Rubbish and no representation
IN RAYNERS Lane, where I live, the area is uncared for to say the least and has been for so many years now, going from bad to worse.
As always, there is a vast accumulation of rubbish under the steps, leading to and from Beechcroft Avenue and Oakington Avenue.
At Christmas there was what I could only describe as a ‘pathetic’ looking Christmas tree, sited in Rayners Lane amongst the rubbish. In both places I have even seen rats there!
A council employee even told me that Rayners Lane, North Harrow and South Harrow are intended to be neglected from now onwards but Pinner is not – why?
We are all in the same borough and yet have to pay the extortionate amount of council tax.
On several occasions, I have raised this issue with the local councillors from each party and also with the local MP.
In October or November 2012, I wrote to Mr Thomas our local MP about these issues and I received a reply back, saying that these issues would be looked into on my behalf and that either himself or one of the team would get back to me, but so far no response at all.
It seems to me that these councillors we have all love to talk, but at the end of the day nothing ever transpires from our complaints.
I often wonder as to what the objective of the exercise is in having these people ‘represent’ us in our respective areas.
As we have a local by-election for West Harrow ward on February 21, all the representatives from each political party will be canvassing no doubt, but unfortunately none of them will be getting my vote at all – like many other people in the borough and around the country.
I am afraid I am just not interested anymore at all.
Scholarships for engineering pupils
THROUGH the pages of your newspaper, I would like to draw attention to our new scholarships for students studying engineering.
Students who get three grade ‘A’s at A-level (or equivalent) are now eligible for a scholarship of £1,000 per year.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) new Diamond Jubilee Scholarships will reward students who achieve three grade ‘A’s at A-level (or three ‘A’ grade Advanced Highers or five ‘A’ grade Highers) and start an IET accredited engineering or technology degree course this autumn.
They will be entitled to an annual scholarship of £1,000 for up to four years.
The scholarships have been launched to encourage bright young students to consider studying engineering and technology, and to go on to enjoy very rewarding and challenging careers.
The IET’s 2012 Skills and Demand in Industry Survey shows that, for the first time since the recession, companies are more confident in expanding their engineering workforce.
Starting salaries for graduate engineers and technicians are amongst the highest of all graduate salaries.
But there still remains a national shortage of engineers.
This new scholarship initiative is one of the many ways the IET is helping to address that shortage.
Students can now apply for the scholarships by visiting www.theiet.org/diamond.
Awards and Prizes Manager
Institution of Engineering and Technology
Greenhill prime site for a theatre
AT THE heart of the regeneration of Harrow Town Centre, aka Greenhill, should be a new arts centre.
The prime site is the old Post Office and sorting office in College Road.
There should be a new purpose-built theatre, usable for theatre shows, plays and comedy; concerts and conferences; the showing of independent and classic films, a studio theatre for smaller shows, dance studios and venues for classes.
A new central library replacing both the Gayton and Civic libraries, with a designated gallery space, room for local arts, crafts and music groups.
There could be a café and restaurants, all surrounding that meeting place/square so beloved of many town planners. It could even be a market square, or even a piazza if that tickles your fancy.
Just think how Harrow would ‘buzz’ on an evening.
The site’s transport links are perfect for not only the entire borough but further afield too, unlike the current arts centre. This plan really would ‘democratise’ access to the arts.
Think how many different local groups could use it. The proposed open air venue could even be incorporated.
Such a group of venues really would put Harrow on the map as a destination worth visiting for something other than a bit of ‘not-particularly-inspiring-shopping’.
Shoppers, visitors, commuters and even, goodness me, those who actually live in the area, would pass by daily and be able see what was going on. Who knows, it might even make them want to go.
It would also put culture and cultural events at the centre of central Harrow and not somewhere where half our population don’t even know where it is – like Hatch End.
Please don’t get me wrong, the current arts centre does a great job in somewhat difficult circumstances.
But come on, it’s not exactly an ideal venue. Just think of the acoustics in the Elliott hall for a start! That site could surely be put to some better use.
Appeal to Korean conflict veterans
THE British Korean Veterans Association is trying to contact former members of HM Armed Forces who served in Korea or Japan from 1950-53, and also those servicemen and women who served in these two places with the peacekeeping force from 1953-57.
The appeal includes former members of the Merchant Navy, NAAFI, Red Cross and WRVS.
Any interested veteran should contact me at the address below. An SAE would be appreciated.
My colleague James Grundy is also acting on behalf of the UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea, where more than 800 British servicemen are at rest.
The authorities wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there and also those who died but have no known grave.
The photographs will be attached to their records and also displayed in the cemetery hall of remembrance.
Any family who lost a loved one in the Korean War of 1950-53 and wishes to take part can send the photograph to James Grundy at 102 College Croft, Eccles, M30 0AN.
