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Your Harrow, your stories March 2012

Budget special Find out where your Council Tax goes

How to be a volunteer Your guide to getting involved in your community



r’s Day e h t o M A n tea afternoo ! for two

Your Harrow, your stories



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Sarah Okino: I took this picture one summer evening on a railway bridge in Harrow while walking with my husband. It was so gorgeous and peaceful and the air was very still at that precise moment, as if it was waiting to be captured. This is my Harrow!


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


Heart of Harrow Building the future

Design Nic Marucci


Council Tax freeze Budget special


Your letters page

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


Get involved: Your guide to volunteering


What’s happening in your area


Olympic countdown Take up the challenge


History: St Luke’s Hospice

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

We face incredibly difficult financial circumstances as we come to set this year’s budget. We need to save £62 million from 2011 to 2014 - a cut of one third in our budget. Last year we managed to save £31 million and have found a further £19 million this year. We have done this by numerous innovative projects, 38 last year and 47 this year. All the time we are thinking strategically and, in the long term, salami slicing or trimming are simply not options. We are modernising the council whilst protecting front line services as best we can. In three years time the council will be very different to what it is at the moment, with much greater use of technology; up-to-date IT; mobile and flexible working; a greater use of the web and our customer service centre Access Harrow; a revamped management structure cutting senior staff by a third; modernising staff terms and conditions; being far more commercial in the way we buy goods and let contracts; early intervention to prevent problems at the earliest stage possible, and joining up services. All the time we have uppermost in our minds that we want to provide the best possible service to residents to help sort out their problems and help them in every way possible. Modernisation with a totally human face. In this edition of Harrow People we explain the budget in more detail and show you how we spend your money. We have frozen Council Tax this year but may not be able to do so next year. It is going to be even more difficult to make savings in the future. We fully intend to continue to consult and involve local residents and partners in every possible way in the difficult decisions we have to make. We want to hear your views and your thoughts.

Harrow resident Linette Pooley held a street party for the Royal Wedding last year

Break out the bunting this year Celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London’s 2012 Olympic Games will be a whole lot easier for Harrow residents.

The council has also published a special “How To” guide encouraging more residents to volunteer, and it will include a special section on how to organise a street party.

The council is waiving its road closure fees to encourage residents to organise street parties, and is offering handy hints and tips on its website at

Anyone interested in planning a street party should contact the council’s transportation team on 020 8424 1884 or or visit

‘Golden number’ for Harrow’s Children’s services – 020 8901 2690 A single ‘golden number’ has been set up for people to call if they want to speak to the borough’s new Children’s Access Team (CAT) about any children’s services matter. The new phone number will put callers straight through to the Children’s Services Access Team at Harrow Civic Centre – a group of key professionals with experience across children’s services, who will respond to queries relating to children, families, special


Your Harrow, your stories

education or children at risk, in a faster, more efficient way.

Harrow’s golden number is 020 8901 2690 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) On weekends, bank holidays and between 5pm-9am weekdays, the Harrow Children’s Helpline can still be contacted on 020 8424 0999 for emergency assistance. School admission is on 020 8901 2620.

Harrow residents were unanimous in opposing a third runway at Heathrow. Cllr Bill Stephenson

Residents get hands dirty

Council wins £1.8m for town centre A new town park and performance space will be created in Lowlands Park and Harrow Town Centre after the council won a £1.8m regeneration grant. The funding will also pay for town centre management, festivals, events and markets in the town centre and improvements to St Ann’s Road, including new lighting, trees and street furniture, in ongoing efforts to attract more shoppers and visitors. The money is coming from the second round of the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, which aims to improve the look and competitiveness of high streets in the capital. Find out more at

Green fingered residents and volunteers got stuck in during a community planting day in Kenton Recreation Ground last month. They teamed up with Harrow Council and conservation charity BTCV to create a wildlife haven of hawthorn bushes, wild maple and other trees and shrubs to attract more birds and butterflies. Eugene Callinan, winner of the Volunteer of the Year category at the recent Harrow’s

Queen to visit Harrow Harrow has been chosen to host a visit by The Queen on Thursday 29th March, during her Diamond Jubilee tour of Britain, to celebrate London’s diversity. In Her Majesty’s first visit to the borough in almost eight years, the Queen will attend a specially commissioned community event at a Krishna Avanti school in Edgware. The event will feature music, dance and a photography exhibition.

