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Your Harrow, your stories December 2011

Our Harrow Heroes


Winner Eugene Callinan tells us why he loves volunteering


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Your Harrow, your stories



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Shailesh Kumar Patel: “I took this picture early one morning in Central Harrow where I live. The trees just looked so lovely against the colour of the sky.”


If you have a favourite view of Harrow you would like to share, send us your pictures and a photograph of yourself. Every edition we will publish the best one on this page or on our website. Email


If you have any story ideas, please email the editor at For editorial and advertising enquiries contact: Editor Angela Hart / 020 8424 7504


Harrow’s hot topics


Thank you to our Harrow’s Heroes

Design Nic Marucci


Meet our best recycling family


Your letters page

Please recycle this copy of Harrow People when you have finished or pass it to a friend.


Harrow Skills Centre training for the future


What’s happening in your area


Your views have made a difference


History: Katie skips back to town

Photography Dermot Carlin

Harrow People is published six times a year by Harrow Council as part of keeping local people informed. It is distributed to 100,000 homes, businesses and all local libraries. Comments, products and services published do not necessarily carry the council’s endorsement.

Your Harrow, your stories


Leader of the Council, Cllr Bill Stephenson

hot topics

Looking back on 2011, has once again confirmed my belief that Harrow is a real community with a very real community spirit. The recent Harrow’s Heroes awards, featured in this edition, confirmed this. We celebrated the best of the borough’s volunteers. It is humbling to see how so many residents go out of their way to help others and improve their communities. Another example is in North Harrow, where traders are working with the council to revitalise the area and this is supported by local residents. I attended the North Harrow late night shopping event and there was a real buzz and a feeling of togetherness. Our traders need your support and there is no better time to show it than over the Christmas period. Throughout 2011 we have been listening and talking to residents through Let’s Talk, asking for your views on our services. With your help we have made tough decisions on things like adult social care, and got feedback on your views on children’s centres, libraries, parks and more. Thank you to all those who have taken part. We will also be consulting with you throughout 2012. We have more difficult decisions to make about the future of the council and the services we provide. We are now beginning to put together our budget for 2012/13 and beyond, and once again we want to hear your views. Next year will be dominated by two major events, namely, the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond jubilee celebrations. We will be working hard to give everyone in Harrow the chance to be part of them. Finally, I’d like to wish everyone in Harrow seasonal greetings, and a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Pupils from Kenmore Park School

Gearing up for the Olympics Schoolchildren from Harrow got ready for the Olympics by collecting the 1948 London Olympic torch as part of a London-wide relay to promote walking to school. Ninety pupils from Kenmore Park Infants School in Kenton walked to Chandos Recreation Ground where they met the Mayor of Harrow and collected the historic torch from schoolchildren from

The council will be helping people back into work by holding job fairs on 6th December and 18th January to promote local job vacancies and training programmes. More than 550 residents flocked to Harrow Council’s last job fair held at the Civic Centre last month.

Other companies, including McVities, Harrison Catering, Hazels Kitchen, Your Harrow, your stories

The torch later travelled to Cannon Lane Junior School in Pinner where pupils walked to nearby Roxbourne Park for another event with the Mayor, Cllr Mrinal Choudhury, before the torch was handed over to pupils from Hillingdon.

Thumbs up from employers and jobseekers after Harrow job fair

Thirty exhibitors, including major retailers Debenhams, Wilkinsons and Wickes, were at the Harrow Xcite Employment Fair held as part of the council’s commitment to supporting the community and local businesses.


Barnet. The pupils enjoyed a morning of Olympic sports and challenges before walking the torch back to their school.

Care UK, Gentle Care, and Caremark attended, as well as careers advisors from Connexions and Harrow and Stanmore College.

For more information on the future job fairs call the Xcite team on 020 8416 8959.

Our traders need your support and there is no better time to show it than over the Christmas period. Cllr Bill Stephenson

Lights bloom in Town Centre You may have seen the eye-catching art installation of 21 giant tulips in St Ann’s Road to celebrate the Hindu festival of light. It was the first in a series of activities and events to promote the Town Centre and attract shoppers from Harrow and beyond during the festive period and into the New Year. The installation returns this month for the Christmas shopping period with the tulips replaced by giant snowdrops and lotus flowers alongside the traditional Christmas tree lights, switched on this year by X Factor’s Johnny Robinson. Also look out for an evening of street theatre on St Ann’s Road on December 15th where the council will be handing out thousands of goodie bags as part of the its campaign to promote shopping local.

North Harrow comes alive Traders in North Harrow will celebrate Christmas with an evening of street entertainment, mulled wine and mince pies to encourage residents to shop in the area. Local shoppers can take advantage of special offers and discounts from businesses on the night, which will be held on December 10th between 3pm and 5pm. Hundreds of residents packed the streets of North Harrow at a similar event in October, when traders staged late night shopping and entertainment to promote their shopping district. There was music and dance from local schools and community groups and free giveaways from businesses - many traders donated a chunk of their profits from the night to St Luke’s Hospice. The North Harrow Traders Association laid on the fun evening of entertainment, called ‘The Event’, to show local residents what the area has to offer and encourage the community to support local businesses. The Mayor of Harrow,

Cllr Mrinal Choudhury was guest of honour and joined in the festivities. ‘The Event’ was supported by Harrow Council and the North Harrow town centre manager. The council is revitalising the area with £360,000 it won from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund. The money has already paid for the festive lights which were also turned on at ‘The Event’.

Harrow Talking Newspaper If you know someone who might like to receive an audio version of Harrow People, contact HTN on 020 8907 9677.

