Site for Avanti was too small
I HAVE some sympathy with the parent who faces either travel to Barnet or finding another school as the Avanti House School is moving out of the borough.
I do not think, however, that Harrow Council ever agreed to this being a permanent move.
My understanding was that this was a temporary measure for year seven pupils for one year only. Although I had heard that Avanti House wanted to make this a permanent move, with more pupils attending over a period of time until it reached 1,680 pupils.
I think Avanti House should have known from the start that the site was too small and is also still a Teacher Training Centre. There is limited access to the school and the increased volume of traffic dropping off children would have been horrendous.
At present when walking past there the parents at times park haphazardly, I’ve seen cars just stop without indicating and cars beeping from behind, and then the parents turn round in the middle of the road causing congestion.
As a former pupil at Whitefriars Secondary School many years ago, the number of pupils would not have been more than 600, therefore it could never have held 1,680.
The access to the secondary school was either by using the entrance in Tudor Road or the entrance of Whitefriars Primary School in Whitefriars Avenue, by crossing the playground of the primary school to the playground of the secondary school. This was because the two schools were connected.
I do hope, however, that a better solution than Barnet can be achieved as Barnet is too far away and it would be nice if a suitable location could be found to house all the pupils in one place.
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Road works, what a performance
HAVING bought tickets for Harrow School’s concert of Haydn’s oratorio ‘The Creation’ tonight (Tuesday, March 19) which my wife and I were looking forward to very much, we left home with lots of time to spare as previous experience has told us that it is not easy to park for access to the Speech Room where the concert was being held.
I should point out that I possess a Blue Badge as I have a mobility impairment and have difficulty walking.
It is therefore essential that I do not park too far away, which I have managed to succeed in doing on previous occasions.
It took us over 20 minutes to drive up the hill from the traffic lights at the junction of Peterborough Road and Tyburn Lane but, being unable to ascertain the cause of the delay, thought it was just weight of traffic and we’d persevere.
When the traffic finally moved we found that all the previously available parking spaces outside the school had been closed off owing to extensive road works.
There were even road works at the pinch points, making it difficult for buses to squeeze through. We drove the full length of the High Street and, being unable to find a parking space anywhere within reasonable walking distance for me, had to abandon our plans and return home by another route.
As usual with our wonderful English road repairs, why did the contract planners not have the sense to do these road repairs in short stretches, thus allowing traffic to flow more freely in a road that is already congested?
From a music lover,
Council should move on homes
IT IS extremely unfair that some people will be penalised if they refuse to move from their home to a smaller one.
There are many reasons why they may not wish to move, such as health conditions, where a couple cannot sleep in the same room together, or older people who have lived in their home for many years and do not wish to leave the familiar area and good neighbours for somewhere new, and can’t face the upheaval of moving furniture, carpets, curtains not fitting in a different house.
There are many houses which can be made bigger, as a lot of people do, by converting a large room into two.
This has come about because councils/governments refuse to build more homes to rent.
Stop criticising the Pinn centre
I’M sick of it!
I am a volunteer driver for the Pinn Medical Centre taking disabled patients either to the surgery, or any of the local hospitals.
However, I am really tired of the continual criticism of the premises, the appointment system, the nurses, doctors, and, of course, the car park.
The Pinn Medical Centre was opened in April 2009 and, almost one year later, another 7,000 patients were added to its list, making by 2013 just under 20,000 patients, the increase as a result of the Village Surgery closing suddenly.
Yes, I agree it is often difficult to book an appointment, and, yes, you do not always see your own GP. But, in my opinion the facilities, which include a large clean waiting area, clean toilets, an in-house pharmacy, X-ray unit, dental services and helpful (mostly) receptionists, and about 20 GPs.
Then please stop criticising the Pinn!
Let’s hope love can conquer all
I WAS thrilled to read about the multicultural wedding of Alan and Anjana Haines (‘Hindu wedding at centre of BBC’s multicultural doc’, Harrow Observer, March 28).
For several years during my morning commute from Harrow and Wealdstone Station I used to see the couple on platform 6, and they seemed totally besotted with each other, always kissing and holding hands.
I wondered about how they met and was reminded of a mixed race relationship I had over 30 years ago, when things were very different and eyebrows were raised in certain circles when we were seen together.
There will be some people I am sure who choked with indignation over their toast and marmalade when they read the article.
In a world full of racial and religious intolerance, Alan and Anjana are a shining example of how love really can conquer all.
Let’s hope they have a long and happy marriage.
College Hill Road
Is shaking house down to potholes?
RE: Michael Lockwood, chief executive of Harrow Council
MY CONCERN is that over the last few months my house is often vibrating, which it has not done in the previous 48 years. Occasionally, it even feels as if it is shaking.