Heroes awards, is a voluntary park warden at Kenton Rec and got involved in designing the project.

On track for youth games

The day was the latest event in the council’s Green Grid scheme, which aims to improve the borough’s open spaces for people and wildlife and improve the connections between them.

Harrow Council is looking for enthusiastic young people, both able-bodied and disabled, to represent the borough in the 2012 London Youth Games this summer.

It follows the planting of around 1,000 wild daffodils and 2,000 bluebells last autumn, to create a wildflower meadow.

The Games are free of charge and open to all young people, aged between 7 and 18, living in or going to school in Harrow.

No to RAF Northolt sale

All interested athletes and local sports clubs can register their interest by contacting the Sports Development Team on 020 8424 1912 / 020 8424 1069 sportandleisure.

Leader of Harrow Council, Cllr Bill Stephenson, has raised serious concerns after the Ministry of Defence revealed that it is considering selling off the historic RAF Northolt airfield.

Stand up and be counted

One of the options discussed by Government is to convert RAF Northolt into a Heathrow satellite after plans for a third runway were grounded.

She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the visit, which is being organised by Harrow Council in partnership with schools and community organisations from around the borough.

Councillor Stephenson said: “Harrow residents and millions of people living under the flight paths were unanimous in opposing a third runway at Heathrow. This outrageous suggestion must be nipped in the bud.”

With less than 100 days to go to the London mayoral elections, residents in Harrow are urged to make sure they have the right to have their say on the big day, by registering to vote. If you want to make sure you can vote on May 3rd then you need to register your details by April 18th. Log on to and search ‘register to vote’ for all of the forms and details you need. Or call 020 8901 2660 for more information.

Your Harrow, your stories


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

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Hannah Nathanson I wear hoodies! A close friend of mine, Ladan Dirie, and I are currently working on the idea of forming a pressure group to put a stop to the gross misrepresentation of young people in the media by politicians. Some people seem to have formed a view of young people as hooded hooligans wielding knives, dealing drugs and being immersed in gang culture. If the prejudice that occurs toward young people daily in England were to apply to any other demographic, it would be labelled as discrimination and not tolerated. The pinnacle of this for me was the August riots, which were blamed heavily on the youth; this was reinforced by respected political figures including many MPs. In fact, the figures showed that only 21% of the rioters were under the age of 18. So how is it that those whose job it is to represent the citizens in the UK can allow a section of their society to be made the scapegoat in this way?

Sky’s the limit Hi I’m Hannah and I’ve lived in Harrow all my life - only 16 years so far. I am currently studying A levels at Bentley Wood and Nower Hill which, other than having four exams on Friday 13th, has gone pretty well. Alongside this I am a member of Harrow Youth Parliament which is an organisation filled with young people from the local area who represent schools, colleges and various other youth groups. Together we aim to give young people a voice and improve our local community. We run events like the Anti-Bullying Coalition and the Academies Debate to deal with issues that we feel are important to young people. Recently we held a charity car wash in Wealdstone which was great fun despite ending up cold and soggy.

Harrow is an incredible place, filled with opportunity for young and old alike. I think it’s such a tragedy that people simply don’t know about everything that’s out there. Beautiful places like Bentley Priory and Harrow on the Hill need to be investigated. We are extremely lucky to have facilities like the rock climbing wall at Harrow Leisure Centre and there is even a karate club in North Harrow run by Henry Francis who has trained world champions! I feel as though there needs to be a giant sign-post pointing to all these places, built somewhere in Wealdstone, so people can go there and be filled with optimism. Wealdstone Youth Centre is a place

The youth are the future and we need to be supported so that we can flourish. When I meet with MPs and councillors I make an effort to wear a hoody so that hopefully my small gesture will link them with positive associations and one day the unnecessary fear of young people will be forgotten. that young people can go to do work, socialise or even learn new skills, and it’s right under our noses although not enough people know about it. So commit yourself to supporting your local area and one day this week, go out and try something new, whether it be exploring a new part of town or joining a club. Your involvement will make Harrow a better place. To have a go at rock climbing call 01433 622918 or go to www.rockfrog. To join Harrow Karate Club email 07903 661938 For more information on joining Youth Parliament call 020 8424 1832.