Your Harrow, your stories


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REDDIFORD SCHOOL An independent day school for boys and girls aged 2 years 9 months to 11


• Academic excellence in a warm caring environment • Wrap around care available • Regular scholarships gained to leading independent secondary schools • Children prepared for grammar/independent school entrance in English, Maths, VR & NVR • Situated in the heart of Pinner, close to tube & bus links • Scholarships available for exceptional children For a prospectus, or to visit the school at work, please contact: The Admissions Secretary, Mrs Di Murro, Reddiford School, 38 Cecil Park, Pinner, Middx HA5 5HH Tel 020 8866 0660 Fax: 020 8866 4847 Registered Charity Number: 312641

guest editor

uld like If you wo editor uest to be a g Harrow xt in the ne ontact le Peop , c @ art angela.h .g w harro

Lorraine McBride

Lorraine with niece Jasmine

Adopt a pet Four years ago this month, I adopted my cat Charlie from the Mayhew Animal Home and boy is he adorable. With the recession, animal shelters are overflowing with unwanted pets, so please don’t buy your pets but make an appointment at the Mayhew to meet the residents. Be warned. It takes a stony heart to resist a four-legged fur bag. But if you’re unable to adopt, then you can always donate your cast-off vintage clothes to the PDSA shop, 30 College Road, Harrow Weald, to help sickly pets that need vets.

We are the Champions! Hi there… I’ve lived in Harrow stretching right back to primary school and never been tempted to move away. I am proud to be a one of 1,000 Neighbourhood Champions in Harrow that help keep streets safer, cleaner and peaceful. Two years ago after a distressing robbery, Harrow’s Safer Neighbourhood team got in touch to ask if I was willing to sign up as a Neighbourhood Champion. Attending a session along with my fellow citizens, we were armed with scores of window stickers to give to our neighbours. I sometimes knock on doors to introduce myself. This might come across like nosey Norris from TV’s Corrie but to be honest, you only get the

odd person who doesn’t appreciate the contact. Most neighbours are grateful that you’re willing to do something. Over in Ruislip, I learned that crime was drastically cut following a drive to install gated alleyways. Inspired by this, I am lobbying my local councillors to chip in towards the installation of an alley gate in a local crime hotspot but in recessionary times, this may not be straightforward. To find out more on how to become a Neighbourhood Champion see page 13.

Go to for more information on adopting a pet.

Lorraine recommends Back in September, I attended Radio Northwick Park’s 40th anniversary meal at Harrow Arts Centre, which was a trip down memory lane. Walk in and you stroll past an impressive array of images celebrating entertainers past and present who’ve graced their stage and my visit was a reminder that we take this gem for granted. Too often, if we don’t use it we lose it, so let’s support HAC. Go to for details of upcoming shows and events. Harrow also has great places to eat out and I love nothing better at the weekend than going to St George’s cinema preceded by Sunday lunch in Prezzo. My other passion is rediscovering Harrow’s green spaces and taking my baby niece Jasmine for a walk in West Harrow recreation ground. Your Harrow, your stories


‘Recycling is our way of life’ Did you know that every month in the UK, households throw away £50 worth of food that could have been eaten? Harrow People talked to one local family about how we can all reduce or recycle our food waste. “Being a good recycler is about making it simple,” says Beverley Mckeon from Canons Park. “The more effort you have to put in, the less likely you are to do it.

throw our rubbish into holes in the ground. Everyone can do their bit at home to protect the environment and make sure less of our council tax is spent on getting rid of rubbish.”

Along with her husband David, 16-year-old Daniel and 10-year-old Lauren, she makes separating and recycling their waste part of their everyday routine.

Daniel has been passionate about recycling from an early age and is a member of Agenda21, the borough’s waste and recycling group. He wrote to former Prime Minister Tony Blair on the issue and earned a green Blue Peter badge for his efforts. He said: “All of our

“Recycling is important as space is running out in landfill and with things like landfill tax, it’s getting more expensive to 8

Your Harrow, your stories

Being a good recycler is about making it simple, the more effort you have to put in, the less likely you are to do it

The McKeon family’s top four tips


topped If we all s d that o wasting fo en eaten, e be could hav ve the same a it would h tal impact as n e environm in 4 cars off taking 1 ads. UK ro


Convenience is key – make recycling part of your daily routine, with containers and caddies close to hand


 Ditch the BOGOFs and shop more often – say no to buy-one-get-one-free deals if you are not going to use all the food, and buy fruit and veg twice a week so it stays fresh and you are less likely to throw any away


 Order your fridge – make sure food nearing its best before date is at the front of the fridge so it is used in time

traditional Pudding is a er t ut B nd a over or Bread o use up left t y a w y st a and t bread slightly stale Serves 8

ing r Pudd

tte nd Bu a d a Bre

for topping

Instructions 180oC your oven to and place 1. Pre-heat into triangles t cu d, ea br e th er tt Bu 2.  roof dish uit in an oven-p other dried fr t the raisins or er ov vanilla extrac r, ga su 3. Sprinkle lk, mi , gs eg e th er th 4. Mix toge ard make a cust allow to soak and salt to e bread and th er ov d ar st cu e th ur 5. Po d bake nutes er the top an for 20-30 mi tra sugar ov ex e tl lit a 6. Sprinkle nutes for 25-30 mi

efoodhatewa Go to www.lov ideas pe for more reci

food waste goes in our brown bin. In fact, our green bin is almost empty except for plastic wrappers or polystyrene. “We keep a food waste caddy outside the back door and a plastic beaker on the side in the kitchen for tea bags and things like apple cores. Once a day it all gets tipped into the brown wheelie bin.” Beverley added: “Cutting down on food waste is about changing your shopping habits too. We buy fresh fruit and veg a couple of times a week rather than just

To find out more about waste and recycling collections visit

Xmas collection calendar

d Ingredients y stale brea ver or slightl er tt • loaf of lefto ed bu lted or unsalt • 50g lightly sa ied fruit dr r he ot or 100g raisins

• • 3 large eggs • 650g milk r plus extra • 50g any suga nilla extract • 1/2 tsp. va • Pinch of salt


 Portion control – don’t cook or prepare more than you need

once, so we never have to throw it away because it goes off. “The food goes in order in the fridge with the oldest items at the front so we know what needs using up. It means less food, and importantly less of the money we spend on food, ends up in our bin.” There are more top tips on www. Why not share yours with other residents on our Facebook page www.facebook. com/lbharrow.

