Streets will be ‘dirtier’ under Harrow Borough Council proposals say opposition group

Harrow Council street cleaning team at work

Harrow Council street cleaning team at work

First published in News
Last updated
Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

  Opposition councillors say the borough will become a dirtier place to live following the announcement of cuts to services.

Harrow Borough Council’s Labour administration has announced it will cut the street cleaning budget by £172,000.

The cut will mean crews will clean the borough’s streets in a ‘zonal’ system, which will mean some roads will get cleaned more than others.

Under the previous Tory administration all streets were cleaned on a regular basis.

Leader of the Conservative group Councillor Susan Hall said: “Whenever Labour look to make cuts they always seem to go after services like street cleaning first, against the wishes of Harrow residents and despite knowing it will make Harrow dirtier.

“It’s also so disappointing after the extra investment the Conservatives put into street cleaning had started turning things around.

“Cllr Varsha Parmar assured me at cabinet that all residents affected by this cut will be written to, so it will be interesting to see if that happens or not.”

During the Conservatives period in charge of the authority last year, £500,000 was invested in street cleaning and park maintenance, including money for teams to blitz litter hotspots.

In February this year the Harrow Times reported that complaints to the council over street cleanliness had dropped by 27 per cent.

Cabinet member for environment Cllr Varsha Parmar said: “The proposal on zonal cleaning is something the council is going to take views on – at the moment it is a proposal for consultation.

“The important point is that we have teams who can go to specific areas whenever needed so we are not locked into a rigid pattern of street cleaning.

“Some spots will be cleaned more frequently and we are also proposing to introduce a new working pattern and improved coverage across key times of the operation.

“It is absolute nonsense to suggest there is any let up in our commitment to clean streets. While it is true we have to save money from the environmental budget – as we do across the whole of the council – we are confident this can be done without jeopardising the appearance of our streets.”

Comments (20)

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12:54pm Wed 23 Jul 14

JC757568 says...

Here we go again, street cleaning getting cut to fund pet projects for the new council, such as a new chief executive!!

Has nobody from Harrow Council seen the rubbish and filth on the streets of South Harrow?

The council should remember they are here to serve the residents of the London Borough of Harrow and stop turning this borough into a slum.
Here we go again, street cleaning getting cut to fund pet projects for the new council, such as a new chief executive!! Has nobody from Harrow Council seen the rubbish and filth on the streets of South Harrow? The council should remember they are here to serve the residents of the London Borough of Harrow and stop turning this borough into a slum. JC757568
  • Score: 4

2:52pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Skhan13 says...

You voted the moron's back in so don't complain now. That 172K will be going on the new pointless CEO. Back to dirty streets, beds in sheds and more crime. Well done to all the foolish people that voted Labour back in.
You voted the moron's back in so don't complain now. That 172K will be going on the new pointless CEO. Back to dirty streets, beds in sheds and more crime. Well done to all the foolish people that voted Labour back in. Skhan13
  • Score: 6

6:26pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Elliegirl says...

No news there!!! South Harrow is always dirty no matter how much cleaning you do. The council should concentrate on the shop keepers who dump their rubbish all over the place instead of getting the poor street sweepers you see having to clear it up . And then the van picking it all up at a cost . If they tightened up on this maybe we would have more time to spend on doing other cleaning . Instead they seem to constantly clean up after these people. Thought we had officers to deal with this sort of stuff. Why do we see the same shops with loads of rubbish dumped outside and nothing done.
No news there!!! South Harrow is always dirty no matter how much cleaning you do. The council should concentrate on the shop keepers who dump their rubbish all over the place instead of getting the poor street sweepers you see having to clear it up . And then the van picking it all up at a cost . If they tightened up on this maybe we would have more time to spend on doing other cleaning . Instead they seem to constantly clean up after these people. Thought we had officers to deal with this sort of stuff. Why do we see the same shops with loads of rubbish dumped outside and nothing done. Elliegirl
  • Score: 3

8:14pm Wed 23 Jul 14

JC757568 says...

