MR McDonald (May 22) asks if other Observer readers get no reply to letters sent to Harrow councillors. I can assure him he is not alone.

He has had no reply to a letter sent on April 7, but I have been waiting since February 7 for a reply from Councillor Stanley Sheinwald, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee.

Mr Sheinwald once waxed indignant on your letters pages at the council's alleged failings. Now he is in a position to do something about it, but complaints to his scrutiny committee fall on deaf ears.

Mr Sheinwald recently trousered a 23 per cent pay rise, taking his total pay as a councillor and council committee chairman from £6,936 to £8,500 per annum. He is paid handsomely to act as a watchdog on our behalf.

But if my experience is anything to go by, Harrow Council taxpayers are getting poor value for money from this toothless watchdog.

Things were so different when Mark Ingram, a councillor of fearless integrity, chaired the scrutiny committee conscientiously and objectively.

Mr McDonald may be right to wonder whether our present council vets correspondence and deliberately ignores what it finds embarrassing.

That is not what our councillors are paid to do. Nor is Mr Sheinwald paid to give them an easy ride.


Byron Hill Road Harrow on the Hill