget, this means getting really tough with non-British demands on our public services, by tailoring entitlements accordingly. Will our Councillors do this? Somehow, I just don’t see them having the guts to take such tough decisions.

  5. mike hinden says:

    over the past few years harrow has managed to maintain its essential services without having to put up the annual rates. there has to come a time when this will not be possible. I am sure that Harrow like most London boroughs has high demand due to net immigration, however unlike the previous comment by mr rooth, i am not sure how you can keep a service to long standng residents only. What I would suggest is that in the event that an increase in rates is neccesary that to spread the cost the monthly amounts should be taken equally over 12 months rather than the current 10 months with 2 “free months” in march and april.

  6. Kitty says:

    I would suggest you stop wasting money on the Harrow Magazine which seems completely unnecessary and must be expensive to produce and deliver. Your online information should be sufficient in times of such austerity.
    Services to those over 80 should not be penalised as more than likely they have been resident in the area for many years and made a significant contribution to the borough both financially and socially.
    As well as a living wage for employees of the council I believe there should be more pressure put on successful high profile local businesses/employers such as Debenhams etc. to pay the Living wage, as I know staff who are barely above minimum wage. Naming and shaming would ensure more money goes to those staff who would then spend it in the shops locally, rather than in the pockets of those at the top.

    • jay says:

      I think Harrow Magazine should continue to share news about people living in the borough and events happening in the borough which brings people together.

      May be council can clarify by replying if the advertising revenue is sufficient to cover the cost of publication.

  7. Edward Fuller says:

    If you increase the Council Tax by 2% we will have to pay all of it. If you increase it by 1% the government will fund it. It’s a no brainer. Find the savings!!!!!

    • Oliver Brooks says:

      Just having perfectly adequate paving slabs and tarmac removed from our neighborhood’s pathways to be replaced by perfectly adequate paving slabs and tarmac!

      As Ed Fuller says If you increase the Council Tax by 2% we will have to pay all of it. If you increase it by 1% the government will fund it. It really is a no brainer for anybody not politically motivated. Find the 1% savings required!!!!!

  8. M Clemens says:

    Pls say what help you need from the community when challenging the Government over Brent having twice the grant pp compared with Harrow. Thanks.

  9. jay says:

    “Have your say on the draft budget 2013-14”
    ….We are keen to hear your views and opinions on the proposals… and tell us what you think.

    Here are just few ways for the Council to generate Revenue and Increase Savings to help Harrow council delivery better and efficient services in 2013 and beyond ….

    Office Lights

    Can Council save money by reducing electricity waste?

    Why are the lights on in the Council offices when no one is in the office at 7 am?

    Please see information provided by “Carbon Trust has guides with advice on identifying opportunities for saving energy” –

    Car Parking for Leisure Centre Visitors
    Currently there are no restrictions to use the Leisure Centre car park. We believe that limiting free parking up to 1 hour and for additional period having fees – similar to other London Boroughs – will bring new revenue and make it easier for the regular visitor the Leisure centre.

    Developing waste land near Leisure Centre car park
    Allowing development of open land area near the Leisure centre will increase local amenities and increase council revenue.

    Additional services in Leisure Centre
    Allowing additional Health & fitness courses/advice providers in Leisure Centre which could bring additional revenue for the Council

  10. Concerned at how my council tax is spent says:

    The Mayoral car which is costing a small fortune should be got rid of as it’s no longer affordable, use of a cab would be far cheaper. The idea of reducing the budget for complaints against councillors is quite ridiculous .
    The primary school expansion programme needs looking at from a financial perspective. The need to provide places and modernise buildings is clearly required but proposing to build on a flood plain and needing to divert a Brook/culvert and put in massive underground storage tanks and a pump just so that a playing field can be built on is a massive waste of money . Even more so when the school car park and a playground will still flood and the school is required to sign a letter to this affect.

  11. communications says:

    Thank-you for all of your comments so far. Please continue to let us know your views.

    • Laurence Naddermier says:

      Please would you advise how long it takes for the ‘..awaiting moderation.’ process to complete. Many thanks

      • communications says:

        Apologies for the delay, this blog is being monitored Monday to Friday during office hours, these posts have been approved now. Thank you for your views and comments.