I never voted for this lot, they have history of channelling money from front line services into useless causes, watch the number of liaison officers, support groups, counsellors increase under this administration. Get ready for three weekly bin collections!!!!!
I never voted for this lot, they have history of channelling money from front line services into useless causes, watch the number of liaison officers, support groups, counsellors increase under this administration. Get ready for three weekly bin collections!!!!! JC757568
  • Score: 3

10:10pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Yogesh says...

This is not a surprise. It was expected. Now the front line service cuts are in place, next will the a huge hike in council tax. This is under consultation.

Here we go we questions once again. Will the current Administration share the figures of the consultation with the residers? How much will be the increase? How and on what will the increase be spent? What value will the residents receive from the increase? Apart from front line service cuts, what other cuts are in the plan?

I am speculating the council tax rise, but it will happen, there is no option. The consultation is just an exercise. Wonder how much it will cost?

Should be wait for the responses, I suppose not, we have received any from the previous questions.
This is not a surprise. It was expected. Now the front line service cuts are in place, next will the a huge hike in council tax. This is under consultation. Here we go we questions once again. Will the current Administration share the figures of the consultation with the residers? How much will be the increase? How and on what will the increase be spent? What value will the residents receive from the increase? Apart from front line service cuts, what other cuts are in the plan? I am speculating the council tax rise, but it will happen, there is no option. The consultation is just an exercise. Wonder how much it will cost? Should be wait for the responses, I suppose not, we have received any from the previous questions. Yogesh
  • Score: 3

8:21am Thu 24 Jul 14

blueharrow says...

you couldn't make it up. labour in power for a matter of weeks and already cutrting services that benefit the whole of Harrow. uncanny that the £172k being cut will probably pay the new CEOs salary and bonus!
you couldn't make it up. labour in power for a matter of weeks and already cutrting services that benefit the whole of Harrow. uncanny that the £172k being cut will probably pay the new CEOs salary and bonus! blueharrow
  • Score: 4

8:49am Thu 24 Jul 14

Johndoe79 says...

Let's not forget that when the conservatives came into power they also made lots of unpopular cuts (dog waste bins and not wanting to close parks at night) but we the residents made our objections clear and these ridiculous moves were overturned. The residents of Harrow need to voice their opposition about the cuts to street cleaning and have this bad decision overturned.

Rather than make this debate about Tories vs Labour let's focus on how we can make this a cleaner borough. Perhaps if the council asked residents what they think needs to be done in the borough then better decisions can be made. With technology is is very easy to write, text or fill in online surveys about what residents want. Why our council does not do this is beyond me?

There are lots of little things that can be done in the borough to improve our streets like more litter bins, improved signage (in different languages), volunteer days when residents can join in to help keep our streets clean and perhaps more engagement with our local schools to encourage them to help keep up the message of a cleaner borough.

Harrow has the potential to be a fantastic borough but our council needs to make sensible decisions about our needs. Cutting street cleaning is not one of them.
Let's not forget that when the conservatives came into power they also made lots of unpopular cuts (dog waste bins and not wanting to close parks at night) but we the residents made our objections clear and these ridiculous moves were overturned. The residents of Harrow need to voice their opposition about the cuts to street cleaning and have this bad decision overturned. Rather than make this debate about Tories vs Labour let's focus on how we can make this a cleaner borough. Perhaps if the council asked residents what they think needs to be done in the borough then better decisions can be made. With technology is is very easy to write, text or fill in online surveys about what residents want. Why our council does not do this is beyond me? There are lots of little things that can be done in the borough to improve our streets like more litter bins, improved signage (in different languages), volunteer days when residents can join in to help keep our streets clean and perhaps more engagement with our local schools to encourage them to help keep up the message of a cleaner borough. Harrow has the potential to be a fantastic borough but our council needs to make sensible decisions about our needs. Cutting street cleaning is not one of them. Johndoe79
  • Score: -6

3:19pm Thu 24 Jul 14

jackdaw says...