Collection of the Brown bin is suspended during the Christmas week, however, your scheduled Blue or Green bin will be collected during this time. Collections of the Brown bin will resume in the New Year week as per the dates indicated. Usual collection day

Christmas New Year week week


Wed 28 Dec

Tues 3 Jan


Wed 28 Dec

Wed 4 Jan


Thur 29 Dec

Thur 5 Jan


Thur 29 Dec or Fri 30 Dec

Fri 6 Jan


Fri 30 Dec

Sat 7 Jan

You can download your copy of the Christmas collection calendar and your schedule for 2012 from our website. Visit Your Harrow, your stories


An independent day school for girls aged 3–18

Whole School at Work Morning Monday 5 March, 10.30am–12.00noon For an individual tour of the school, please contact the Admissions Secretary on 020 8868 2346 or email

‘Pupils’ achievement is excellent’ 020 8868 2346 Heathfield School, Beaulieu Drive, Pinner HA5 1NB Daily coaches from Ealing, Perivale, Greenford, Northolt, Harrow, Kenton, Wembley and Kingsbury

Charity No. 306983

Independent Schools Inspectorate Report 2010

Jay Warner

‘This course will give me a better life’ Harrow Council is working closely with Harrow College and its Skills Centre, which offers vocational training in carpentry, plumbing, building and electrical installation. Two young students tell us more… “I found out about the course through all my friends. They were telling me about what they were doing in the electrical part of the college and I thought it sounded interesting,” said Jay Warner, 16, from Stanmore. “If I wasn’t doing a course like this I’d probably be sitting at home getting into trouble, or something along those lines.

“If I wasn’t doing a course like this I’d just be sitting at home watching TV, playing games. “It’s given me a big boost since I’ve been here, so if once I join the Army and I get recruited and they give me different types of jobs, I’ll go straight in because everything I’ve learned at the skills centre has helped me.”

“It’s a positive thing to do because it helps me learn, it gets me going, it keeps me out of trouble and it puts me on the right tracks towards a better life really.” Joseph Dina Lopes Valadao, 17, who is planning to join the army, said: “When I was in high school I was always a bit of a handyman. I’d just go home and make things, like tables. My teacher suggested I join the Harrow Skills Centre to learn construction and plumbing so I decided to give it a try. I have now managed to get a BTEC so it was a good decision.

Harrow  Skills Centre Harrow Skills Centre courses are aimed at giving youngsters the qualifications, skills and confidence they need to get their careers up and running. Harrow now has an impressive record when it comes to getting young people into training and employment. The borough has the lowest figures in London for 16 -18 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET), with just 128 known cases.

Joseph Dina Lopes Val


To find out more information on the range of courses available at Harrow Skills Centre contact 020 8420 8810. Your Harrow, your stories



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‘I enjoy the sense of community’ Blaise Clough is 17 years old and has been a Neighbourhood Champion since the start of the scheme; he is currently at college studying for his AS Levels. “I think it was an excellent idea for the scheme to get people who live in the street to take responsibility for looking after it. My street is pretty good as we’ve only had a few incidences with things like broken street lights. However, everyone I have spoken to really values the reassurance of knowing that there is someone there that they go to who has a line into the council, and can get something done.

‘I care about where I live’ The Neighbourhood Champions scheme launched two years ago and has continued to go from strength to strength with more than 1,000 Champions on board. We spoke to two of our recruits Dianne Larrington and Blaise Clough. Dianne says: “I became a Neighbourhood Champion just over a year ago. What is great about the scheme is the amount of support I have received from both the council and the police. Being a Neighbourhood Champion has allowed me to reach people I would otherwise not have had access to. “One of the areas I have focused on is the service road behind the shopping parade, where there has been a real problem with litter, fly-tipping and

other issues. The council’s public realm department has been fantastic, organising a week of action to clear up the mess, putting up new signs and improving the rubbish collection area. But there is still more work to do. “If you care about your community you should become a Neighbourhood Champion, you don’t need lots of time, you just need to pick up phone every so often. Lots of people complain but this is a chance to do something about it and get more connected with your community. I really care about where I live and find being a Champion worthwhile and very rewarding.”

“I enjoy the sense of community that being a Neighbourhood Champion brings. The fact that everyone comes to you with their problems, and then the whole community works together to resolve it, is great too. “Being a Neighbourhood Champion is really easy to do and it is not time consuming at all, if you care about your community it is one of the best things you can do.”

What does a Neighbourhood Champion do? The main role of a Champion is to communicate with the council on issues such as: • Street cleaning • Broken street lights • Fly-tipping • Graffiti • A  bandoned vehicles • N  oise nuisance • P  etty vandalism • G  eneral anti-social behaviour

Be a od urho h Neig bopion! Cham

nt to get If you wa email involved pions oodcham rh u o b h ig ne r call o @harrow 6 6 6 2 . 020 8901

Your Harrow, your stories


How we are listening to you: • Adult social care – users, carers and members of the public had their say in one of the largest consultations the council has ever carried out

Your views have made a difference This year really has been the year of conversation in Harrow. Staff and councillors have been out and about asking for your views on our services so we can make decisions on the future shape of the council. Government cuts and financial pressures mean we have to take 28% out of our budget over the next three years. To do this, we have been reviewing everything we do, finding ways to reduce our costs while protecting the services you value. We have asked for your views on everything from libraries, parks, open spaces and leisure facilities to the future of children’s centres, changes to housing legislation, the future of the town centre and social care for adults.