  12. Concerned at how my council tax is spent says:

    How much does it cost to produce the Harrow magazine? Whilst there is nothing wrong with it if cuts need to be made then I too suggest this magazine should go

    • communications says:

      Thank you for your comments about Harrow People magazine. The advertising income varies each issue, depending on how many people would like to advertise, but is generally around the £15,000 an issue mark, rarely less than £14,000 and sometimes up to £16,000 per edition. It costs £16,000 to print and distribute each issue. We produce 100,000 copies of each edition, which works out to an average of 1p per copy.

      We endeavour to be as cost efficient as possible when producing Harrow People so we are continually reviewing printing and distribution costs, as well as staff time, in order to offer residents the best value for money we can.

      Please continue to leave us your feedback.

  13. Karen Kannair says:

    Am confused page 401 of the cabinet papers state increase in council tax -1.8% and yet central government state it will be -1.5%,? I agree with many comments on here especially Edward Fullers, and also that Harrow people magazine needs to go. In times of austerity and severe hardship for many out there, it would be unwise to consider increasing it at all. As Eric Pickles said last month ‘all councils have a moral duty to freeze council tax’!

  14. Louisa Bancroft says:

    One of the most important and best features of harrow is Harrow Young Musicians. It encourages children to participate in music making, incorporating children from all cultures and backgrounds. It encourages focus, commitment, stability and a safe place to go. Without it many of us wouldn’t be where we are today, career wise and socially. Please do not cut this asset!!!!!

  15. David Holly says:

    The proposed removal of the entire grant to Harrow Young Musicians (HYM), thereby guaranteeing it’s closure, would be a colossal mistake.

    This is a long standing educational institution in Harrow that does a huge amount of good in the community. There is of course the obvious goal of the organisation, it fosters music education, often for those who would have no opportunities in this area otherwise. It also teaches the important fact that there may be good music and there may be bad music, but neither category is restricted by style or time. Students at HYM learn to play and love Stravinsky and Bob Marley, Chaka Khan and Beethoven, Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder (often in the space of a single concert). The pleasure that this knowledge brings to a young persons life is huge. Finally, it successfully brings young people from many different socio-economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds together in a way that fosters understanding and mutual respect. How many other organisation’s in the borough can be said to achieve so much?

    The idea of closing this institution simply makes it clear that music, like so many other pursuits, is the preserve of the rich. In an area like Harrow, this baffles, angers and upsets me in equal measure.

  16. Wayne says:

    Price Increases are an ever increasing fact of life, just as it seems that cutting the value we receive for our funds is.

    Charging for people to use the boroughs carparks seems favourite, how about applying this fee to the hundreds that work in the various department at the Councils offices rather than it being free?

    With the heavy drain on the boroughs finances less should be spend on housing immigrants from wherever they come, the same as providing extensive services specifically for them – basically if they want an interpretor, then get a countryman friend to do it for them or pay for it themselves, why should the Harrow rate payer pay for foreigners to have services that just allow them to receive more benefits?

    Get out into the community and knock on doors, ensure that those living in council property are the legitimate tenants, ensure that they are as disabled as they allege – help those further that need it while clawing back the waste on the fraudsters and malingerers etc.

  17. Graham White says:

    I am concerned to hear that Harrow Young Musicians may lose their grant. This will inevitably lead to the end of an organisation that has benefitted thousands of children over the years, from all walks of life. HYM have been ambassadors for Harrow both at home and abroad through their concerts and music tours. They display their banner proudly at every event and have received public acclaim at every venue, including St Marks Basillica in Venice ! The grant is vital if HYM is to attract children across society, not just from private education.

  18. Jill says:

    How can we possibly comment on the draft budget when there is insufficient detail. Please list all the things that are being cut if you want to be transparent and stop playing games with public consultation.

  19. Concerned in Stanmore says:

    I would ask that the council considers the issues raised by others, such as building a school on land that is clearly full of problems, consider publishing the Harrow magazine online and handing out in central locations like libraries. My please is for the protection of music Harrow. We want to educate the whole person, and music/art play a key role in the whole adult that children become. Both of my children had the benefit for HYM and it should stay open to all, not rely on parents paying for private lessons. HYM provides children from all areas to come together. It also in turn improves the quality of music in every school, more bang for your bucks! Please do not stop this wonderful organisation! My children are far better adults today thanks in part to their years spent at HYM and playing at the Royal Albert hall.

