At the October Harrow Council Cabinet meeting, Harrow Conservatives continued to question and scrutinise the Labour administrations poorly implemented Street Space schemes. Since the September Cabinet most of the schemes have now been implemented and have been in place for several weeks. In that time Harrow Conservatives have received many complaints from residents about the dire effect of these schemes and the lack of meaningful consultation before their implementation.
Leader of Harrow Conservatives, Cllr Paul Osborn, called on the Labour Council to adopt a more flexible approach to the loss of parking spaces outside several shopping parades in the borough. Cllr Osborn told the Labour leadership to drop their ‘all or nothing’ approach to these schemes, and for the Council to work constructively with businesses to ensure safety of residents as well as allowing good access for customers to shops.
Cllr Anjana Patel, Harrow Conservatives’ spokesperson for Environment, questioned the safety of Harrow Council’s Street Space schemes. There has been reports from across London of emergency services being disrupted due to the road closures and increased congestion caused by Street Space schemes. She asked the Labour Cabinet member responsible, Cllr Varsha Parmar, how many emergency service vehicles will have to be delayed before the Labour leadership reconsiders its flawed plans. Most shockingly, it became obvious that Cllr Parmar was completely unaware of an ambulance being forced onto the wrong side of Honeypot Lane, due to congestion created by the new cycle lane. This is despite the incident being featured in the Harrow Times!
Cllr Pritesh Patel questioned the Labour Cabinet about the effect of the new cycle lane in the Uxbridge Road. He stated that the scheme has been shown to be counterproductive as it has increased traffic jams and resulted in more cars idling. Idling engines will worsen Harrow’s air quality.
Cllr Marilyn Ashton, Harrow Conservatives’ Planning spokesperson, questioned why the Labour Cabinet member for Planning had chosen to ignore the advice of professional planning officers both at Harrow Council and the GLA in regard to the planning application for The Hive football stadium. The proposal, which would see major development of the site, was recommended for refusal with 8 separate reasons by the Council’s professional planning officers. It seems strange that Labour Councillors have chosen to disregard in every respect adopted Planning Policy.