Your Harrow, your stories


Where your mon 2011 was an incredibly tough year, one of the toughest this council has ever had to face. This budget has been shaped thanks to the views of thousands of residents as we continue to do our utmost to protect the services you value the most. The council is working hard to ensure the services that you value are protected and we have managed to freeze Council Tax for the second year running. There are great challenges ahead, tough decisions to make and improvements still to be made. Last year the council asked you what is important to you and this helped to form the vision and priorities. The council will be continuing this conversation with you over the coming year and asking for your help in the difficult decisions that need to be made. Your feedback helped to underpin a new wave of almost 50 projects for 2012-13, that will continue to transform the council. £10.8m of savings have been identified in order to balance the books. While making savings, the council is also investing in a number of key areas. • A  n additional £3m will be spent on adults services to meet growing demand for care as residents live longer. • A  n extra £740,000 has been earmarked to tackle homelessness linked to the effects of the recession. • A  n additional £1.1m is required to meet the increased cost of sending waste to landfill.


Your Harrow, your stories

Last year you told us what was important to you and what you wanted us to do for you. Here are some of the changes we have made in the borough: - Increased the numbers of volunteers and volunteering opportunities in Harrow.


we in did 2011/12

- Established the Harrow Town Centre forum and the North Harrow partnership which led to new shops opening in North Harrow and an increased number of shoppers in the Town Centre over Christmas. - Extended the Neighbourhood Champions scheme and 1,000 volunteers have now been recruited. - Introduced flats recycling; 100 additional flats now have recycling facilities and this is being rolled out to all flats from April. - Continued to help homeless people with Help2Let, the council’s lettings agency, which has found over 250 homes in private rented accomodation for people on the housing waiting list. - Planted 8000 new trees and shrubs, and 12,000 bulbs in the borough. - Protected care for vulnerable people following a substantial review of adult social care services.


ney goes

0 Budget 2

The money generated from Council Tax is used in many different ways and they all contribute to helping to improve residents’ lives. ‘My new tenants are a dream’

Harrow landlord Frixos Georgious found new tenants after joining the council’s Help2Let scheme. “I had a really bad experience with my last tenants so I was nervous about using the council’s scheme. They said they could offer me a stress free letting where they looked after everything, but I was still worried and needed a bit of convincing. Now I am so glad that I went with the council’s Help2let team. The council helped me to get the property back into a great condition with advice on grants. The new tenants they found for me really look after the place so I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It has been marvellous and completely stress free for me. The service and my new tenants are a dream.” If you want to find out more about any of the Help2Let services contact the team on 020 8424 1605 or visit

‘I couldn’t believe how well I improved’

‘The Job fair has been really helpful’

Olive Jones had to go into hospital earlier this year for a knee operation and was afraid this would put a stop to her active lifestyle. Thanks to Harrow’s ‘reablement’ service, Olive is now back to full strength.

Thomas Hamblin is 18 years old and has been unemployed for two years. He attended the Xcite Job Fair at the Civic Centre last month.

“I was doing everything after going through the six-week programme. I couldn’t believe how well I improved. “I couldn’t have done it without help and support and having all of the services I needed to hand. To have someone knocking on my door everyday for six weeks, helping me and encouraging me, it was amazing. ‘Can’t’ wasn’t a word I was allowed to use - now there isn’t anything I can’t do.” Olive was treated under the new ‘reablement’ scheme, which provides recovery support for up to six weeks. The service includes the provision of information and advice, occupational therapy, equipment and telecare sensors and alarms, plus support with personal care, meals and regaining confidence. Visit for more information.

Thomas said: “I’ve been looking for work for two years. My dream is to be a novelist but I need work in the meantime, and it’s depressing when you can’t get a job. This is the first job fair I’ve been to and it’s been really helpful. I’m particularly interested in the Talent Academy. It’s great that it’s at the council offices and easy to get to, and there were a few really interesting opportunities I will be following up.” The fair puts Harrow residents searching for jobs in direct contact with recruiting companies and training providers. Exhibitors have included Olympic contract holders, Crossrail and the Army alongside an accountancy agency and care providers. Job seekers also benefit from guidance and support on CV writing and interview technique. To find out when the next Job Fair will be held or to exhibit, call 020 8416 8959. Your Harrow, your stories


Where your money goes The council has managed to freeze Council Tax for a second year running. Here we show you what we spend your money on. By 2015 we will have taken more than £100 million of spending out of our budget over an eight-year period. We have so far identified savings worth more than £90 million but have a further £11 million to find and as you can imagine the more we take out the tougher our choices become. Despite these incredible challenges, we are working hard to ensure the services that you value are protected. Who has to pay? Only people aged 18 or over have to pay Council Tax. Where there is more than one person aged 18 or over resident in your home, the one nearest to the top of the following list will be responsible for paying Council Tax:

• Resident freeholder.