    • Shocked of Harrow on the Hill says:

      I am shocked to learn that Harrow Young Musicians is again under threat of closure due to cuts in funding.

      I have been teaching in Harrow schools for 15 years and have seen the wonderful impact of HYM on many of the children I have taught, over the years.

      My own daughters were also members of HYM all through their school days.

      HYM gave my daughters many pleasurable experiences including a solo singing opportunity with The Philharmonic Orchestra. There were also numerous opportunities to “tour” and perform, as soloists and as part of the many groups and orchestras.

      My elder daughter gained a First Class Honours Degree in Music, from the University of Sheffield. She intends to commence post graduate classical singing studies at one of the Royal Colleges, within the next 2 years.

      My younger daughter is now a qualified primary teacher (teaching in Harrow). She has been given the additional responsibility of teaching Music to a small group of gifted and talented children in her school.

      Both girls studied Music to A Level standard, as well as benefitting from Music Theory classes at HYM.

      My late husband participated as a singer in a number of “Extravaganzas” whilst the girls were members of HYM. We both fully appreciated the benefits of our girls belonging to HYM, not just for the first class musical experiences it gave them, but also for the invaluable experience of meeting many different people, young and older, and working alongside them in the common effort of music making. These experiences helped equip them for the demands of higher education and the challenges that brings. Both my daughters made friends through HYM and are still in regular contact with them today. They both have happy memories of those times.

      The benefits of HYM, in many young people’s lives, reaches far beyond the Saturday Morning Music School , the tours and concerts. It teaches them how to be responsible, caring adults able to work with others regardless of their differences. It helps produce the sorts of young people our society needs.

      Mark Gooding was (and I believe still is) an inspirational leader of the organisation. His passion for music and the development of young people has made a huge impact on many young lives. The same can also be said of many other band and orchestra leaders.

  20. Ambi ka Aggarwal says:

    Are the rumours true about the council threatening to withdraw the funds for Harrow Young Musicians?? If it is… this is crazy!!!!

  21. Amy Naddermier says:

    I have recently learned that the council plans to withdraw the grant it currently gives to Harrow Young Musicians and I must express my deep concern. HYM is a wonderfully passionate organisation which does marvellous work for young people in the Harrow Community. Around 400 children in Harrow have the opportunity to be a part of the fantastic orchestras and bands at HYM and all of us are committed to making excellent music. Thanks to HYM, we have had opportunities to play at the Royal Albert Hall, Harrow School, St John’s, Smith Square and St Mark’s Basilica, Venice. Every single one of us understands the responsibility we each have as individuals to perform well and ensure the success of the team. One would be hard-pressed to find many organisations like HYM in the country, let alone Harrow. We consistently show the public what is so good about our generation and deserve to be supported.

    In the overview of the draft budget, the council states that they are doing their best to protect the services we love. Well, HYM is one of them. It is not just the students who are dedicated to HYM but the staff who work tirelessly to rehearse us, to organise concerts, to write music for us and to keep the organisation running. In addition, we are supported by the parents who send their children to rehearsal and attend our concerts. We are also supported by the Mayor who regularly attends our performances and by the many patrons who make donations to this charity.

    Unfortunately, should the council take away our grant, we will either be forced to dramatically raise the fees or close down completely. As many others have written, Harrow residents witness the council shamelessly wasting money on a regular basis. How can they possibly justify denying HYM funding whilst they are doing so? I urge the council to reconsider this proposal. Harrow Young Musicians is the best organisation the borough has to offer its children.

  22. Radhika Aggarwal says:

    Make sure that funding to Harrow Young Musicians stays..it is an incerdible, inspirational organisation that is unique and a privalege for the youth of Harrow. Lifelong friendships are formed, and an aquaintance with music that most other people I have met have not had – the best part is it is for everyone – not just the rich…The only young people I met with a comparable music education went to St Pauls and Purcell. Keep Harrow on the map for music education.

