Backroom deal struck to secure Harrow Borough Council budget

Harrow's Under One Sky festival will go ahead this year as part of a deal agreed in late-night negotiations for Harrow Borough Council’s budget.

The deal was thrashed out by the Conservative group and Independent Labour in negotiations over a series of amendments late last night.

There was no agreement among councillors after the first vote on the Conservative budget, or on alternative budgets from Labour and Independent Labour.

Council leader Councillor Susan Hall then called for a five-minute adjournment to negotiate with leader of the Independent Group Thaya Idaikkadar, but still no deal was reached between the two groups.

Cllr Hall said: “We have been able to reach a compromise and I am mortified.

“It is terrible we have not been able to come to some sort of agreement. This will cost the taxpayer £100,000 a week if we do not agree a budget.

“I am mortified that 62 of us cannot reach some sort of agreement for the people of Harrow.”

In response to the lack of agreement, Cllr Richard Romain said: “In all my years on the council the only thing I would say is you have to set a budget. You have to set a budget.

“The financial implication of not seeing one is too great. We need to show the people we are willing to recess and work towards some sort of agreement.

“We need to take time for deal to be reached. It is the responsibility of all 62 of us to work together. It is our duty, no it is our obligation to do so for the residents.”

Labour group leader Cllr David Perry said: “When you look at the makeup of the council here this is democracy in action.

“We have to act for the people of Harrow we need to come to an agreement.”

The council agreed a recess to allow the leaders of the three parties to negotiat.

After an hour the leaders came back with a deal constituting the Tory budget, with amendments from the Independent Labour group costing £750,000.

Included in the plans are £10,000 to run the Under One Sky festival as a standalone event, £50,000 on improving sports facilities and £50,000 for the enforcement of on-the-spot fines for spitting, graffiti and littering.

After the deal Cllr Hall said: “I am genuinely relieved. I am grateful to both leaders of the Labour group and the Independent Labour group for being willing to talk and reach an agreement.

“We have come to a reasonable compromise and we will do all we can to make sure we to achieve them.”

After the budget was agreed, Cllr Perry said: “I think what is important is that we have come to some sort of agreement for the budget.

“We have been voted in by the residents of Harrow and it is our job and duty to what is best for the whole borough.

“The politics and the details of the deal will be discussed tomorrow but tonight what is important is we have avoided a potential disaster.”

Comments (7)

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10:02pm Sun 2 Mar 14

pravinshah1 says...

After her budget was badly defeated at the council meeting on 27 February 2014, the budget defeat highlights Cllr Hall’s poor judgement for not sensing that a minority budget in isolation would not go through.

Cllr Hall ran in a panic and did a chaotic deal with the opposition groups. Later her mercilessly dissected budget was passed only by the support of the Independent Labour Group which she has nurtured and which enabled her to grab the leadership of the council last year through the backdoor tactics.

As reported in press, Cllr Hall said: “I am genuinely relieved. I am grateful to both Leaders of the Labour party and the Independent Labour group for being willing to talk and reach an agreement.” She further said “We have come to a reasonable compromise and we will do all we can to make sure we to achieve them.”

Is it not right to question that could a person with such a lack of democratic wisdom and understanding be trusted to lead the council, particularly as she had no mandate by the voters to lead the council?
After her budget was badly defeated at the council meeting on 27 February 2014, the budget defeat highlights Cllr Hall’s poor judgement for not sensing that a minority budget in isolation would not go through. Cllr Hall ran in a panic and did a chaotic deal with the opposition groups. Later her mercilessly dissected budget was passed only by the support of the Independent Labour Group which she has nurtured and which enabled her to grab the leadership of the council last year through the backdoor tactics. As reported in press, Cllr Hall said: “I am genuinely relieved. I am grateful to both Leaders of the Labour party and the Independent Labour group for being willing to talk and reach an agreement.” She further said “We have come to a reasonable compromise and we will do all we can to make sure we to achieve them.” Is it not right to question that could a person with such a lack of democratic wisdom and understanding be trusted to lead the council, particularly as she had no mandate by the voters to lead the council? pravinshah1
  • Score: 2

2:56pm Mon 3 Mar 14

SeaBee says...

pravinshah has a poor memory. The Conservatives received 43.2% of the vote in the 2010 election compared to Labour's 37.9% and the Libdems 16.5%.
pravinshah has a poor memory. The Conservatives received 43.2% of the vote in the 2010 election compared to Labour's 37.9% and the Libdems 16.5%. SeaBee
  • Score: -1

5:40pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Methodman says...

Judging by the amount of spitting,littering and graffiti I see around the borough it should be a money spinner fining the people that perpetrate these acts.
If the Council started fining people that cycle on pavements we could probably have a sizable discount on Council tax.
Take a stroll past any school in the borough at the beginning or end of the school day and you will see dozens of motorists flouting parking regulations,the Council should introduce a zero tolerance approach and fine all vehicles stopping illegally.
Judging by the amount of spitting,littering and graffiti I see around the borough it should be a money spinner fining the people that perpetrate these acts. If the Council started fining people that cycle on pavements we could probably have a sizable discount on Council tax. Take a stroll past any school in the borough at the beginning or end of the school day and you will see dozens of motorists flouting parking regulations,the Council should introduce a zero tolerance approach and fine all vehicles stopping illegally. Methodman
  • Score: 1

7:17pm Mon 3 Mar 14

charrow says...

what a crazy situation to get in, money being wasted on pointless Under One Sky event, I thought money was tight?
what a crazy situation to get in, money being wasted on pointless Under One Sky event, I thought money was tight? charrow
  • Score: 7

8:31am Tue 4 Mar 14

pravinshah1 says...

SeaBee, please remmember that we always have a minority goverment or Local Authority if you count percentage of votes. The system in this country is number of seats won.

However, Susan Hall did not win any right to be a leader but took it by the help of the Indipendent Labour Group who sold the rights of the community of Harrow.
SeaBee, please remmember that we always have a minority goverment or Local Authority if you count percentage of votes. The system in this country is number of seats won. However, Susan Hall did not win any right to be a leader but took it by the help of the Indipendent Labour Group who sold the rights of the community of Harrow. pravinshah1
  • Score: 1

2:54pm Tue 4 Mar 14

charrow says...

i think susan hall has a right to be leader as she leads the largest unified group on the council. if labour could get itself in order and represent the people of harrow as a unified collective, what is was voed to do, then they would be in power. you cant blame super susie for labours problems, the tories are doing their duty by ensuring some form of authority is leading the council, not that I think they are doing a very good job of it
i think susan hall has a right to be leader as she leads the largest unified group on the council. if labour could get itself in order and represent the people of harrow as a unified collective, what is was voed to do, then they would be in power. you cant blame super susie for labours problems, the tories are doing their duty by ensuring some form of authority is leading the council, not that I think they are doing a very good job of it charrow
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 5 Mar 14

jackdaw says...

"Under one Sky" should be financed by ticket sales and charges to stall holders. If it does not break even or make a profit it can then be concluded it is an unecessary charge on the borough's coffers during a time of austerity.

The 10,000 could vbe then allocated for more deserving causes than a knees up.
"Under one Sky" should be financed by ticket sales and charges to stall holders. If it does not break even or make a profit it can then be concluded it is an unecessary charge on the borough's coffers during a time of austerity. The 10,000 could vbe then allocated for more deserving causes than a knees up. jackdaw
  • Score: 2

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