This is how much you need to pay

• Resident leaseholder.

The Council Tax for each band is as follows:

• Resident tenant. • Resident licensee. • Any other resident.


Band A


Band B


Band C


• The owner, where there are no occupants.

Band D


Band E


The Council Tax charge is based on two adults living in a home. If there is only one resident in your home, your bill may be reduced by a quarter (25%).

Band F


Band G


Band H


We want to ensure that you know where your money goes; from street cleaning to schools, libraries and parks, we provide many services all day, everyday. The chart below shows you how your Council Tax is spent:

£84m Adult Social Services & Housing

Housing, Adults Services, Community Care

£226m Children’s Services


These amounts include the precept levied by the Greater London Authority and other agencies.

£69m Roads, Refuse & Recycling/ Arts, Community & Culture Environmental Health, Parks, Highways, Libraries, Community Development, Cultural Services

Children’s Services, Education and Schools

£4m Planning

Planning Permission, Building regulations, Conservation and Heritage, Planning Policy

£40m Customer Services

£601m £7m Legal & Governance

Customer Care, Human Resources, Access Harrow, Harrow People, Council Website

£171m Benefits & Financial Support

Benefits, IT, Audit & Risk, Shared Services, Collections Services, Council Tax, Housing Benefit, Freedom Passes

For more information on what these figures mean go to 10

Your Harrow, your stories

Our plans for the year The first Let’s Talk event which took place in 2010 helped us to develop our priorities. This has helped us decide what we concentrate on and how we allocate scarce resources across all our services in Harrow. Here are some of the things we are planning to do next year.

Keeping neighbourhoods clean, green and safe This area covers the basic and important services that we tend to take for granted unless they don’t work. From refuse collection and recycling, to street cleaning, street lighting, and road repairs, we know that these affect the quality of life for all residents. We will continue to work with the Police and other agencies to keep crime low and target the anti-social behaviour which causes the most concern.

We plan to:

waste e amount of 1. Reduce th h. ug the boro produced by od e Neighbourho 2. Extend th heme even sc Champions further. rrow’s d expand Ha 3. Enhance an to s m ai which Green Grid, en op s h’ ug ro bo improve the life. ople and wild spaces for pe

We plan to:

United and involved communities We are working hard to ensure we understand what you want and need from your council, not only how you can better participate in decision making, but also how we can support your community and encourage communities to support one another.

1. Ensure even more people are involved in making de cisions. 2. Produce a series of events to celebrate the Olymp ics.

3. S  ubmit a Heritage Lot tery bid for Harrow Museu m and Headstone Manor.

Supporting our Town We plan to: Centre, our shopping centres and businesses - 1. Work with the community, businesses This area covers our work to finalise the vision for the Heart of Harrow, which is the area around the Town Centre and Wealdstone, and plans for the key publicly owned sites in the borough. It aims to support new jobs, new homes and infrastructure and encourage a greater number of visitors into the heart of the borough in the future.

to and developers rk on the Heart complete the wo Action Plan. of Harrow Area as a w to developers 2. Market Harro visitors. d an t en tm es place for new inv w e Heart of Harro 3. Continue th ich includes wh me am ogr pr improvement Road, Lowlands work on St Ann’s blic space pu w ne Road and a /Lyon Road. at Station Road

Supporting and protecting people who are most in need When people are in trouble, needing support, advice and help, they turn to their families, friends and their public services. In the current economic climate families and friends often have less capacity to help. Although the Council has had to reduce expenditure by 28% over four years, we will continue to prioritise support and protection of those in most need such as the elderly, vulnerable and young.

We plan to: 1. R  educe exclusions fro m schools. 2. P rovide more affor dable new rented and intermed iate homes. 3. P rovide all new elig ible care services users wit h a personal budget.