    From a short sighted stats viewpoint I bet 90% of people from Harrow that went to top universities and music college went to HYM. Without this input to education, be prepared to see entries into such institutions drop.

  23. Clive Buckingham says:

    I understand that a complete cut of the support for Harrow Young Musicians (HYM) is on the cards this time. In terms of direct benefit to young people, providing opportunities for ensemble music making of a high standard supported by talented and dedicated adults, and of developing the dedication, commitment and teamwork of young people, HYM is one of the jewels in Harrow’s crown. Many councillors know this.

    I would like to protest in the strongest possible terms against the Council withdrawing its support for HYM. Although the amount of the grant HYM receives is peanuts in Council budget terms, cutting it would force this great organisation to close.

  24. SAVE HARROW YOUNG MUSICIANS says:

    Harrow Young musicians faces closure due to these cuts. Its a huge organisation that brings people of all standards and backgrounds to create inspiring music. It is one of harrow’s greatest feats and would be a devastation to the youth of our borough if they lost out on the opportunity to be a part of such a constructive and valuable organisation. If we lose music in Harrow, I hope our children cause riots on the streets because it will be the council’s fault.

    • communications says:

      Thank you for all your comments regarding Harrow Young Musicians. Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Community and Cultural Services Cllr David Perry said:

      “Harrow Council is the lead body in Harrow Music Education Hub and directly delivers music teaching to around 5,000 pupils in schools across the borough.

      “The Council is currently supporting Harrow Young Musicians (HYM) with grant funding. They deliver advanced music tuition to many students inside and outside the Borough.

      “Like every Local Authority in the country, Harrow Council is facing its most challenging financial situation in decades. We have had to deliver a number of savings and have so far done this whilst protecting services for our residents.

      “A proposal to discontinue grant funding to Harrow Young Musicians was part of the draft budget approved by cabinet in December.

      This is now subject to agreement by Full Council.

      “If the decision is taken, we will be working with HYM through the Harrow Music Education Hub to help them look at reducing their costs and supporting them to access alternative sources of funding, so that they can continue to deliver music services to our community.”

      Please do continue to leave us your views.

      • Laurence Naddermier says:

        To pick up Cllr. David Perry’s misleading and inaccurate statement….
        The vast majority of Harrow Young Musicians are Harrow residents. Those that aren’t pay more.
        HYM does not just deliver ‘advanced’ music tuition. This statement is completely at odds with HYM’s ethos. Junior Band, Junior Soul Band, Junior Steel Band, Concert Band, Academy Strings, Soul Band, Symphonic Winds, Sinfonia, Symphony Orchestra, Steel Band, Senior Band, Philharmonic Orchestra play music as diverse as the ‘Dambuster’s March’ to Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sir Duke’ to Beyonce’s ‘Hammered Out’. Classical, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Rock..it’s all played. HYM exposes children to the richness of music gathered from all over the world.
        The children age from around 7 to 18. I’ve yet to hear a local 7 year old play ‘advanced’ music.
        A small number of Harrow Young Musicians have gone on to attend the Royal Academy of Music, The Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and Guildhall. This should be seen as a testament to HYM’s quality and inspiration, not one of its key objectives.
        Harrow Young Musicians fills a large gap in Harrow Music Education Hub’s ability to deliver music tuition. Last year my daughter’s lessons were cut to 20minutes a week and only one public performance at Harrow Arts Centre. Further, this service is only subsidised by Harrow Council, not wholly provided by Harrow Council.
        Music is alive. It needs to be heard to entertain and stimulate. Without this, music in Harrow is a dead art going nowhere. Harrow Young Musicians provides opportunities from local performances to tours, from local schools to the Royal Albert Hall, the Queen’s Jubilee to Christmas Carols.
        Mr Perry, you are so misinformed and so, I suspect, are many on Harrow Council.
        SAVE HARROW YOUNG MUSICIANS

  25. Pat & Tony McWilliams says:

    Polls show that the overwhelming taxpayer priorities are clean and safe streets and environment, but to those of us in the Rayners Lane area these seem the very items that have been cut most. Looking at the Harrow People magazine we wonder how much is being spent on ‘cultural’ activities and PR? – definitely NOT high priority!