• Let’s Talk about cultural services and parks and open spaces – your views have helped us to create a five-year plan. Watch this space for our cultural services plan • Children’s Centres – parents, carers and staff have helped us put together an innovative plan which will be revealed this month • Housing legislation – your views are helping us to decide how we implement the Government’s new housing legislation to benefit Harrow residents

Your feedback has already helped us to make some difficult decisions - such as reforming the way we provide social care for adults which was agreed by councillors in October. It’s also helped us to make some progressive decisions, your feedback from the summer roadshows helped us create a five-year action plan to improve our parks and open spaces. So, thank you for taking part in our year of conversation. Your views are helping us to make the right decisions. And we want to continue asking for your advice over the coming years. Your Harrow, your stories


‘I love helping others’ The overall winner of this year’s awards, Eugene Callinan (left) described his win as ‘an honour and a great surprise.’


“I am so honoured by this. When I looked at the names of the other people up for an award and the very worthy things they have done, I couldn’t believe they had chosen me. “I love what I do, but I really didn’t think it would matter that much to other people. Seeing the pleasure it gives people, really is payment enough.” Fo

Eugene beat off stiff competition to be named Volunteer Year 2011 Or of gothe to www for his tireless work at Kenton Recreation Ground. His work at Kenton is completely

voluntary and sees him working away seven days a week picking up litter and tending to the popular allotments nearby where he is a familiar face. He has also worked to raise funding for new tennis courts in the park, a new cricket pitch, a basketball area and also recently an outdoor gym, new seating and a badminton area. The ceremony is run by the council to recognise and8424 celebrate or 020 1093. the many volunteers in the borough who give up w their time to help others. It is the fourth year of the awards and as usual there was no shortage of dedicated volunteers to choose from.

Volunteers of the Year celebrate their win with Mayor Cllr Mrinal Choudhury

The community of Harrow came out to celebrate the borough’s unsung heroes last month at the 2011 Harrow’s Heroes award ceremony. Winners on the night were: Partnership Volunteer of the Year: Pauline Allen Sports Volunteer of the Year: Rohan Samuel Environmental Volunteer of the Year: Eugene Callinan Trustee/ Committee Member of the Year: Helen Watt Young Volunteer of the Year: Clive Kelly International Volunteer of the Year: Ilyas Khan Community Volunteer of the Year: Julie Havard The event was sponsored by Apollo Education Group, VIP Lounge, Harold Benjamin Solicitors, The Harrow Observer, Harrow Police Community Consultative Group supported by Metropolitan Police Authority and Edgware and Stanmore Rotary Club. If you want to volunteer in your community go to www.sportmakers. or Your Harrow, your stories


With the London Games fast approaching, sports men and women are training hard to be selected for the British squad. We caught up with Harrow’s Olympic hopefuls past, present, and future to find out what it takes to make the grade. Taekwondo Instructor and Olympian Chris Sawyerr has been there and done it, representing Great Britain in the sport at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Together in Olympic dreams Sprinter Laura Turner is focused on achieving Olympic glory next year. The 29 year old 100m runner began her sporting career at Bannister Sports Centre aged 10. She has since won Commonwealth gold in the 4x100m relay and is the 3rd fastest woman in Britain over the distance. “To make the Olympic final would be my ultimate dream but the first thing is to get there. “I love competition. I’ve always been competitive from an early age. The 100m is very psychological; it’s not about tactics but about who’s fastest, which I really enjoy. “I train 6 days a week. Every day is like 18

Your Harrow, your stories

putting yourself through the worst kind of physical pain but it’s worth it. I recover then go out and train again to push my boundaries. “For anyone wanting to get into athletics, I’d recommend trying every sport to see what you enjoy most and what you’re good at. I love what I do; this is my hobby as well as my profession.” Laura is looking for sponsorship as she receives no lottery funding. If you can help contact her on For more information on athletics training in Harrow, go to or go along to Roger Bannister Stadium, Uxbridge Rd, Harrow Weald.

“It was a dream come true. I actually felt that moment of, I’ve made it here. When I walked through the tunnel as part of the team of British Athletes, wearing the blazer and walking behind the flag and waving to the crowds. “To be selected for the Olympics you have to be 100 per cent into what you’re doing. You have to think, breath, eat, sleep Taekwondo. You have to be tunnel vision almost to a point of being obsessed for a while, for this part of your life. You have to dedicate and sacrifice.”

As well as running his own taekwondo school in Harrow for kids who want to keep fit and enjoy the discipline of martial arts, Chris is now training Craig Brown who is ranked 2nd in UK and is hoping to qualify for London 2012. “It feels really great to be able to pass on my skills, knowledge and experience to a young Olympic hopeful like Craig. With a bit a luck and plenty of hard work anything is possible.” If you would like to learn Taekwondo or if you would like to sponsor Chris and Craig’s Olympic bid, contact Chris Sawyerr, Fists Taekwondo School, on 07956 325 268.

The My Harrow Account is the new free service provided by Harrow Council. Sign up, type in your postcode and get information specific to your address including text or email alerts: • W  hen you have forgotten to put your bin out • W  hen roadworks are taking place in your area • R  emind you of your library book renewal • Renew your parking permit And there’s more… • Bin collection dates • Parking renewals

‘My council is moving with the times’ Have you ever forgotten to put your bin out? Never again with Harrow’s new text service. Sachin Bharadia, 34, from Harrow told us why he has recently signed up to receive the MyHarrow account. “I think this is a great idea. I prefer to communicate via my smart phone or online, so I’m really pleased that my council is moving with the times. “What attracted me to the MyHarrow account were the alerts you can choose to receive on what is happening in my local area, such as planning applications and local news. “The MyHarrow account is going to be really useful to me, especially the bin alerts as sometimes it can be confusing

to know which bin to put out when. I recently was on holiday and forgot to but my bins out. If I had access to this information, I could have let my neighbour know and not returned home to overflowing bins. “For things like renewals and reminders, I think text messages are perfect. For things like news, information and updates emails are best for me as I can go back to the information at a time that suits me. Letters and information through the post can just get lost.”