To look at the council’s plans in more detail, go to www.harrow. and search for ‘corporate plan’. Your Harrow, your stories


ROOKS HEATH BUILDERS Home Improvements, Extensions and Loft Conversions



Looking for a local venue for hosting meetings? Harrow Teachers’ Centre Looking for a local venue for hosting meetings, presentations, conferences, interviews or private party, then the Teachers’ Centre in Wealdstone is your affordable solution. Our facilities cater for a minimum of 2 up to a maximum of 300 people.

There is free on-site parking, disabled

All rooms come with; Data Projector, Video, Whiteboard, IT Keyboard, and Flipchart Stand with Flipchart Paper & Pens as standard.

Contact details Tel 020 8416 8899 Fax 020 8427 2418 Email: Harrow Teachers’ Centre, Tudor Road,

access and hearing aid facilities available. Our on-site restaurant can provide a variety of catering options to rooms upon request.

Wealdstone, Harrow HA3 5PQ

North Harrow Market, 9 – 11 March Get down to North Harrow for a weekend market and entertainment from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th March. Stalls selling everything from food and homeware to clothes, jewellery and art, will line Station Road and Pinner Road throughout the weekend. There will be music and entertainment at four performance stages, including North Harrow Tube Station, during the weekend, courtesy of local schools and community groups. The market will run from 9.30am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday and between 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Find out more at

Town centre is the place to be Enjoy a food and dance festival in Harrow Town Centre and weekend market in North Harrow this March. Harrow Town Centre will be transformed on St Patrick’s Day, Saturday 17th March, between 11am and 5pm, with the arrival of the first ever Harrow Food and Dance Festival. The all day event will fill the town centre with sights, smells and sounds in a celebration and showcase of the borough’s diverse world cuisine, music and dance. St Ann’s Road will be filled with a farmer’s market and continental food stalls, street food and a demonstration kitchen. Local restaurants, cafes and food producers are invited to take part too. Around the corner in St John’s Road, opposite Debenhams, CBBC presenter and comedienne London Hughes will

compere an outstanding line up of 19 professional and community acts on an open air dance stage. Irish dancers will be there to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, alongside the sights and sounds of Bollywood, Africa and China and much more. There will be performances from local children and speciality dance companies featuring performers with disabilities. This is part of the council’s ongoing programme to revitalise Harrow Town Centre and promote local business. It is funded through a grant the council secured from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund. Find out more at uk/festival

Your Harrow, your stories


e b o t w o H : r e e t n u l a vo Your guide to getting involved

the To read uides g ’ to ‘How o to online g .uk/howto o rrow.g v www.ha o in a s are als ould e id u g e Th ou w form, if y booklet py to be sent to like a co il nicola.rae@ a you, em harro

We know that many of you want to get more involved in the community but don’t know how. This is why we have put together the Harrow ‘How to’ guides and an online volunteering directory so you can easily find out what opportunities are available in the borough. How to run a sports club

The guides feature 10 videos giving you practical tips on how to get involved, from how to organise a street party to how to start a residents association. Each of the guides has been written by a member of the community who is out there doing this very work every day. We have chosen them to tell you how to do the same. The guides include top tips, and invaluable advice that the community experts wish someone had given them when they started.

Rohan Samuel (Winner of Harrow Heroes Sports Volunteer of the Year award for 2011/12)

How to start a parent support group Caroline Chalkey “I run the Cheers parenting group based in New Life Bible church. Its aim is to empower single mums by providing them with help, support and advice. It is so rewarding to be able 14

Your Harrow, your stories

to help mums, and the feeling of seeing a mum grow in confidence and develop is amazing.”

“I have been training young people at the athletics club in Roger Bannisters for over 10 years, it’s really good to be involved in this way as I still compete as an athlete in national competitions. It is great to pass this knowledge onto others.”