    • Laurence Naddermier says:

      Cultural activities are vital. Without engaging all members of our society in the things that create, promote and preserve the values of our society, there is no society – just a collection of self interested individuals. Nobody doubts the need for welfare – of course. It’s balance that counts.
      A collection of self interested individuals will always support those things that benefit themselves. We need music, sports, games, libraries and other cultural and leisure activities to help people share values and opinions. Common values support respect for society and its democratic laws.
      There is waste in our society but politicians rely on compartmentalised problems to help avoid facing issues directly; Local Councils, NHS and so on…many of our society’s bodies face the flack resulting from the failure of core government decisions.
      The solution?
      Improved democracy. Reduce government elected bodies and associated costs by moving more decisions to the public. The current ratio between industry and commerce and government administration is too costly. The Internet is a reality and secure voting is practical as long as the non-computerised members of society are included.
      But what politician would vote for that? Too self interested perhaps?
      P.S. Stop the cut to Harrow Young Musicians

  26. jay says:

    Brown Bin Collections – Do they need to be weekly?

    We all do our bit to recycle food and garden waste by using Brown Bin. Currently Brown Bins are emptied by the Council once a week.

    Recently, Brown Bin collection was emptied after two weeks. Did many residents notice the “missed” Brown Bin collection?

    It seems that residents have managed because these bins are rarely full within a week.

    It may be that the Council can save money by reducing the frequency of bin collections in the borough.

    Brown Bin – every two weeks
    Green/Grey Bin – every three weeks
    Blue Bin – mostly recyclables material so keep it weekly

    Can the Council forecast how much money will be saved by making fewer bin collections – reducing fuel costs and saving land-fill space.

    May be the savings could be used to increase resident awareness of recycling and sponsoring local schools/colleges/university projects to improve our living environment.

    What do you think?

    • Bernard (Wainewright, but please omit surname) says:

      Yes and no. Keep the blue bin weekly for recycling; keep the green/grey weekly – there’s a lot of non-recyclable waste (and we have a smaller bin, too!). But the brown bin could be collected fortnightly in winter when there’s little growing but keep weekly in the “growing season”; moreover, in warmer weather waste food will encourage flies and you won’t like the smells!

  27. Keith Brace-John says:

    For the information of those looking for an explanation of the disparity in the amounts of central government grant amounts given to local authorities, see the following link: http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1112/simpguide.pdf

    Mr Rooth – far be it from me to suggest how to choose the targets of your ire but some candidates might be; 1) the multi-millionare cabinet who were literally laughing in the House of Commons while passing a bill to make thousands of working people in this country worse off, 2) successive governments both right and left (if these distinctions can still be even seen to apply) failing to close tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations and thereby robbing the economy of £17 billion a year which makes the amount lost to benefit fraud seem insignificant by comparison. 3) The media, for making individuals such as yourself buy into their version of the truth peddled mainly by upper middle-class journalists who have never known a moment’s deprivation in their lives and believe the baseless caricature that they have created that anyone who is working- class is a feckless, work-shy ‘chav’. It is beyond me that this lie is believed by so many, but that it is makes it so much easier for those in priveliged positions to continue to occupy them. It is all smoke and mirrors and you appear to be dazzled and coughing…

  28. Amy Naddermier says:

    I would like to know why my comments regarding the draft budget have been left unpublished. The new budget greatly affects the lives of many Harrow residents. All of them have tried to post innocent and inoffensive comments on this page and we have been censored! Why?

  29. Naomi Vaughan says:

    Harrow Young Musicians is an institution that is a low cost to the council but an immeasurable resource to those students who thrive musically and socially within it and the broader community of Harrow.
    Its students are a credit to the organisation and to Harrow itself.
    Please do not cut its grant (again) which will inevitably eventually lead to its demise

  30. Laurence Naddermier says:

    RE: HARROW YOUNG MUSICIANS
    This time in 2013, I address Labour. And, Labour, please bear in mind your vocal support for HYM in 2007. You stood then in defence of a £16k cut only to now cut the full £58k:

    24 January 2007 – Question Time – public questions

    1. Harrow Young Musicians

    (i) Question from Laurence Naddermier
    …”It is with grave concern that I learn of the Council’s intention to cut its investment in the youth of Harrow.

