Harrow Conservatives have expressed concerns over cross-party work on regeneration after “numerous” meetings were cancelled.

The opposition group questioned Harrow Council leader Cllr Graham Henson about the administration’s willingness to involve all parties when it comes to major developments.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, deputy leader of Harrow Conservatives, said the fact that three meetings to discuss the subject had been cancelled suggested this was not always the case.

She said Cllr Henson and financial lead member Cllr Adam Swersky were “keen” and “engaged” when it came to sharing ideas.

But she questioned the commitment of deputy leader Cllr Keith Ferry, something she viewed as particularly concerning given his responsibility for planning and regeneration at the council.

The council has three upcoming regeneration projects and the Conservatives had suggested working on a fourth, but this was held back for future discussion.

At a cabinet meeting, Cllr Ashton told Cllr Henson: “We really do need to take this seriously. We’re going into what is essentially a joint venture with the private sector and we would like to be involved in the decision-making, though, of course, the final decision lies with the administration.

“Unfortunately, the one meeting we have had did not produce very much. You rejected the one thing we suggested, so we haven’t started off very well.

“I do believe that you, as an individual, would like to engage with us, but I don’t believe that your portfolio holder for regeneration has any intention of doing so.”

Cllr Henson defended his deputy leader, pointing out that he frequently gathers opinions from various groups to help shape development policies.

He said: “You mention Keith, but he meets loads of people on a regular basis to discuss these things – I’m always trying to get into his diary as he’s always busy.”

He added that current cross-party conversations are “better than they have been in the past” – something Cllr Ashton agreed on – but that there is no point meeting up for the sake of it.

“We genuinely would like to work cross-party and I’ve seen this take place on a number of council committees,” he said.

“I hope you do get involved in cross-party meetings on the strategic partnership to make sure we’re moving in the right direction – we might have a difference of opinion, and we can discuss that.

“But what I will not do is have a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting – we’re all incredibly busy and we haven’t got time for that.

“If the information is not available at the time, then we have to postpone the meeting.”