Residents deserve a bit of respect

I WRITE further to the letter from Councillor James Bond regarding the inability of our council to give straightforward answers to straightforward questions (Letters, November 1).

I was one of the residents who asked a question at the overview and scrutiny meeting regarding the Vaughan School expansion.

Despite the fact the questions have to be submitted in advance, and the council officers therefore have ample time to consider their response, I was left none the wiser as to what they were actually going to do about the serious issue of safety that arises due to the dramatic increase of pupil numbers that they are proposing.

You are given the opportunity to ask a supplemental question which I did, but again they were unable to even attempt an answer despite the fact that the issues in that question had already been raised with council officers in earlier emails. Their subsequent written answers added no further clarity and still didn’t answer the question.

This fiasco was repeated at the full council meeting held on November 8 where a number of residents again asked questions.

Why do our council treat us with such disrespect? It takes courage for residents to stand up and ask their question and they therefore deserve to have a proper answer and not to be fobbed off with a load of non-specific generic waffle.

I have spoken to the new leader of the council, Thaya Idaikkadar, and asked him to make it one of his aims to ensure his council give the residents of Harrow the respect they deserve and to give straightforward answers to straightforward questions.

I sincerely hope we see a change in the way the residents are treated by this council.


Dorchester Avenue

North Harrow

Education’s not for amateurs

Regarding Gladstone Free School plan (Wembley Observer, November 8)

IS MR Jim Gatten a qualified teacher, education academic or schools administrator?

His quoted assertions that a potential Gladstone Free School would ‘come with a blank page’, and that ‘teaching methods will be unusual’ give the impression that he knows what he is talking about when espousing such risky plans.

But he could be completely inexperienced in providing education.

I just wonder what residents of Gladstone Park would think if I as a non-medical person wanted to open a surgery or hospital where methods will be ‘unusual’ or planned ‘with a blank page’?

I know I wouldn’t want my kids going to a school where the providers don’t know what they are doing. Education is far too important to be in the hands of such amateurs.


via email

Council action on grass verge please

Well said Mrs B of Southdown Crescent (Letters, November 8) but I think the council should also take responsibility for the disgusting state of the deep rutted, churned up, newly laid grass verge.

Living (as I do) in full view of the area concerned, I have seen the council’s own refuse trucks mount the double height kerb on to the grass leaving deep double tyred gouges.

In all fairness to these operatives, though, what are they supposed to do when there are cars/vans parked on the other side of the road preventing the trucks from passing?

Okay, this occurs on only one day of the week (Mondays for Southdown) but the damage on that one day will last for months, if not for always, and will get worse as others follow.

I’ve also witnessed very large vans do the same thing. Seeing that this damage has been happening for some time anyway, I would have thought that provision could have been made at the time of refurbishing the road, maybe extending the block paving instead of kerb and grass, or a yellow line painted around the opposite side of the bend.

‘A good idea’, I hear you say, ‘but one will cost more money and the other will decrease parking spaces’.

Harrow Council, come and see for yourself... the main problem exists around Nos. 12 and 14, so if parking could be prevented in this small area it would greatly help.


via email

Longer journeys not clinical issue

FURTHER to our earlier correspondence in the Harrow Observer, Mrs E Jackson (Letters, October 18) wrote with additional concerns about the proposed changes to hospitals in north west London.

One was around longer ambulance journeys. For a limited number of patients, journey times may increase by a small amount. However despite London traffic the clinical opinion, supported by the London Ambulance Service, is that this is not clinically important.

The most important thing is that paramedics can reach patients quickly in order to stabilise the situation and that will not change.

With regard to being discharged and visiting patients, we understand people’s anxieties and our proposals include working with transport providers to see whether any changes should be put in place, including trying to rehabilitate patients in local hospitals so that visiting is more easy.

I would like to reassure readers, that as we have said previously, under these proposals the majority of treatment would occur in the same place as it does now or in a community setting even closer to your home.

We are continuing to listen to people’s concerns and would encourage Mrs Jackson – and indeed anyone else who has questions regarding this – to contact the shaping a healthier future team directly on 0800 881 5209.


Medical Director

Shaping a Healthier Future

Nominate a cause that is deserving

I HAVE joined the Sunday People’s long-running and prestigious Man of the People fund to hand out vital cash to the most deserving charities.

The fund has been running for 45 years and has helped good causes across the UK buy vital equipment and provide them with the support they need to keep operating.

This year I will be judging the entries along with charity campaigner Camilla Batmanghelidja, MP Jon Cruddas and Sunday People columnist Charlie Catchpole. We have £40,000 to hand out equally to the three most deserving causes.

We want you to nominate groups in their areas which are striving to change lives and go the extra mile for those who need it most. Or, if you run a charity which you think deserves help from our fund, we would love to hear from you.

It cannot be an individual though, and has to be a registered charity with a registered number.

Send your nominations to The People, Man of The People, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AP by Friday, November 16. Or email