Street repairs are a waste of money

Re: Improvements in Southdown Crescent

THE headline ‘Why improve just one side of the street?’, was in the issue dated September 13.

The work to replace damaged pavements and grass verges on one side of the street has only just been completed in Southdown Crescent and already people have been driving vehicles over the newly laid grass verges causing damage to them.

The council have done a good job in carrying out the repairs but seem to have done nothing about the people who cause the damage in the first place.

Is it worth wasting any more of the rate payers money to carry out work on the other side of the street only to have it back to how it was in a short space of time?


via email

Grass verges are in a pathetic state

The grass verges on the Imperial Drive, Harrow, have not been tended or mowed for a long time. They are in a pathetic state.

There are more weeds than grass and have become a heaven for dog walkers to let them foul it.

Can the council not do anything about it?


via email

Banned fireworks that woke up baby

THANK you very much to the inconsiderate and selfish individual who set off an enormous explosion in the Rayners Lane/South Harrow area (I won’t say firework) at approximately 9.50pm on Saturday night.

You awoke my two-year-old granddaughter who is staying with us and who wasn’t very well.

It was tantamount to a bomb going off and as I recall these types of things were banned some years ago.

I hope you were reported to the police and that justice will be meted out; although I somehow doubt it will!


Rayners Lane

Working together in tough times

EVERYWHERE in the country councils face massive financial cuts exacerbated by organisational and demographic change.

Twenty-eight per cent cuts in budgets with even more cuts to come; massive changes to the health service, welfare benefits, the police, voluntary and community sector; demographic change, rapidly rising school rolls and elderly people living longer.

As we change leaders of the council we want to reassure residents that we will continue to do everything in our power to make the necessary savings to cope with these problems while preserving the front-line services which residents so value.

We have already made £50million savings over the last two years. Regrettably we still have to make well over £28m over the next two years with perhaps another £20 million in the two years after that.

Our biggest expenditure of the council is by its very nature on its staff. To make savings we have to find ways to do things differently with fewer staff while protecting and enhancing front-line services.

For example we were able to introduce new technology into our libraries and save more than £1m and fund the opening of our main library on Sunday. Our opponents say we are replacing people with machines and called Sunday opening ‘a waste of money’. We say we are spending money more wisely and yes customer satisfaction with our libraries has risen since these reforms.

Likewise we have introduced new technology to refuse collection and to street cleaning again making massive savings and indeed improving the services we provide. Again, we have totally modernised our dysfunctional IT system to make it fit for purpose and to be able to introduce mobile and flexible working.

We will continue to do our best in very difficult circumstances to deal working together with and listening to the views of local residents as well as with allure various partners.


Leader designate of the council,


Outgoing leader of the council

Leader will inspire others to follow

HARROW Labour group recently voted in our new leader, Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar.

Like all members of Harrow Council’s Labour group, I know he is determined to make sure Harrow succeeds with the challenges it faces because of the scale of cuts to local authority budgets from the Tory government.

As cabinet lead for property and major contracts, Thaya has helped bolster local jobs by moving the housing repairs contract to three smaller contractors, some of which are Harrow based, and deliver new job and training opportunities for young people through new apprenticeship schemes.

This type of leadership is sorely needed as Harrow seeks to escape from austerity and he is determined to stand up for Harrow.

Leading the fight against Tory cuts to our local services, challenging government’s broken promises and helping reinvigorate community pride.

We are rightly proud Councillor Idaikkadar is local government’s first ever Sri Lankan council leader because it lights up a pathway for others to follow, from all kinds of different and diverse backgrounds, who also have a contribution to make as councillors in the community.

The next year will not be easy as daily Tory cuts land on the new leader’s desk, but Labour is united in its determination to hit back at cuts and do all it can to lead Harrow through the tough economic times ahead.


Labour ward councillor for Kenton East on Harrow Council

Meaning of Diwali and best wishes

WHAT does the Diwali festival mean to you? And how do you celebrate it?

Colours, music, lights, fireworks and sweets are just the few ways that the joyous festival of Diwali will be celebrated at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Dharma Bhakti Manor in Stanmore, truly bringing back the vibrancy in what Diwali is all about.

Waking up in the early hours of the morning till late in the night, the feeling through all the devotees will be just of eternal bliss and serenity.

At the Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Diwali is not just another festival, but it is celebrated with great pomp and galore.

Rangoli, Kirtans, Raas Utsav, fireworks and distribution of Prasad are just the few ways the devotees celebrate with the Lord Almighty Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan.

Kali Chaudas on November 12 is dedicated to the Demi-God Hanumanji. On this day all devotees come forth to Lord Hanumanji and offer coconuts and an Indian sweet (lado) made with sesame seeds and jiggery.

Hanuman Poojan (worship) will also be performed from 8pm at Dharma Bhakti Manor with oil, sindoor (red powder) and fragranced flowers.

Diwali on November 13 is also known as ‘Deepavali’, which in Sanskrit means a row of lamps (divas).

It is an auspicious day in which marked the return of Lord Rama back to the city of Ayodhya after being in exile for 14 years with his wife, Sita and younger brother Laxman.

Govardhan Poojan and Annkut Utsav on November 14 will all be performed at 7am at the Stanmore Mandir in accordance to the Vedic rituals, so please come along and let’s all share this joyous occasion. Aarti will be offered to Bhagwan every hour up to 8pm.

Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Dharma Bhakti Manor would like to wish everyone a Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year.


PR coordinator for Shree Swaminarayan Temple