• C  hange your electoral role online • Planning applications • V  iew your council tax information • E  mail alerts with latest information, news, events and competitions from the council • R  enew you library books online • Who your councillors are

Sign up today at myharrowaccount

Win an iPad! Sign up before the 20th December for your chance to win.

Your Harrow, your stories


Thank you for your feedback Following ten months of conversation and debate with local residents on ways to protect the borough’s adult social care services, Harrow Council has now agreed a plan that has been backed by the local community. Cuts in government funding mean that Harrow Council will be forced to save around £60 million in the next four years. We asked you for your feedback on how we should manage this while still providing you with the best services in the future. As a result of these in-depth discussions with our residents, and with members of a specially formed community steering group - made up of users of the service, carers, voluntary organisations, union representatives, the health sector and staff, the council has agreed some changes. We listened to your feedback when making the following decisions. Here are some of your views:

Meals-on-wheels: Having listened carefully to residents concerns it is has been decided not to increase the prices for Meals on Wheels*. The council worked closely with users of the service as well as conducting a separate meals-on-wheels survey before making the final decision. Resident Pat Grey, (74), describes her experience of the meals-onwheels service: “This service is so important to me, it’s a lifeline really. Without it I really would struggle. All of the mealson-wheels team are so friendly and reliable. I’m glad the price hasn’t gone up, I really disagreed with that idea.”

Contributions to care: In order to introduce a fairer system where people are asked to make a contribution towards the overall cost of their care based on their ability to pay, a new contribution policy is being introduced. The new system will not be backdated which means the new contribution arrangements for existing users will begin on 1st April 2012. Contribution arrangements for new users will begin from November 2011. Clare Sherlock, 90: “I go to a day centre once a week and I love it. A lot of people might not agree with me, but I think if you can afford it you should pay a little towards services. I think it is better to pay if it keeps services going and the quality and standards up.”


Your Harrow, your stories

*Although annual inflation rise will continue

Concessionary Travel Changes Discretionary freedom passes: A new eligibility criteria has been developed. A review of existing card holders will be carried out with a view to cancelling passes from 31st March 2013 for those not meeting the new criteria.

National disabled freedom pass: Robert Ward

Community Transport: The special needs transport requirements of all new users will now be looked at as part of their community care assessment. The council wants any resident who needs the support of social care transport to continue to receive it into the future but it is also important that residents are given the right support and assistance to travel independently if they are able, through travel training options. Robert Ward, who was a regular user of community transport, has taken advantage of the new travel training options. “I like getting around on my own. I would say to people not to worry, to give it a chance. Bob showed me how to do it and it’s fine, no problem,” Robert said. Bob Gilbert is Robert’s carer. He helped him learn the route he now takes. “It really has increased his feeling of independence and self confidence. He used to get the community bus everywhere, now he is able to make his own way during the day. I supported him initially, we learnt the route together until he was comfortable. Now he loves it, there is no stopping him.”

Concessionary Travel: Mark Gillham is the Chief Executive of Mind in Harrow. He was involved in helping to draw up the new mental health criteria for concessionary travel. “The council worked with voluntary sector and service user representatives to draw up the mental health criteria to make sure those most at risk from isolation will continue to keep their passes and will continue to have the means to travel. It is the first time the council has invited the voluntary sector to participate in a consultation process in this way and it was very successful.

Harrow will transfer National Disabled Freedom Passes which do not qualify for the statutory scheme to discretionary freedom passes and re-assess them using the new discretionary freedom pass policy. Anyone who does not qualify will have their pass cancelled by 31st March 2013. (Giving a minimum of two months notice). For more information on entitlement for multiple passes go to www.harrow.

This has been one of the most genuine consultations I’ve seen happen in Harrow. Although it would be difficult for HAD to back any reductions in services for disabled people, we do feel that people had a real chance to have their say. Angela Dias, CEO of Harrow Association of Disabled (HAD)

“Two areas were most important to mental health users, the discretionary freedom passes and contributions to care. On both of these areas the council did listen to us and to service users. The final decision showed that they responded to some of the concerns we raised.” For full details of the changes to adult social care, go to

Your Harrow, your stories


Dear Harrow resident,

Dear Harr

Welcome to your Harrow People letters page. This page is open to all residents to question, comment and air their views on any council service, or product. We want you to dictate what is published on this page every issue, so get writing, emailing or phoning with your questions and comments. This page will give residents a platform for their views and questions. By publishing your correspondence, both positive and negative, we intend to make this magazine even more interactive and relevant to readers. We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today on: Tel: 020 8424 7504 Email: Write: Harrow People, Communications Unit, PO Box 21, Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XF

This month we visited central Harrow to ask some of our residents for their questions. Senthil Kumarathevan, Queensbury There needs to be more of a clean up of litter around Harrow, especially in the small streets, alleys and bridges. Harrow is not well lit in some parts as well, what is the council doing about this?


We would like to reassure you that the council has street cleaning schedules for all streets in Harrow. These range from daily cleaning of shopping areas and weekly litter picking of major routes. The residential streets throughout the borough are cleaned on a four-week cycle. This is a mixture of hand sweeping and mechanical sweeping. Also we remove any fly tipping on council-owned land within 24hrs of being reported. If you would like to report fly-tipping to the council, please call 020 8901 2600. The council checks street lights in the borough at least once a fortnight to try to ensure that at 98% of lights are always working. Next year we are investing in new energy efficient lighting to replace some of our old stock and help make our streets brighter. If you would like to report a broken street light, please call 020 8901 2600.