Yes, the streets will become dirtier because I have been trying to contact the Civic Centre by telephone on 020 8901 2666 to report a fly tip. I waited nine minutes on the telephone this morning before giving up. This afternoon I waited fifteen minutes a total of 24 minutes altogether will now be charged on my telephone bill and neither time was the telephone answered. All I heard was mind-numbing music.


I could of course go and visit the Civic Centre and probably wait in another queue. It makes you want to despair. I could be spending my whole day running around after an inefficiently run council. Am I not doing the council a favour by reporting the fly tip?

Instead of engaging a new chief executive the money could be used to employ more people to answer the telephones. And yes, to add insult to injury they probably will put our council tax up to pay for the non-existent customer service.
Yes, the streets will become dirtier because I have been trying to contact the Civic Centre by telephone on 020 8901 2666 to report a fly tip. I waited nine minutes on the telephone this morning before giving up. This afternoon I waited fifteen minutes a total of 24 minutes altogether will now be charged on my telephone bill and neither time was the telephone answered. All I heard was mind-numbing music. I could of course go and visit the Civic Centre and probably wait in another queue. It makes you want to despair. I could be spending my whole day running around after an inefficiently run council. Am I not doing the council a favour by reporting the fly tip? Instead of engaging a new chief executive the money could be used to employ more people to answer the telephones. And yes, to add insult to injury they probably will put our council tax up to pay for the non-existent customer service. jackdaw
  • Score: 1

3:38pm Thu 24 Jul 14

jackdaw says...

Of course if Harrow residents and workers can never make contact with customer services the administration can happily say there have been no complaints.
They will then record satisfaction levels as rising and claim they will be justified in putting up the Council tax.
Of course if Harrow residents and workers can never make contact with customer services the administration can happily say there have been no complaints. They will then record satisfaction levels as rising and claim they will be justified in putting up the Council tax. jackdaw
  • Score: 3

4:35pm Thu 24 Jul 14

diligaf says...

Why doesnt our caped crusader PC Hall go out with her recycling bin and have a go
Why doesnt our caped crusader PC Hall go out with her recycling bin and have a go diligaf
  • Score: 3

5:17pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Cllr Susan Hall says...

Diligaf, I have never been referred to as a caped crusader before but I will take it as a compliment however it was meant. I wish I could be a hero caped crusader now, sadly we Conservatives did not win the local elections so very predictably money will be taken out of street cleaning and no doubt as is the norm with Labour our Council Tax will rise. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it we do not have the votes. We Conservatives will continue to speak up for the residents but we have little or no control when in opposition-all of this even more irritating for our residents as we have a larger share of the total votes.

Johndoe79 It was Labour just over a year ago that wanted to remove the dog bins and stop locking the parks, it was Independent Labour and the Tories that reversed that decision
Diligaf, I have never been referred to as a caped crusader before but I will take it as a compliment however it was meant. I wish I could be a hero caped crusader now, sadly we Conservatives did not win the local elections so very predictably money will be taken out of street cleaning and no doubt as is the norm with Labour our Council Tax will rise. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it we do not have the votes. We Conservatives will continue to speak up for the residents but we have little or no control when in opposition-all of this even more irritating for our residents as we have a larger share of the total votes. Johndoe79 It was Labour just over a year ago that wanted to remove the dog bins and stop locking the parks, it was Independent Labour and the Tories that reversed that decision Cllr Susan Hall
  • Score: 3

9:28pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Harroweveryman says...

Jackdaw since you clearly have access to a computer you should report fly tipping on-line.
Jackdaw since you clearly have access to a computer you should report fly tipping on-line. Harroweveryman
  • Score: -1

10:52am Fri 25 Jul 14

jackdaw says...