How to set up a residents association

Eva Biney “I co-founded the Harrow Young Achievers youth group, which now has 40 permanent members with many more attending on an ad-hoc basis. I love the satisfaction of knowing that I am making a real impact on the lives of young people, and potentially changing it for the better. It’s hard work but it is definitely worth it!”

 ow to support an elderly friend H or neighbour

How to look after your local park Dawn Carter “I volunteer with Age UK Harrow and have been doing the weekly shop for an older person for the past year. I have some spare time on Friday afternoons, and rather than wasting it I thought I would use it for something worthwhile.” Amit Radia

How to be a young volunteer

“I organise the publicity for the Elmsleigh Residents’ Association which has been running for the last 5 years. Our aim is to encourage residents to get to know their neighbours. We also hold monthly committee meetings at residents’ houses and an annual AGM. We also meet regularly on a social basis which is always good fun.” Eugene Callinan

How to organise a community fundraising event

“I’m a volunteer park warden at Kenton Rec, and give up hours of my time every day to improve the park. I do it because I love it and it is so rewarding to see people enjoying the park. I’m also very green fingered so spending time outdoors is second nature to me.” How to organise a street party

Jasmine Botchey and Khalid O’Beirne “We get involved in lots of volunteering projects. Volunteering work can really boost your CV. Employers like to see someone who’s been willing to give up their time for others.” How to start a community enterprise

Tim Todhunter and Aneka Shah “We are community fundraisers for local charity St Luke’s hospice. There are lots of ways to get involved. Our 25th anniversary this year is a very exciting time and we’re looking forward to seeing what fundraising ideas Harrow residents come up with.” How to set up a youth group Russell Sutcliffe

Mac Laubscher “I have lived in Belmont Circle for 4 years and I am very involved in the Belmont Community Group. We organise lots of social events, and we are renowned for our street parties.”

“I’m the founder of Hoi Polloi, a community enterprise which has developed a network to help residents to share fruit grown in their gardens. A community enterprise is a great way of channelling a passion you might have and making your ideas a reality.” For more advice on volunteering call Harrow Volunteering Service on 01895 422 730. Your Harrow, your stories


BOTHERED BY RATS AND MICE? Harrow Council provides a cost effective Pest Control service to residents and businesses. Most requests can be accommodated within 24 hours of payment. Our staff are fully trained to industry standards. Our charges are fixed and fully inclusive of materials. We provide a free pest identification service to all residents. Rats and Mice (includes up to 3 visits)................................£105.00 Wasps (colony killed but nest not removed).........................£65.00 Cockroaches (domestic) Gel bait (Min 2 visits required)....£125.00 Non domestic services are charged at an hourly rate........£120.00 Dead animal carcass collection............................................£50.00 Other pest treatment prices including bed bugs provided on application. Please enquire for details of our annual, bespoke maintance and treatment contracts. Any specific arrangements for private and social housing block treatments or schools can be accommodated. For Appointments and payments Tel 0208 901 2600 Prices subject to change, please enquire at time of booking. Credit/Debit cards accepted.

providing flowers for every occasion

Show Mum She’s Simply The Best On Mother’s Day 18th March 2012 Treat her to a beautiful selection of Flowers and Gifts. BOUQUETS, BASKET ARRANGEMENTS, FRUIT BASKETS, HAMPERS, TEDDIES & CHOCOLATES Worldwide Delivery Services Opposite South Harrow Station Northolt Road, HA2 0EU

020 8426 4427

Let’s get active With the Olympics and Paralympics only a few months away, the council is calling for residents to get behind the new volunteer scheme to encourage others to play sport. Twenty-two year old Jake Dyer, from Stanmore, who has just signed up as a volunteer for the new Sport Makers Scheme, said: “I’ve always been involved in sport and love it. But I’ve realised that sometimes you need Fo someone to give you a little push and the motivation to take part in sport and I’m really keen to help do that. “I think the main benefit of getting into sport is that it’s a great social activity. It gives you a sense of achievement and makes you feel better about yourself.” The Sports Makers volunteer scheme will give people who join up the training and skills they need to get more people playing and enjoying sport. After the workshop, the so-called Sport Makers need to give 10

hours of their time to encourage others to take part in a sport in order to be entered into an Olympic ticket prize draw. The aim is to create a lasting sporting legacy in Harrow where more residents are involved in sport on a regular basis. The initiative got off to a flying start in the borough last month, with a registration workshop at Harrow Leisure Centre attracting 40 new Sport Makers volunteers. Julie Mellor, an instructor at Harrow Karate club, said: “What a fantastic idea. Clubs like ours rely heavily on volunteers. “With the help of volunteers we will be able to attract more people into the sport. “The volunteers themselves can get a lot out of this scheme. They can learn new skills and build their confidence, which could lead to them running their own club one day.” If you are over 16 and want to volunteer to be a Sport Maker visit:

