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Harrow Borough Council hits back at claims it did not treat Vaughan School campaigners with respect
Harrow Borough Council has hit back at claims that it is not treating campaigners with respect.
The council has responded to suggestions that councillors did not answer public questions about a primary school expansion properly.
Mitzi Green, portfolio holder for children, schools and families, said: “We do take residents' concerns seriously.
“We have given full answers to all questions and have done so throughout the process.
“Extra time at both cabinet and full council was given for residents to ask questions and these questions were answered fully.
“There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of children needing primary school places in Harrow.
“The council has an obligation to provide school places for all children in the borough and has a duty to find a way of meeting this challenge.”
Councillor Green’s comments come after neighbours of Vaughan Primary School, in The Gardens, complained that councillors did not answer their questions properly at Thursday’s council meeting.
Rosalyn Neale, who lives in Dorchester Avenue, said: “We didn’t get proper answers.
“We don’t want this built at the bottom of our gardens and we went to the meeting to ask public questions.
“They didn’t answer what was asked – they must know the answers as we submitted the questions in advance so they had time to look into it.
“I think they don’t answer because they know we are right.
“We are not treated with respect. It is not easy to stand up in public and we give up our evenings but they don’t respect us.”
She added: “It’s not right. What can you do to make them give you a proper answer? Surely we are entitled to one.”
Ms Neale, and her neighbours, are fighting the expansion plans as they feel it will spoil the view from their houses, reduce the value of their properties and increase traffic and congestion in the area.
They also argue that the location is not appropriate for a new school building as it would mean more children having to cross dangerous roads.
Ms Neale said: “We have serious safety concerns for the children.
“The school is on a very busy junction and this would create a lot of extra traffic.
“This junction just wasn’t built for this volume of traffic.”
Harrow Council is currently considering plans to build a two-story building on Vaughan Primary School’s playing fields.
The building would house 12 classrooms and two halls and allow the school to accommodate an extra 210 children by September 2018.