Harroweveryman wrote:
Jackdaw since you clearly have access to a computer you should report fly tipping on-line.
Thank you, Everyman, I do report via the computer usually but on this occasion I wished to report as a telephone conversation.

However, not everyone has access to a computer and this is a service that should be provided by the Council. Has this service been cut or reduced by the administration? I have not heard that the council workers were on strike on the 24th (yesterday) so I am puzzled as to why telephones were not being answered.
[quote][p][bold]Harroweveryman[/bold] wrote: Jackdaw since you clearly have access to a computer you should report fly tipping on-line.[/p][/quote]Thank you, Everyman, I do report via the computer usually but on this occasion I wished to report as a telephone conversation. However, not everyone has access to a computer and this is a service that should be provided by the Council. Has this service been cut or reduced by the administration? I have not heard that the council workers were on strike on the 24th (yesterday) so I am puzzled as to why telephones were not being answered. jackdaw
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Harrow Dude says...

The odd thing is we still have the same amount of street cleaning staff and the same management but for some reason bags of rubbish have been left on the streets for a week on main routes and bins have been overflowing again on main routes.

A suspicious person might think that the Susie supporting managers have made a conscious effort to leave rubbish on the streets to give the impression that since Susie was ousted its all gone down hill.

They wouldn't, would they?
The odd thing is we still have the same amount of street cleaning staff and the same management but for some reason bags of rubbish have been left on the streets for a week on main routes and bins have been overflowing again on main routes. A suspicious person might think that the Susie supporting managers have made a conscious effort to leave rubbish on the streets to give the impression that since Susie was ousted its all gone down hill. They wouldn't, would they? Harrow Dude
  • Score: -6

3:39pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Cllr Susan Hall says...

Harrow Dude, what a ridiculous comment, of course they would not. Our front line staff work very hard and I was told at Council last night that we will lose more of them in the next round of cuts - disgraceful. Our residents and tax payers want their roads cleaned far more than they want money spent of an expensive Chief Executive post. If the roads are not cleaned,dont blame our hard working frontline staff blame the Labour politicians for removing funding for them
Harrow Dude, what a ridiculous comment, of course they would not. Our front line staff work very hard and I was told at Council last night that we will lose more of them in the next round of cuts - disgraceful. Our residents and tax payers want their roads cleaned far more than they want money spent of an expensive Chief Executive post. If the roads are not cleaned,dont blame our hard working frontline staff blame the Labour politicians for removing funding for them Cllr Susan Hall
  • Score: 3

4:27pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Harrow Dude says...

Susie you are excluding one salient point. At this moment in time we still have the same amount of staff and we also have the same management as we did prior to the 22nd May 2014, but for some reason bags been left on the streets and the bins are overflowing.

Are you really going to blame this on Dave Perry?
For the record I am not blaming the hard working frontline staff, who by the way deserve a decent wage, a suspicious person on the other hand might blame your friends in management.

Regarding the proposed loss of staff, will this be from the 30+ agency staff you brought in to supplement the depleted numbers on the streets to achieve your big clean up or will it be from full time staff?
Susie you are excluding one salient point. At this moment in time we still have the same amount of staff and we also have the same management as we did prior to the 22nd May 2014, but for some reason bags been left on the streets and the bins are overflowing. Are you really going to blame this on Dave Perry? For the record I am not blaming the hard working frontline staff, who by the way deserve a decent wage, a suspicious person on the other hand might blame your friends in management. Regarding the proposed loss of staff, will this be from the 30+ agency staff you brought in to supplement the depleted numbers on the streets to achieve your big clean up or will it be from full time staff? Harrow Dude
  • Score: -5

5:35pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Cllr Susan Hall says...

Why ask me the question, ask Dave Perry. He works as Council Leader on a Tuesday and Thursday I believe so try and catch him on one of those two days.
Why ask me the question, ask Dave Perry. He works as Council Leader on a Tuesday and Thursday I believe so try and catch him on one of those two days. Cllr Susan Hall
  • Score: 5

6:53pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Harrow Dude says...