Fields Farm Road
Don’t want sterile shopping centre
IT WOULD be good to see an improvement for Harrow Town Centre (A modern town to be proud of, Observer, February 14).
Sadly, in Harrow there are now too many cheap shops, and cheap shops bring in a different type of shopper.
There are no quality restaurants or tea rooms which good shopping centres have.
Harrow town centre seems to cater for young people with the amount of fast food (halal only) cafes/restaurants and does not cater for anyone who would like a good quality meal.
If you want this you have to visit Hatch End.
There are far too many fast food shops and they create rubbish on the streets.
So while the council plan to spend a lot of money on the town centre then they need to address what has caused the deterioration of a town that was once a pleasure to shop in and not wonder if you would get home without having your purse taken.
Finally, a 21st Century town, let’s hope it has character and reflects the history of the borough and not a sterile shopping centre.
Give town some decent shops
REGARDING the £2million shopping precinct improvements (A modern town to be proud of’, Observer, February 14).
I think it is a complete waste of time and Councillor Ferry is wasting our money.
What Harrow needs is some decent shops.
You have got Debenhams and nothing else.
In Watford and Brent Cross you have John Lewis, but there are no decent clothes shops here.
Cuts that will cost more in long run
I WONDER if other patients at Central Middlesex are having the same experiences as me?
I regularly attend three outpatient clinics at the hospital for long term conditions that are monitored by the specialist consultants there.
Normally my appointments are at four or six monthly intervals, but recently I have received letters from the hospital postponing appointments for several months.
I attended the haematology department, where my chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is monitored by special blood tests at the end of May last year and was given a follow up appointment for December.
I received a telephone call from the department to say the consultant was away.
I now have an appointment in July 2013. If this had just happened in one department, I could understand that the absence of the consultant could lead to delays, but it isn’t just one department.
The same thing has happened with my gastroenterology appointments.
Is this continual postponement of appointments part of a plan to run down our hospital, or is it part of a programme of privatisation?
North West London Hospital Trust (Central Middlesex and Northwick Park) and Ealing Hospital Trust are in the process of merging. Between them, the two trusts are making ‘savings’, i.e. cuts, of £73.3million over two years – £30m in 2012/13 and £43.3m in 2013/14!
These plans take no account of the changes to be made under the Shaping a Healthier Future project which, if the decision to go ahead is taken on February 19, will lead to massive further cuts to services at CMH and Ealing Hospitals.
Routine follow up appointments for patients with long-term conditions may seem boring and unnecessary, but if changes or deterioration in the condition are picked up early, there is a far better chance of successful treatment and, in the long run, less cost to the patient and the NHS.
Sensible comments on gay marriage
MANY thanks to Edmund O’Brien (Letters, February 14) for his sensible and reasoned comments on homosexual ‘marriage’, and thank you for printing his letter.
Such matters should be publicly and freely discussed.
MR T J MILLS
Wood End Avenue
Pity MP never gives credit when it is due
CONGRATULATIONS to our council in managing to keep the roads cleared and the traffic moving during the recent cold spell.
What a pity that the MP for Harrow East never gives credit when it is due not even when the council received best achieving council at the The MJ Local Government Achievement Awards, a national award to be proud of.
The MP for Harrow East takes every opportunity on television or in the House of Commons to speak against the constituency he represents.
On Monday, January 21, at education questions there were gasps of disbelief when he referred to some constituents as ‘laggards’.
Brent Council is well rid of him, let’s hope he loses Harrow East in May 2015.
West End Lane
I challenge you to cross this road
I HAVE to say that I’m very underwhelmed by the response of John Edwards, Harrow Council’s divisional director for community safety and environment, with regard to the point my daughter and I raised about the difficulty crossing Station Road, North Harrow (‘Seven-year-old calls for pelican crossing’, January 31).
According to Mr Edwards, ‘we will not take the slightest of risks when it comes to the safety of pedestrians and there are four crossings along this road’.
The four crossings have absolutely no relevance to our journey to school and I challenge him to show us in person how we should cross the road without having to take a calculated risk – something that is dangerous for likes of children and the elderly, and, in my view, unnecessary.
When somebody is knocked down, perhaps his risk-assessment will change.
Get rid of pigeons and chewing gum
I WAS reading your article last week (A modern town to be proud of, Observer, February 14) and it was very direct and the work needs to be done, but one problem that the council should be aware of is the pigeons in the town centre.
It is all very well spending £2million to do this work, but the pigeons have to go.
I have lived in Harrow since 1967 and I go into town every month to pay my bills and do my shopping, but every time I go through the bottom near the Katie statue, I always either walk in bird mess or it lands on my clothes – it is disgusting.
There is no point putting all this work in, which looks like it needs to be done and perhaps it will stop people going to Watford to do their shopping, unless they get rid off the pigeons and all the chewing gum.