Review of the Year: July

Harrow Times: Pickwick Walk traders Pickwick Walk traders

July saw traders of a popular shopping arcade join together to fight proposals to redevelop their shops.

Owners of Pickwick Walk in Hatch End submitted plans to turn the arcade into a shop and cafe, replacing ten units including a shoe repair shop, nail bar, mini-cab office, barbers and dress makers.

More than 100 people signed the petition against the proposals, which traders fear would lead to them losing their livelihoods.

In a design statement on Harrow Borough Council's planning website, owners of the site The Word & Krailing Pension Fund, said they wanted to increase their options with the site with two larger premises and reduce the cost of leasing many properties.

July was also the month when Cllr Husain Akhtar make another political defection, leaving the Independent Labour group that he helped create.

Cllr Akhtar has not been one to shy away from controversy after being elected as a Conservative in 2007, but leaving the party in November 2012 to become an independent.

He switched to the Labour Party in March 2013, but in June was one of the nine councillors to break away to form the Independent Labour Group, which took control of the authority with backing from its Conservative group.

Disability campaigners were defeated after Harrow Borough Council agreed to cut additional funding for the Taxicard scheme which subsidises travel for 200 people in the borough.

Members of Harrow Association for Disabled People fought against the cuts and protested outside the civic centre, saying the cut was a backwards step.

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