The new leader of Harrow Borough Council has called for volunteers from every street to sign up to a neighbourhood safety scheme.

The call to arms came last night at a meeting of members of the Neighbourhood Champions project, at which Councillor Susan Hall talked to 300 volunteers about her plans.

She set out her vision to create an army of volunteers who can report everyday street level nuisances and crime from litter, graffiti to fly-tipping, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

There are nearly 900 neighbourhood champions signed up to the scheme in the borough but Cllr Hall said she would like to see on every street.

She said: “Our neighbourhood champions are uniquely positioned because they know their local area better than anyone else, and by working together we can make Harrow a fairer, cleaner and safer place.

“It is vital our street services are as efficient and effective as possible, and our neighbourhood champions give us the intelligence to respond to issues quickly and, in many cases, nip them in the bud before they become a bigger burden on the council tax payer.

“Unfortunately, the neighbourhood champions scheme has been sidelined over the past three years - seeing its numbers decline by around a quarter.

“I am absolutely determined to reverse that trend and reinvigorate the scheme for the benefit of Harrow's residents."

The event, at the Kadwa Patidar Centre in Kenton, was attended by existing champions and was a chance for them to share their views on the scheme and how they think it could be improved.

Raj Marya, 74, who volunteers in Canons ward, said: “The conference has been very positive. I have had a great facilitator and we have all been able to share our views and ideas on making Harrow cleaner and safer.

“I have been able to network with other champions who all agree that we need to make roads safer in our ward.

“Being a Neighbourhood Champion is rewarding, as you are contributing to the welfare of others in your community.”