    Over the last ten years, Harrow Young Musicians has developed into a 1st class body for the encouragement and learning of all aspects of music. The rewards for the children have been clear and magnificent. HYM embraces children with a broad spread of musical talent and ages offering a path from novice to master. These children have dedicated hours of work to attain the very highest of skills and participated in a wide range of events. Performing, travelling and engaging with people are experiences that positively shape these children’s lives. Some have even gone on to study at the Royal Academy for Music. HYM students have given enjoyment to many people both inside and outside of Harrow. They have been ambassadors for Harrow and illustrate the wonderful work of our diverse and comprehensive education system.

    HYM has achieved this on a budget that has declined in real terms over that period.

    Parents have invested hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds to support their children and cannot be expected to bear an additional burden above and beyond that which has already become unreasonable. Your planned cuts are an abuse of our youth, an insult to parents and show complete disrespect to the many volunteers who have dedicated many long hours over many years at no charge.

    There are wasteful areas of Harrow’s spending that could easily cover this small amount of £16,000. Do the council think it’s more beneficial to the community to invest more in Community Support Officers (not that I think they do not do a good job)? Crimes can be measured, offending children can be counted and their arrest rate targeted. Is it too difficult for council accountants to understand the positive benefits of keeping children engaged, stimulated, promoted and of immeasurable value to our community rather than committing street crime?

    Maybe the Council believe that Harrow’s children should be ‘Seen but not Heard’.”

  31. Save HYM. says:

    As a Harrow resident and parent of children that attend Harrow Young Musicians, I was appalled to learn of the possibility of their funding being cut. This is a short sighted measure and one which will greatly affect the community. HYM provides a place where young people of all backgrounds to share a common interest. Here children learn many skills and share in music making. There have been many studies into the benefits of music and creative arts for the education of children. In this day and age so much importance is put on the league tables and results (on paper), the creative arts are becoming more and more marginalised, more and more pupils have tutoring rather than music lessons. There are less and less places for teenagers to go with the closure of youth clubs and the cuts in childrens services. Think again for the long term future of education in the borough. Save HYM.

  32. Laurence Naddermier says:

    So, after much searching (using key words such as ‘budget’ , ‘budget proposals’ and ’2013 budget’ etc), cups of tea and frustration where ‘s the budget? Where’s the and quick and easy link from the ‘Have your say’ icon to the budget? Where’s the budget statement with simple ‘click to view’ links to the detail? I’m sure if I spend another couple of hours I will probably find it. Just tell me please – is it actually there so I can know my endeavours are not in vain? A clear and obvious link from the ‘Have your say’ icon would be obvious ..or would this be too simple and provide unwelcome insight and criticiscm from Harrow residents? Have your say? Really?

  33. The voice of reason and common sense. Jan. says:

    I refer to “January 7th Mayoral car take a taxi instead.” Do we need a Mayor in Harrow? This question was asked in Harrow Observer late August, over 80% of people that voted replied NO. So suspend the Mayor until the present recession is over. Money saved. Also the car and( sorry) Chauffeur . Communities or workplaces, etc. can find someone to take over the Mayors duties: I am sure someone is their structure is a able to to do job. This is a money saver.

  34. Ian says:

    I agee with so many comments on here.The un-neccesary costs of these services
    - Why do we have a Mayor with a car and chauffeur?
    -The weekly collection of brown bins, it’s not necessary
    - The cost of the annual ‘massacre’ (sorry lopping) of trees in West Harrow
    -
    Why such a valuable service such as HYM has a potential cut in funding just shows how out of touch the council are, We have the power of the vote, everyone should use it at the first opportunity to deliver a verdict on this wasteful council.

  35. Pat says:

    As residents who live near the very busy commercial area of Rayners Lane, we have a big problem with litter – discarded carrier bags, packaging and all kinds of debris from the numerous food outlets. Therefore we were very pleased last week to hear about the strategy adopted by some councils of employing ‘Litter Squads’ to fine offenders. If this were to be efficiently carried out with accountability, this must surely be an excellent idea, giving us residents cleaner streets while raising revenue for the council.

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