Fo w

For more information about Harrow Karate Club contact Henry Francis: 07903 661938 or email hkfhiewa@

Or go to www

Julie Mellor

Make a pledge for 2012 It’s the greatest sporting event on the Cllr David Perry, portfolio holder for planet, it’s community and cultural services happening right here in our city and we want residents to be inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics. The council is launching a new project to help capture the excitement, called ‘Make a pledge for 2012.’ It’s about encouraging residents to make an Olympics-inspired pledge this year - it could be anything from pledging to join a sports club or helping an elderly neighbour carry their shopping. Make a pledge for 2012 and send us a photo like this one. All of the photos and pledges will go into a special exhibition later this year to be featured online and at Harrow Arts Centre. We’ll be following up some of the pledges through the year to see how you get on and there will be some rewards and prizes for the best pledges. Find out more at uk or email nadia.mansur@harrow. Your Harrow, your stories


Building the fu Throughout January and February residents have been telling the council their views on proposals to regenerate Harrow Town Centre, Wealdstone and Station Road. Here we give you an overview of the proposals. During a six-week consultation, scores of residents were involved in a unique opportunity to help create a borough to be proud of. They had their say on a masterplan drawn up by the council that will guide the future growth and development of Harrow Town Centre, Wealdstone and Station Road – an area called the Heart of Harrow. The masterplan aims to bring millions of pounds of investment into the area,

including new businesses, creating 3,000 new jobs, building 2,800 new homes and delivering the infrastructure needed from parks, transport and leisure, to health and schools. None of this would be possible without the commercial development to fund them.

How things could change in your area. Harrow Town Centre


Station Road

• D  evelopment to improve retail and commercial business, and provide housing.

• T  he former Kodak and ColArt sites to be regenerated with a mix of employment, homes and green space.

• Improving this busy link between Harrow town centre and Wealdstone is a key part of the plans, encouraging development at sites along the route, enhancing the look of the area and improving traffic flow.

• V  ision to create a network of public spaces, improve Lowlands Recreation Ground and make the area more attractive to visit. • T  he most appropriate location for a tall landmark building in Harrow that would, importantly, provide funding for better community facilities. • C  omplete Bradstowe House and renew outdated offices at the western end of College Road.

• Improve shopping and give it a local feel with more specialist shops. • Improving the look of the area, particularly around the station and under the railway bridge in Headstone Drive. • K  eeping the Leisure Centre complex but making better use of the site for housing and public space.

• Improvements to Hindes Road/ Elmgrove Road junction would create a ‘green corridor’ linking to Kenton and Harrow Recreation grounds. • G  reenhill Way car park, Tesco and Harrow Civic Centre have been identified as key housing sites.

• D  evelopment of Lyon House would help create a new town square and provide space for shops, a health centre and offices.

• T  he eventual redevelopment of the Civic Centre will provide the opportunity to create new public space.

• Improve walking and cycling routes into St Ann’s and College Road including Roxborough Bridge underpass.

Find out more at heartofharrow


Your Harrow, your stories

Here is a selection of what people had to say during drop in events around the borough.


Catherine O’Grady, 20, South Harrow “It’s a good idea to make the Station Road area look nicer. Jobs are also needed in the current climate so development is a good idea.”

Dave Donaldson, 62, Wealdstone “I think the plans for the Kodak site seem pretty good and as far as I can tell there’s enough parking. I think that’s going to be an issue if they don’t put enough parking in but as long as they do, everything else looks on the surface to be really pretty good.”

Sarah Zaman, 29, Harrow “The plans for the Town Centre sound brilliant and it would be good if they go ahead because it needs improvement. They would make the Town Centre a nicer place to shop and to visit and improve facilities.”

Harrow Town Centre Harrow Western Gateway

Simon Gavriel, 36, Wealdstone

Harrow Town Centre East

“The plans look good. Anything to make the area more appealing and welcoming would be great. It would be nice to see a large Morrisons or Sainsbury’s somewhere around the Kodak site to give residents another option.”