I'm asking you because you said "Our front line staff work very hard and I was told at Council last night that we will lose more of them in the next round of cuts"
Yet again your silence speaks volumes.

Susie you really need to stop with the cheap shots it is making you look bitter and somewhat twisted. Just because you are fortunate enough to be able to employ staff to run your salon for you does not make you a better leader. You never did answer that question about whether or not you pay the London living wage. Perhaps you can tell us who you use to empty the bins at your business is it Harrow Council?

I understand that the front is kept very clean no bags left outside your shop for a week or overflowing bins, eh Susie?
I'm asking you because you said "Our front line staff work very hard and I was told at Council last night that we will lose more of them in the next round of cuts" Yet again your silence speaks volumes. Susie you really need to stop with the cheap shots it is making you look bitter and somewhat twisted. Just because you are fortunate enough to be able to employ staff to run your salon for you does not make you a better leader. You never did answer that question about whether or not you pay the London living wage. Perhaps you can tell us who you use to empty the bins at your business is it Harrow Council? I understand that the front is kept very clean no bags left outside your shop for a week or overflowing bins, eh Susie? Harrow Dude
  • Score: -6

7:05pm Sun 27 Jul 14

diligaf says...

Is it me or are you as sick to death of seeing cllrs slagging each other of on here week after week after week, its high time cllrs realised who voted them in and who they are supposed to be serving, no matter whos in the driving seat they will all do as they please with little or no regard for us mere peasants ....
Is it me or are you as sick to death of seeing cllrs slagging each other of on here week after week after week, its high time cllrs realised who voted them in and who they are supposed to be serving, no matter whos in the driving seat they will all do as they please with little or no regard for us mere peasants .... diligaf
  • Score: -2

3:30pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Can't believe Harrow's now being subjected to LESS CLEANING after a welcome spell of clean,environmentall
y friendly streets.It's unthinkable and counter-productive.

Surely ALL our Councillors must have learned by now that neglected looking,unkempt areas attract the CRIMINAL FRATERNITY like bees to honey.This has been proven beyond doubt.

All this neglect will impact negatively on the excellent policing which has been achieved after a year of concentrated partnership.How irresponsible!

In a bid to stamp the Council with their "own brand" would our Councillors stop playing with the feelings and needs of the public of Harrow.We don't want to live as if we are a third world country. Harrovians deserve better.

Whatever the politics of our Council,us ordinary folk simply want a decent,neat-looking borough which automatically attracts visitors who help boost our economy,enjoy working here and also one which local citizens feel proud to live in.

This is not simply about the aesthetic appeal of Harrow,but also about health,well being and safety--keeping criminals at bay.

Please let us stop having a go at each other and save our energy to clean up any mess which spoils our surroundings.
Can't believe Harrow's now being subjected to LESS CLEANING after a welcome spell of clean,environmentall y friendly streets.It's unthinkable and counter-productive. Surely ALL our Councillors must have learned by now that neglected looking,unkempt areas attract the CRIMINAL FRATERNITY like bees to honey.This has been proven beyond doubt. All this neglect will impact negatively on the excellent policing which has been achieved after a year of concentrated partnership.How irresponsible! In a bid to stamp the Council with their "own brand" would our Councillors stop playing with the feelings and needs of the public of Harrow.We don't want to live as if we are a third world country. Harrovians deserve better. Whatever the politics of our Council,us ordinary folk simply want a decent,neat-looking borough which automatically attracts visitors who help boost our economy,enjoy working here and also one which local citizens feel proud to live in. This is not simply about the aesthetic appeal of Harrow,but also about health,well being and safety--keeping criminals at bay. Please let us stop having a go at each other and save our energy to clean up any mess which spoils our surroundings. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: 0

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