Harrow Borough Council defends plan to leave parks open at night

Harrow Times: Council defends plan to leave parks open at night Council defends plan to leave parks open at night

Harrow Borough Council has defended its proposal to stop locking some parks at night.

Yesterday the leader of Harrow’s Conservative group, Susan Hall, claimed that buried in the council’s draft budget was a proposal to leave some parks unlocked.

The council has defended this proposal, which will be voted on next month, by saying that many of the parks “simply do not need to be locked overnight”.

Harrow Borough Council's corporate director of environment and enterprise, Caroline Bruce, said: “Harrow is one of the safest and greenest places to live in London and our residents have 25 parks to choose from across the borough – many of which simply do not need to be locked overnight.

“Transforming some of our parks into open green spaces will mean residents can still enjoy spending time outside, but this will also allow us to reduce maintenance costs and deliver savings.

“This proposal has not been finalised and we will consult with residents further once the budget is approved in February.

“The economic climate is exceptionally challenging for local government and we must all find savings wherever we can to avoid unnecessary cuts.

“We are a modern low-cost council which continuously strives to make efficiency savings so we can keep delivering the services we know our residents care about most.”

Councillor Hall, however, is concerned that leaving the parks open would lead to an increase in crime.

She said: “Labour’s cut-riddled budget gives away so little about what’s behind individual savings that we are having to go through it almost line by line.

“I asked questions about a saving labelled ‘returning parks to open space’ and, incredibly, it emerged this includes some of Labour’s plans to leave parks unlocked.

“How can Labour pretend to be transparent with residents when they wrap something so potentially damaging up as something so innocent-sounding?”

Cllr. Hall added: “It would be an absolute disgrace if Labour went ahead with this decision.

“Leaving our parks unlocked – which are mostly unlit at night – makes them likely hotbeds for criminal behaviour and activity; particularly muggings, vandalism and assault-type crime.

“Harrow is a low-crime borough, and we want to keep it that way."
 

Comments (10)

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9:56am Thu 24 Jan 13

Skhan13 says...

Its about saving money. Using common sense reasoning such as parks being locked actually assisting with the reason that we have a 'low crime' borough would be the way to keep it.
Its about saving money. Using common sense reasoning such as parks being locked actually assisting with the reason that we have a 'low crime' borough would be the way to keep it. Skhan13

8:30pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Harrow Alan says...

^ nail on head.

Small things like locking parks must surely help keep Harrow's crime lower than most.

If they keep the parks unlocked and crime goes up, will the council change its view that locking them isn't needed, I wonder?
^ nail on head. Small things like locking parks must surely help keep Harrow's crime lower than most. If they keep the parks unlocked and crime goes up, will the council change its view that locking them isn't needed, I wonder? Harrow Alan

10:58am Fri 25 Jan 13

Harroweveryman says...

“Transforming some of our parks into open green spaces will mean residents can still enjoy spending time outside, but this will also allow us to reduce maintenance costs and deliver savings."

I think that Caroline Bruce will find that our parks are already "open green spaces" and as such do not need "transforming"!

Also I am fairly certain that this cost cutting idea was mooted many, many years ago by the conservatives.
“Transforming some of our parks into open green spaces will mean residents can still enjoy spending time outside, but this will also allow us to reduce maintenance costs and deliver savings." I think that Caroline Bruce will find that our parks are already "open green spaces" and as such do not need "transforming"! Also I am fairly certain that this cost cutting idea was mooted many, many years ago by the conservatives. Harroweveryman

3:18pm Sun 27 Jan 13

harrow78 says...

So exactly what do you want the Council to cut then? Because everyone says they want the public sector to scale back, but when the Council does something to save money there is outrage?
So exactly what do you want the Council to cut then? Because everyone says they want the public sector to scale back, but when the Council does something to save money there is outrage? harrow78

10:27am Mon 28 Jan 13

Paul from iharrow.com says...

Perhaps they could sell of the Mayor's car, and make him use taxis - that's around a third of the cost.

They could stop having so many buffet lunches, and get people to trot down to the Civic Centre restaurant and spend their own cash.

They could stop supporting ventures like Fairtrade (cost £30k, but failed to gain accreditation) and Harrow in Europe.

Maybe what the Council should do is introduce a forum to attract money saving ideas, and then give the person who suggests idea which are implemented and shown to save money, a cash reward? Say a couple of percent of the savings?
Perhaps they could sell of the Mayor's car, and make him use taxis - that's around a third of the cost. They could stop having so many buffet lunches, and get people to trot down to the Civic Centre restaurant and spend their own cash. They could stop supporting ventures like Fairtrade (cost £30k, but failed to gain accreditation) and Harrow in Europe. Maybe what the Council should do is introduce a forum to attract money saving ideas, and then give the person who suggests idea which are implemented and shown to save money, a cash reward? Say a couple of percent of the savings? Paul from iharrow.com

11:15am Mon 28 Jan 13

jackdaw says...

