Why a caravan site in Harrow?

REGARDING your article Caravan park proposal for sports pitch is under way (Harrow Observer, March 14). So this proposal has reared its ugly head again. What makes Harrow Community Sports think that the objections raised last year are any less valid 12 months on – nothing has changed.

The width restriction in Headstone Lane outside Pinner Park School was presumably put there because it was considered unsafe for large vehicles to continue along Headstone Lane with residents and children walking to and from the school.

In addition, whichever way they approach the proposed entrance to the site, they would have a tight turn and cause more traffic hold-ups at this point. To exit via Broadfields, these caravans would again have to negotiate a difficult turn over the railway bridge.

I’m sure the residents of Broadfields do not want caravans and trailers trundling past their doors and, if double yellow lines are introduced, where are all the rail commuters’ cars which park there all day going to park?

In addition, if the new flats being proposed for the corner of Headstone Lane and Fernleigh Court go ahead, parking is going to be even more of a problem in this already congested area.

Broadfields Country Club was once a well-used, viable sports club, but it has been allowed to fall into decline. With the recent closure of Kodak Sports Ground, there is now even more reason to retain Broadfields – if the owners would actively look for more ways to promote the business.

Lastly, why on earth would anyone wish to spend a caravanning and camping holiday in the middle of a residential area in a town like Harrow, which is hardly noted for having many places of interest or good walking country?


Fernleigh Court


Lane not suitable the for disruption

WITH reference to your article Caravan park proposal for sports pitch is under way (Harrow Observer, March 14), where do the people live that are proposing this site? Not in Headstone Lane, I am sure.

Have they been down Headstone Lane on a Saturday and seen how much congestion there is already?

We have Harrow Garden Centre there and there have been several accidents in that area, with cars swooping around the bend and cars trying to get in or out of the narrow road to the garden centre. There is also the railway station, which has a large number of people going in and out during the day.

There is a school not far away, whose pupils walk up and down Headstone Lane, and there are lots of cars there when parents drop off and collect children.

There will be extra litter, at a time when our road sweepers are not cleaning very often because of council cuts. The road is not big enough to cope with a caravan park. There use to be lots of congestion there when there was a keep fit class some years ago.

Please think again, as it will bring the Harrow and Pinner area down.


via email

Regulation will blunt local press

SIR Winston Churchill said: “A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize. It is the most dangerous foe of tyranny… where free institutions are indigenous to the soil and men have the habit of liberty, the press will continue to be... the vigilant guardian of the rights of the ordinary citizen.”

MPs must consider the long-term effects on our democracy – especially local democracy – of beefed-up press regulation when voting on the issue. In a free society, a press under state control is a far greater danger than a press out of control. The light-touch ‘statutory underpinning’ proposed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats would allow much tougher controls to be imposed in future.

The alleged malpractices which led to the Leveson Inquiry and the arrest of dozens of journalists are criminal offences, not ethical misdemeanours. The problem is not a failure of the regulatory system but the failure of the police to enforce the law.

Supporters of statutorily-backed ethical regulation, led by Hacked Off, have hijacked the issue to seek revenge on the whole press for the sins of a few journalists on a handful of national newspapers. What they are proposing will seriously wound totally innocent sections of the press, such as local newspapers, which were cleared by Leveson of any wrongdoing.

National papers, with their massive budgets and armies of lawyers, could stand up to state bullying. Our local press would not be in such a strong position, and its role of holding local authorities, police, NHS, and other public bodies to account would be under serious threat.

Hacked Off is a small, private lobby group representing the views of a handful of celebrities and MPs with an axe to grind against the press, backed by a cadre of left-wing academics.

But it has been allowed to play a central role in the drafting of legislation which could have a profound and dangerous effect on the ability of the press to hold those in power to account.


President of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Norwood Drive

North Harrow

Empire remnant is disappearing

QUINTAIN Estates is currently demolishing the Palace of Industry building at Wembley Park. This is the last remaining building from the 1924 British Empire Exhibition, which played such an important part in Wembley’s history.

On March 13, Brent Council’s planning committee gave consent for Quintain to use the site for temporary car parking. I am grateful to councillors Mark Cummins, Mary Daly and Sami Hashmi for speaking out at that meeting in support of my proposals to retain a small section of the palace’s walls, which would not interfere with the parking spaces needed for events at the stadium.

Councillors Claudia Hector and George Crane (lead member for regeneration) have also been working behind the scenes to keep part of the walls until the site is needed. If Quintain would agree to do this on a voluntary basis, visitors to Wembley in 2014 for events to celebrate the British Empire Exhibition’s 90th anniversary would still be able to appreciate the scale and architectural style of one of its original buildings.

The innovative construction method, that allowed the world’s first city of concrete to be built in just two years, would also be visible, to inspire builders of the future. In case Quintain does not change its mind, please go and see the building in Olympic Way soon, before it is lost for ever.

The British Empire Exhibition is part of our past, but it also brought people from all parts of the world to Wembley. It was a stepping stone from the old days of ‘empire’ to the modern Commonwealth, and the multi-cultural community which contributes so much to the Brent and Harrow of today.


Address supplied

Sad that we now need food banks

THE opening of a food bank in Harrow (Group calls for support for food bank, Observer, March 14) is a sad indictment of the times we live in.

With the continuing austerity cuts, I suspect that food banks will become the norm in many places across Britain.

There will also inevitably be a rise in the number of people forced to live on the streets once the housing benefit cuts and bedroom tax kick in.

In a country where multinational companies avoid paying their full tax and wealthy individuals hide their money in offshore tax havens, it is a disgrace that the least well off and vulnerable in our society are made to pay for a financial crisis they did not cause.


Hindes Road


Councillors has duped his voters

I READ with interest about the recent jump made by Canons ward councillor Husain Akhtar, firstly from Harrow’s Conservative group to Independent, and then again a few months later from Independent to join Harrow Labour.

How can this possibly be considered the morally right thing to do? Residents of Mr Akhtar’s ward voted, overwhelmingly, for a Conservative candidate in the May 2010 local election (Con 60 per cent, Lab 23 per cent) and again in the June 2011 by-election (Con 60 per cent, Lab 31 per cent). They obviously did not want a Labour councillor, yet, through trusting Mr Akhtar, they have ended up with one.

Mr Akhtar is on record as saying in 2007: “People in Harrow, especially in Canons ward, are very sensible and fair-minded people. I have confidence in people’s judgement to see what is in the best interest of Harrow.” I wonder if he still feels that way now he has pulled one over on them?


Wood End Avenue


Who leaves these bags of rubbish?

IS IT just us, or has anyone else noticed the recent phenomenon of carrier bags of household waste being left around almost every litter bin the borough? As fast as the council clear them, they reappear.

On the morning of Monday, March 18, there were five or six left round the bin at the bus stop at the junction of Kings Road and Malvern Avenue.

The local foxes had had a party and there was rubbish strewn all over the pavement. The next morning, the bags had been cleared but, this afternoon, another one had appeared.

This mysterious fly-tipping does not make sense. Every home and business has wheelie bins which are emptied every week by the council, so who is responsible for this anti-social behaviour?

A street cleaner told us it was something which was going on all over Harrow. Can anyone solve this mystery?


Ravenswood Crescent