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Residents are angry about Harrow Borough Council's plans to cut street cleaning budget
Residents are angry at proposals to cut the street cleaning budget because “streets are already grim”.
Harrow Borough Council is planning a £116,000 reduction in non-town centre sweepers and is cutting £82,000 from the budget to clean residential streets.
The budget, which is set to be approved later this month, will reduce the residential cleaning cycle from once every four weeks to once every six weeks.
Dhiraglal Chauhan, of Argyle Road, North Harrow, said: “The council is trying to cut something every day while putting the rates up which is not fair.
“They don’t care and I’m not happy at all.”
Many people have complained the streets are already a mess and fear the situation will only get worse.
Anna Kotlicka, of Twyford Road, West Harrow, said: “The streets are already really grim. I’m disgusted to walk in certain areas.”
Helen Eaton, of West Street, Harrow-on-the-Hill, said she had noticed a lot more rubbish on the streets recently.
She said: “What’s it going to be like in the summer when it’s hot?
“It will attract rats and foxes.
“And when it is snowing you will get all this stuff mixing up with it.”
However, some residents feel the saving are necessary and agree with the council’s budget.
Car mechanic, Mark Long, who lives on Argyle Road, said: “There is no money and it has to be done.
“The cleaning is one of the least important areas in this financial climate we have to take our punishment and make cut backs.”
Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for environment and community safety, Councillor Phillip O’Dell, said the cuts will make the council leaner, fitter and increase efficiency.
He added: “The council is facing an unprecedented financial situation not of our making.
“We are constantly looking at ways to modernise and transform the council during this very difficult financial climate so we not only improve services but deliver savings.”
However, Cllr Susan Hall, leader of Harrow’s Conservative group, claims that the council is keeping residents in the dark about the cuts for as long as possible.
She said: “The budget gives no details on what specific public realm services would be cut, and portfolio holder Cllr Phillip O’Dell refused to tell me when I asked him at cabinet in December.
Cllr Hall added: “In their manifesto they said ‘look around Harrow… shabby streets, not swept properly… neglect everywhere’, and they said this when our street cleaning had never been better – when many streets were cleaned every three weeks.
“Now they’re going to slash and burn at the budget which funds the very cleaning they claim to value so much.”