COUNCIL staff have thanked the Labour administration for getting an extra day off over Christmas.
Michael Lockwood, chief executive of Harrow Council, agreed to give employees December 28 off as a reward because the authority was given the Best Achieving Council Award at the Municipal Journal Awards 2012 in June.
However Leader of the Conservative opposition group, Councillor Susan Hall, said: “I think it gives the wrong impression, as though this is something the public sector can afford.”
She questioned the wisdom of closing Harrow Civic Centre for the day at a cabinet committee meeting on Thursday, but council leader Bill Stephenson responded by reading letters of thanks from council staff and he reminded Ms Hall that when the Tories were in power in 2008 they gave council workers a similar holiday.
Mr Stephenson said: “It seems there is a nasty smell of rank hypocrisy in the air.”
Mr Lockwood said the Best Achieving Council Award was the culmination of a year in which council services made ‘great strides in social care, adoption, schools, recycling and customer services amongst many others’ and pointed out that December 28 is traditionally one of the quietest days of the year for the organisation.
Waste collections and meals on wheels will continue as normal. The civic centre and Gayton libraries will be open, with the other branches closed as usual.