Your Harrow, your stories

When I first moved to Harrow there were super loos, but now they are gone. I want to know what Harrow Council intend to do about this.


We are sorry that the toilet block behind Debenhams has been closed for quite some time now. The reason for this is that there are several repairs that need to be carried out on the block. The main issue that the council is aware of is a leak or blockage under the concrete floors that is causing the building to flood. We have had several contractors try and resolve this issue but it remains a problem. However, we are working hard to try to resolve this as soon as possible. To find your nearest public toilet go to publictoilets

Leon Shaw

Kerryann Brown, Wealdstone

Senthil Kumarathevan

Leon Shaw, Wealdstone For parents with young children it is a real problem to find public toilets in


Harrow. There are only public toilets in public buildings, but that still is not enough in my view. At the back of Debenhams there is a public toilet, but it is never open.

I have been on the housing list for seven years and I have been moved around six times within the seven years. I have a ten year old son and because of the amount of times I have been moved from one property to the next my son is feeling unsettled. The moving is disruptive for him because he has to move schools quite often. He has been to four schools so far and may have to move schools again.


Top 10 useful numbers

I am in employment and find having to move so often very stressful too. However, I am mainly concerned about my son and the effect moving properties and schools will start to have on his school grades. Despite having a young son the housing department will not move my band for housing so that I can be placed in permanent housing. What is Harrow Council doing for parents with young children in temporary housing?


There are more than 17,000 households renting in the private sector in Harrow with many families living in the same property for many years. It is very unfortunate that you have had to move six times in seven years. This is not something that we hear often. As there are over 4400 applicants on our current housing list and we have let an average of 430 council and housing association properties per year, over the last 4 years, any allocation policy that the council introduces needs to take account of the high demand for a relatively small supply. In view of this the housing needs of

applicants are assessed and applications are placed in either Band A (the highest needs) B, C, or D (no identified needs). The average wait for a two bedroom flat, for an application in Band C is approximately 4 years. However, applicants can wait much longer for a house, or a property in their preferred area. If you are employed then there are other options available to meet your housing needs like low cost home ownership schemes. You can find some very helpful information by going to www.harrow. low_cost_home_ownership

1. Roads, refuse and recycling 020 8901 2600

2. Benefits 020 8901 2610

3. Council tax  020 8901 2610

4. Education and children’s services 020 8901 2620

5. Housing repairs 020 8901 2630 Kerryann Brown

6. Parking services 020 8901 2640

Have your say Residents asked to illuminate council on street light policy.

that would reduce light levels by up to 20%. • L  ight trimming – reducing the period lights are turned on by an hour a day, with lights coming on later in the evening and switching off earlier in the morning

As households feel the pressure from rising energy prices, Harrow Council is asking residents views on options for a new street lighting policy that reduces energy use and trims its bills.

• L  ight dimming – to dim lights by up to 50% during the quietest period of the night, typically from midnight to 4am

The council powers almost 20,000 street lights, road signs, lit bollards and beacons across the borough at a cost of around £730,000 a year.

• P  art night lighting – to turn the lights off completely during the early hours of the morning, for instance from 2am to 4am.

Residents are asked to choose one of four options for reducing the electricity consumed by street lighting in residential areas.

The consultation runs until the end of December and is available on the council website at www.harrow. Hard copies are available in local libraries.

They are: • D  ecrease lighting levels – new energy efficient lanterns

7. Planning and building control 020 8901 2650

8. Electoral services and registrars 020 8901 2660]

9. Adult social services 020 8901 2670 socialcarecontacts

10. Make a payment 020 8424 1220

Your Harrow, your stories


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Your Harrow, your stories

Safe Savings & Affordable Credit from M for Money Credit Union Residents in Harrow now have a great new way to save and an easy way to get affordable credit by joining M for Money Credit Union. M for Money is owned and operated by its members for its members and uses the savings of members to give members loans at affordable rates of interest. Saving with M for Money is perfectly safe because all of our members’ savings are totally insured and can never lose their value. There are also a number of savings accounts to help you budget better such as the Xmas Savings Club and Holiday Account. M for Money also has a Cash ISA that is projected to pay 3.5%. M for Money offers members a range of loans from £100 to £3,000 depending upon how much and how regularly you save. If you borrowed £100 from M for Money and repaid it over 12 months you would pay just £13.47 in interest which is much cheaper than a Doorstep lender, Pay Day lender or Pawnbroker. To join on line visit or call 020 8756 3866 for more information.

would If you r listings ou like y ded on this u l c n i email page, .hart@ a o r r ha

your essential guide to your area Beatbullying charity event Fri 20 Jan 7.30-9.30pm. Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane, HA5 1BA. Free parking. Doors open 7pm. Musical, dance and drama from young people. Acts aim to raise awareness about bullying and promote anti-bullying. Tickets £5 adult/£3 child/OAP. Go to www.pinksparklefundraisers. for details. Call 07718 049024 for more information. Iyengar yoga classes Every Weds from 7.30-9pm. General level. Cost £10 per class. St George’s Hall, Pinner View, Harrow HA1. Classes are taught by Khaled Kendsi, certified Iyengar yoga teacher by IYA (UK). Call 07747 616914 or go to www. Zumba Gold Latin-inspired, low-impact dance fitness class for senior active adults, beginners and those with physical limitations (e.g. joint problems). At Pinner Free Church, 70 Paines Lane,

Pinner HA5 3BL. Cost £4. 45 mins duration. Visit website Call Trisha Reid on 07919 276539. Fists Taekwondo School Classes every Thursday at St George’s Church Hall, Pinner view form 4pm. Run by former Olympic competitor and English national coach Chris Sawyerr. Call 07956 325268 for more information. University of the Third Age Learning in a friendly environment for over 50s, retired and semi-retired. More than 80 classes to choose from, including current affairs, art, jazz, science, choir, knitting, yoga, folk dancing, bridge, tai chi, film, languages and much more. Also planned theatre trips and holidays. Classes mainly held at the Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End. For more information go to 020 861 3821 or go to www.