I can only assume that it is due to heavy vehicles going over the potholes in Long Elmes.
The potholes at the junction of Hampden Road and Long Elmes are particularly deep. In fact, they are the worst I have seen in the last two or three years.
Can you assure me that the vibrations are not having an adverse effect on the foundations of my and surrounding houses?
Vehicles are slipping in the loose gravel and tarmac from the holes as they turn the corner and obviously when vehicles hit the holes that are so deep there could be a detrimental effect on the vehicles themselves.
I have not written before as I feel someone would have reported the damage to the road and because it is so bad it would have been a priority for repair. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case.
I hope you can give an early reply, either in a letter or more preferably by arranging the repair of the road.
Candidate who showed integrity
I AM very pleased that Christine Robson was elected to the council in the recent by-election.
She showed an integrity lacking in other candidates who jumped on the local bandwagon by signing the petition to stop the extension to Vaughan School.
She pointed out to campaigners that this extension is very necessary. Initially, the campaign was against new school buildings being too near their houses, and in that we could sympathise.
It has now been extended to preventing the extension as a whole, and this must not happen.
What is being overlooked is that over the next five years there will be an additional 200 children in the area who will need education and that the chairman of governors has said that the last extension was some 40 years ago and was only intended to last for 20 years.
The number of children needing primary school education has, of course, repeated on a nationwide scale and urgent action is needed.
The government’s response, as in most matters, is to blame it on the previous government but the real answer is that they have spent their almost three years in office attending to doctrinaire and reactionary measures.
As far as the local issue is concerned, some rebuilding of the school is clearly overdue and the additional children have to be accommodated.
The obvious answer is to combine these two things and the campaigners have not suggested any alternative solution.
We have had heavy attempts at wit in the local press and dire warnings about flooding on the school premises because they have discovered that there is an enclosed brook on the site. It has never caused flood, any more than London’s Fleet River under Fleet Street ever has.
If the answer is simply to put the extra children in somebody else’s back yard, this would entail finding an entirely new site – goodness knows where and at what cost.
Mayor’s council tax ‘cut’ is costing us
COUNCILLOR Reg Colwill’s letter in the Observer is laughable (Letters, March 14) .
He celebrates the Mayor of London’s decision to freeze council tax which is factually wrong. Mayor Johnson actually cut council tax for Londoners – by one penny a day!
I would argue that this ‘cut’, which Mr Colwill lauds, is the reason for the mayor’s decision to close 12 fire stations and axe up to 65 police stations and front counters London-wide.
I have spoken to many Londoners about these closures and the resounding feeling is that the one penny a day they are saving is pittance and they would prefer not to have their safety and security threatened by having their local fire station and police station closed.
Mayor Johnson’s cut to his share of the council tax is an insult to Londoners, who have had to suffer transport fares being whacked up above inflation for the fifth year running by this mayor.
Does he really think Londoners won’t notice this wheeze?
And Mr Colwill’s assertion that the mayor has done us a favour is verging on the ridiculous. We need a mayor, and a government that stand up for Londoners, not make their lives more difficult and threaten their safety and security.
Labour London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow
It is our money that you are spending
HARROW Council is responsible for stopping the funding of CAB and Homestart and there is no justification for this.
It seems to have £600,000 to spend on keeping suspended council staff from attending work and they have spent £4million on consultants, and yet they have a wealth of experienced councillors sitting on the back benches who are not allowed to be on committees because of the antiquated cabinet system. I am sure if any member regardless of their party was to be asked for advice it would be forthcoming.
And now we hear that to save money Harrow Council wants to cut the number of formal meetings but at the same time appointing a new portfolio holder at a cost of £19,980 per year, so when will they learn that they should stop spending our money as if it was their money?
COUNCILLOR STANLEY SHEINWALD
Hatch End Ward
Harrow shows the way on emissions
I READ with interest your article about Harrow schools being the third best in the whole of London at cutting their carbon dioxide emissions (‘Schools slash energy bills in a bid to help the environment’, Observer, March 7).
It is a tribute to the teachers, pupils and everyone who works in Harrow schools. It is also highlights one of the most important tools we have in fighting climate change: energy efficiency.
In the debates over the environment where there are high profile arguments over wind farms, nuclear power and the continuing use of gas and oil to provide our electricity, it is often overlooked that simple measures on energy efficiency can make a real difference.
By its very nature it involves everyone doing their small part to contribute to cutting emissions. While it often does not seem very much individually it makes a huge difference overall. In addition, in a time of economic austerity and rising energy bills, by being more energy efficient and therefore using less energy people are not only helping the environment but reducing their own bills. It is to the credit of Harrow’s schools that they have taken on the Mayor of London’s challenge via the RE:FIT programme and done so well with it. It is a great example to everyone else in the borough.
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Harrow West