A MEETING of the West Harrow Residents' Group last Friday evening that I attended revealed some interesting opinions from the residents about the new double yellow lines that have suddenly appeared around street corners all across West Harrow ward.

I found it extremely disturbing that residents felt their views and ideas on this matter had fallen on deaf ears and that nobody in the Conservative administration at Harrow Council seemed interested in their extremely constructive input in this matter.

I also found it equally disturbing that the Tories seemed to confirm this feeling among residents by not sending a single representative to the meeting. Apparently leader-elect Susan Hall was supposed to be there, but she was not. Any or all of the three Tory councillor candidates could have been there, but they were not. Indeed any or all of the three Liberal Democrat councillor candidates could have been there, but they were not. The three Labour councillor candidates, however, were all at that meeting.

One of the residents at the meeting even stood up and alleged that their Conservative councillor told them they would be stripped of their portfolio if they voted against the yellow lines policy.

So is this a clear preelection message from the Tories then? 'We will introduce anything we want in your neighbourhood; we won't consult you; we will threaten to take the portfolios off councillors who don't vote for it, thus forcing them to choose the party whip over the interests of their residents; and we will railroad it through with absolutely no regard for your wishes, your input, or for democracy'.

And is it, therefore, true that these double yellow lines are budget-led rather than safety-led, because the budget passed by Harrow Council's Conservative administration includes a figure of half a million pounds to be raised in additional parking enforcement?

In conclusion, it would seem that Harrow's Tories are quite happy to ignore the wishes of the residents, and then have the temerity to hit the Harrow motorist to make up for a budget shortfall caused by their council tax freeze. I really think that this should be looked into by an ombudsman or some such body. I do not think this is a very becoming end to David Ashton's leadership, and it's a less than flattering start to Susan Hall's.


Headstone Gardens Harrow