Fresh Arts Theatre School Speech and Drama, dance and movement and singing and music classes for children aged 3-12. The Harrow classes are held on Saturday afternoons at Grimsdyke School, Sylvia Avenue, HA5 4QE. Call 07506 363585 or 0845 269 9529 or check out the website www. for more information. Costs £149 per term for 3 hours weekly. National Storytelling Week Family storytelling events for everyone from 3 – 103. Local residents Claudia Mernick and Pippa Reid tell stories to all age groups in various settings - from festivals, museums, community centres, schools, tents, parks and around camp fires! They are passionate about the power of story to spark imagination and promote storytelling wherever they can. Contact them at www. On: Saturday 28 January 2012 at the Harrow Arts Centre. Time: 2.30pm - 3.15pm. Admission free. Saturday 4th February at Wealdstone Library. Time: 2pm - 2.45pm. Admission free. Visit* Senior Fitness Come and have fun and meet new people at senior fitness classes in Harrow. At Bessborough Road synagogue every Monday at 11.30am - 12noon. Seated exercises for the older senior citizens (aged 75 upwards). Classes for over 50’s are held in St. Peter’s church hall on Bushey High Road on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am -11am. One-to-one in the comfort of your own home also available. For more information, please call Ivor on 07779 737546. Harrow Cine and Video Society Visitors welcome at weekly meetings. Whatever your level

Fresh Arts Theatre School

of video skills there will be someone for you to chat to or ask for help and advice. Full programme of talks, competitions, productions and more. Meetings every Monday at 7.45pm. Canons Room, Harrow Arts centre, Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, HA5 4EA. Call 020 8424 0235 or email Pinner Bridge Club Games from Monday to Friday. 103 Marsh Road, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 5PA. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided at no extra charge. First visit is free! Table Money - members £3 per person, visitors £6 per person. Call 020 8866 3166. Deaf services Deaf drop in is held at Civic 1 every week on a Wednesday, for general support advice and information. Please take ticket from reception staff and wait to be seen in Room 17. Time 2-4pm. Second Wednesday of every month, Deaf drop in at HAD, with presentations, tea and coffee and meet friends. All welcome. Time 2-4pm. November 9th, improved Helpline presentation for Deaf community, your views and feedback welcomed. Call Georga Carter, 07961 321136 (sms). Harrow bereavement care Fundraising Fish & Chip Supper & Quiz at Victoria Hall, Harrow on 14th January. Call 020 8427 5720 for more information. Trained visitors to your home or Drop in Centres - friendly informal support groups especially for those who have suffered loss or bereavement that meet over tea and coffee: Your Harrow, your stories



• Are you a Harrow resident? • Is your child due to start in Primary School in September 2012? Admission to Primary Schools - September 2012 Primary School children born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 200 8 YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR A RECEPTION PLACE. Application forms and booklets giving full details of how to apply are available as follows: ¥ Online at ¥ Your local primary school ¥ Access Harrow at the Civic Centre


Fleetline Cars Mini Cabs Safe reliable quick service Licensed to the Public carriage office 24 hour Computer Controlled Cars

020 8427 2717 Established since 1963 in Harrow

A very Happy Christmas to Clients old and new

your essential guide to your area Holy Trinity Church, High St. Wealdstone every Thursday 10.30 to 12noon. Call 020 8863 6131. Rayners Lane Baptist Church every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month 2-4pm. Call 020 8868 6772. Ickenham St Giles Church Hall, every 3rd Monday 23.30pm. Call 01895 622971. Ruislip St. Martin’s Church, last Thursday of the month, 12 noon - 2pm. Call 01895 625456 www.harrowbereavementcare. Walk your way to health in Harrow Walk for health is a great way to meet new like minded people and explore your local area without having to worry about getting lost or having to plan your route! Our free weekly walks are led by at least two qualified Walk Leaders. No need to book in advance and all you need are some comfy shoes. Visit www. (search your postcode) for a full list of all the local walks or call 020 8966 1059. Harrow’s Speaker’s club Will help you to overcome the terrifying practice of speaking in public and give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation Whether you are a professional, student, stayat-home parent or retired. Friendly and supportive environment. HOD Speakers Club meets once a month on the 4th Thursday at: Manor House Banqueting Hall, Old Church Lane, Stanmore HA7 2QX. From 8.15-10.15pm. Call 020 8421 4776. Kid’s Activity Classes At YMCA studio on Roxeth Hill. Classes for under 5yrs – Thursday mornings. Ballet (516yrs) – Thursday afternoons. Try a FREE trial class. Go to for more details or call Margaret on 07966 329489. Stanmore & Harrow Historical Society A small friendly group who meet in the small hall behind the Baptist Church in Wealdstone on the first Wednesday of each month at 8pm. Upcoming talks include: Born in a Workhouse, History of Mount Vernon Hospital, The Thames Barge. Pantomime Arrow Players present Babes in the Wood, from 7 to 14 January 2012 (8 performances in all, some of which are matinées). Babes in the Wood is a traditional family pantomime with lots of singing and dancing, fun and laughter and a proper Pantomime Dame in the shape of the children’s teacher. How Robin achieves ultimate victory, aided by Maid Marian, the beautiful daughter of the Sheriff, and by Daphne, the Good Fairy gives a show crammed with great music and spectacle - a perfect feast of post-Christmas entertainment. Call box office is on 020 8868 7785 or visit www.