Perhaps someone from the events the Mayor attends could offer him a lift to the venue or a member of the public could volunteer lifts to save Harrow money.

I like the idea of the public sending in money saving ideas to the Councillors/Council. There could be a cash reward or a donation to a charity of the winner's choosing. I am sure that many Harrovians could come up with innovative ideas for saving public money.

I bet there is a wealth of untapped talent to be drawn on in Harrow.People who work as/for accountants could profer suggestions.

Harrow needs all the help it can get.

Three cheers for the Pinner police station volunteers who have been sold down the river.

The following is sung to the tune of the British Grenadiers:

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the PINNER VOLUNTEERS..
Perhaps someone from the events the Mayor attends could offer him a lift to the venue or a member of the public could volunteer lifts to save Harrow money. I like the idea of the public sending in money saving ideas to the Councillors/Council. There could be a cash reward or a donation to a charity of the winner's choosing. I am sure that many Harrovians could come up with innovative ideas for saving public money. I bet there is a wealth of untapped talent to be drawn on in Harrow.People who work as/for accountants could profer suggestions. Harrow needs all the help it can get. Three cheers for the Pinner police station volunteers who have been sold down the river. The following is sung to the tune of the British Grenadiers: Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these. But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare. With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the PINNER VOLUNTEERS.. jackdaw

2:22pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Paul from iharrow.com says...

Going back to the Mayor's car, I heard on the grapevine that it's also used to ferry the Chief Executive home after long meetings at the office - however, when I asked the Council whether this was really the case, and how many 'non-official' miles it had done, my FoI request got denied for being 'vexatious' - perhaps I asked too many questions, or perhaps, they really didn't want to tell me...
Going back to the Mayor's car, I heard on the grapevine that it's also used to ferry the Chief Executive home after long meetings at the office - however, when I asked the Council whether this was really the case, and how many 'non-official' miles it had done, my FoI request got denied for being 'vexatious' - perhaps I asked too many questions, or perhaps, they really didn't want to tell me... Paul from iharrow.com

11:08pm Mon 28 Jan 13

harrowKing says...

So you think that everything that the council does is full of worms, especially this side of the West Harrow by-election – how very interesting!!
So you think that everything that the council does is full of worms, especially this side of the West Harrow by-election – how very interesting!! harrowKing

1:49pm Wed 30 Jan 13

starbright says...

Harrow King having read your post on another article about Cllr Gawn one may be lead to the conclusion that you are a labour supporter? Whatever the case may be, your posts are not relevant! Whoever is in power, we the taxpayer/residents of Harrow need to know that our money is being spent wisely! Yes I do believe and know in some instances the council is full of worms, and have wasted and overspent in many areas!
As for leaving the parks open at night, my belief is it could lead to more serious crime in this borough!
PaulfromIHarrow brilliant comments and ideas, as for shutting you down on FOI requests, this is not legal! Lets start a petition as I have been shut down on FOI requests before, always for the same reason Vexatious...funny that!
Harrow King having read your post on another article about Cllr Gawn one may be lead to the conclusion that you are a labour supporter? Whatever the case may be, your posts are not relevant! Whoever is in power, we the taxpayer/residents of Harrow need to know that our money is being spent wisely! Yes I do believe and know in some instances the council is full of worms, and have wasted and overspent in many areas! As for leaving the parks open at night, my belief is it could lead to more serious crime in this borough! PaulfromIHarrow brilliant comments and ideas, as for shutting you down on FOI requests, this is not legal! Lets start a petition as I have been shut down on FOI requests before, always for the same reason Vexatious...funny that! starbright

2:55pm Wed 30 Jan 13

harrowKing says...

Why it is that when Tory supporters lose argument, they start labelling people in their panic! Cllr Gawn draws his councillor’s allowance and remains a councillor because the system allows it – why to blame anyone else, blame the system.
Parks are for public use and enjoyment and, like the roads, should remain open 24hrs in a civilised society – but of course some who rubbish the council all the times and see only ills in the society, don’t believe so.
Why it is that when Tory supporters lose argument, they start labelling people in their panic! Cllr Gawn draws his councillor’s allowance and remains a councillor because the system allows it – why to blame anyone else, blame the system. Parks are for public use and enjoyment and, like the roads, should remain open 24hrs in a civilised society – but of course some who rubbish the council all the times and see only ills in the society, don’t believe so. harrowKing

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