Harrow Arts Centre Beauty and the Beast Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 and Wednesday 21 – Friday 23 December, 2pm. Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 and Thursday 22 – Friday 23 December, 7pm. £10 / £8 under 16s / £33 family ticket. Join us for our annual panto extravaganza where a classic fable is brought to life by talented local people, once again entertaining children and parents alike! This is the timeless tale of a beautiful young girl who is taken to live with the Beast to save the life of her father. Will Beauty overcome her fear, will the Beast learn the value of kindness and can true love break a terrible curse? Visual Arts Inner Lives 30 November – 5 January Inner Lives is an exhibition of original creative writing and illustration, produced by Harrow schools. Students of all ages from schools across the borough have worked together, inspired by themes from our upcoming pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.

Competition – Win two tickets to see Strictly Come Dancing Live tour


Harrow People has teamed up with Wembley Arena to offer one lucky reader the chance to see the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour next month. The lucky winner will get the chance to join celebrities, dance champions and those all important judges for the Strictly Come Dancing - the Live Tour. The 2012 show will feature top celebrities and their dance partners from the smash hit BBC1 show! For more information about the show, contact Wembley Arena on 08444 99 99 55. For your chance to win, send your name, address and daytime number to: The Editor, Harrow People, Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow HA1 2XF by December 19th, 2011.

! N I W Free week of fitness for every reader Fitness trainers OutFit4u are offering Harrow People readers a free week of fitness training to help keep on track with those New Year’s resolutions. OutFit4u provide outdoor fitness classes all year round in local parks. The workouts are flexible and suit everyone including commuters, mums after the school run, older adults and fit locals training for an event. Everyone can work at their own pace resulting in improved stamina, toning and all round fitness. Current locations are Pinner Memorial Park and Headstone Manor. Routines are adapted to cope with weather conditions. Training with OutFit4u is usually £5 per session with no need to pre-book. You can also block book classes at a reduced rate. OutFit4u also provide a personal training service. To claim your free week of fitness, there is no need to book, just check the website or call 07941 243536 to check class times, then wrap up warm, prepare to get a bit mucky and get fit while having fun.

Your Harrow, your stories


harrow’s heritage

Katie skips back to town The much-loved Katie’s statue has returned to Harrow Town Centre after a summer-long spruce up. She has been a part of the Town Centre history for over a quarter of a century. But who was she? Harrow People finds out… The popular bronze figure is back on a new plinth in St Ann’s Road, 24 years after she first skipped into Harrow Town Centre. The landmark statue was taken away during the council’s improvement scheme in Station Road. The statue of the skipping girl was first installed by Harrow Council to celebrate the pedestrianisation of St Ann’s Road in 1987 and is the work of sculptor James Butler MBE. While there has been much speculation over who the ‘real’ Katie is, the sculptor was in fact inspired through watching his own daughter Kate playing in their garden and modelled the figure on her. The artist also created 20 replica Katies. Ten 12 inch and ten six inch figurines were produced, with some auctioned off by the Harrow Heritage Trust to fund other works of art in the borough. Mr Butler, now 80, continues sculpting today and will soon unveil his latest piece, a 12 foot memorial statue for the US Army in France. On hearing of Katie’s return to the town centre and her enduring popularity, he said: “It’s splendid that people have taken a thing 30

Your Harrow, your stories

Factbox The council has been working on exciting plans to revitalise and regenerate the heart of Harrow Harrow Town Centre, Wealdstone and Station Road - over the next 15 years. Some of the work already completed include: • T  wo-way bus routes return to Station Road. • Improved bus access and a pedestrian friendly environment. • P  aving, street lighting and furniture has been upgraded and trees planted, while new bus stops and loading bays have also been installed. • N  ew Sheepcote Road traffic signals and cyclists able to travel in both directions along Station Road. For further information visit

like that to their heart. It was always one of my favourite pieces because of the sentimental value with it being based on my eldest daughter Kate. “She was very excited and flattered that the statue was named after her. “It was a very enjoyable project from the start, with a gentle and charming subject that hopefully lifts the spirits, so I’m very pleased that people still like it.”

Where is ? Katie now4, is a

er, now 4 t Kate Butl d café consultan n er a n t rt n a restaura Bath with her p It’s “ in : s id e a v s She and li of all children. and two en funny to think ver o e b o h s y w ow alwa le in Harr go the peop have said ‘let’s rs ” a !’ e e y ti a e th t under K and mee

ENROL NOW FOR COURSES STARTING IN JANUARY 2012 Missed out on university this year? Don’t worry - save on hefty university fees and get HE qualified with Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) in: Business Applied Science (Chemistry) Computing and Systems Development. Update your trade qualifications through: 17th Edition Electrical Installation BPEC Water Regulations 1999 City and Guilds 2377-12 (Operators) PAT Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. Gain professional qualifications in: Certificate in Counselling Skills Level 3 Personal Training Level 3 Teacher Training (Range of course available). Community Learning Acquire new skills, develop a new interest or pursue a current hobby. There are plenty of options in our Adult Community Learning programme. For more information on all our courses use Course Search at or call Admissions on 020 8909 6000. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with all the latest news and events at Harrow College.

Follow us on Twitter at

Download our app. Available on Android and iPhone.

Read our blog at | | 020 8909 6000

ARE YOU SINGLE AND UNDER 35? From January 2012, Housing Benefit for single claimants under the age of 35 is going to be based on the Shared Accommodation Rate instead of the One Bed SelfContained rate. The current Shared Accommodation Rate is ÂŁ80.92 per week. This means that the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will reduce. If you are already getting Housing Benefit and will be affected by these changes, we will be writing to you shortly. Visit our website for further information

IS YOUR HOUSING BENEFIT NOT COVERING YOUR RENT? If there is a shortfall of Housing Benefit to cover your rent and you feel you are experiencing financial hardship due to this, we have a Discretionary Housing Payments fund that may help you. This fund only allow us to top up Housing Benefit up to the maximum eligible rent for vulnerable households with exceptional circumstances such as disabilities. Please visit our website for more information

Harrow People - December 2011  

Harrow Council magazine

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