Station Road Wealdstone Central Wealdstone West Wealdstone East

Terry Butcher, 45, works in Harrow Town Centre “The plans for the town centre sound ok. As long as they stay within budget, improve the area and bring more people into Harrow, they can only be good for businesses. I would like to see a roof over St Ann’s Road because when it rains it clears the trade from the area.”

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 month we visited central Harrow to ask some of our residents for their questions. Neil Patel, Harrow Weald I feel quite strongly about the environment and do my best to recycle as much as possible – what happens to the contents of our blue and brown bins?


The brown bin waste is taken to West London Composting and the compost is then sold on to their arable farming customers across Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The blue bin waste is taken to Viridor’s Dry Recycling MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) at Crayford and all the different waste streams are separated and then transported to the various recycling companies to be reused.

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


Your Harrow, your stories

would not need planning permission to change from one type of ‘shop’ to another as shops are all in the same category. For example, a newsagent could be turned into a barbers without permission because they are both in the ‘shop’ category. However, to change from one main group to another usually does require planning permission, for example from a newsagent to a restaurant. It is always best to check with the planning department. In cases where planning permission is needed, Harrow’s planning policies work to make sure there is a good balance between the different kinds of businesses - ie to make sure there are enough shops in areas like the town centre and that the number of takeaways and pubs does not detract from the area. However, planning policies cannot be used to prevent competition, for example we could not refuse planning permission because a new estate agency would take business away from an existing nearby estate agent.

Neil Patel

Simon Gavriel, Wealdstone Is there something the council can do about restricting businesses of the same kind setting up in the same area, for example Barber shops?


Town planning rules group different types of businesses together into broad categories, for example ‘restaurants and cafes’ are in one category, ‘pubs and bars’ are in another and different types of ‘shops’ are grouped together. So a business

Simon Gavriel

Bonny Lakhala, Harrow Weald What is the council doing to tackle youth crime in the Harrow Weald area? I have seen less young people


hanging around the main high streets, but they have just been dispersed to the side roads.


Harrow Council’s Youth Development Team work closely with Safer Neighbourhood Police in all areas, including Harrow Weald, to help tackle the number of young people hanging around on the streets. Our Wealdstone youth centre is a drop-in centre which is open 6 days a week, from morning until late evening, and offers a wide variety of activities for young people to get involved in. We are also excitedly awaiting the opening of a brand new youth and community centre in Harrow Weald, to be run by Watford Football club. The impressive sport and leisure centre will open in Spring 2012 to replace the Cedars Youth Centre in Chicheley Gardens and will provide a variety of opportunities for local young people and their families.

If your bin is not collected on the scheduled day, please let us know by going to We will make sure a crew returns as soon as possible to empty your bin.

Norann Guarino

Roishin Hussan, South Harrow There should be a separate, specific study area in libraries for people doing their A levels and GCSE’s. It would make it easier for us. Better computers would be good too. Can this be done?


It is not always possible to have a separate study area for students in each library due to the size and layout of the libraries. Wherever possible we locate study spaces in a quieter area of the library for the benefit of all customers who need it. Bonny Lakhala

Norann Guarino, South Harrow We recycle a lot in my house and I find the recycle bin collection is not reliable. Sometimes they leave stuff behind and sometimes they don’t come on the day they are supposed to. Can you improve this?

We are pleased to confirm that initial work to upgrade the libraries’ public computers, and to introduce Wi-Fi access, will start soon. This may take several months to roll out across all the libraries, but we will ensure that our customers are kept informed of progress.

As a Harrow Council tax payer for many years, I am naturally interested in how my money is being used by the council. I have a concern regarding the value for money that is obtained by littering the road surfaces with diagrams of bicycles. There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of them on the roads with many painted within very short distances of each other. Surely cyclists must know whereabouts in the road it is safe to travel without having to be guided by these ridiculous symbols. How much does this cost the borough’s taxpayers?


The cycle markings in Harrow are part of a cycle route funded by Transport for London (TfL). The designs are consistent with those across the whole of London. They tend to be used in places where there is a higher risk of accidents, such as at junctions and alongside parked cars to increase driver awareness. Where there is a straight stretch of road the symbols are painted further apart and are just a reminder to motorists to look out for cyclists, rather than to tell cyclists where they should be cycling. Schemes involving road signs and lines are relatively inexpensive compared to those which require physical changes to the carriageway. An approximate cost of a cycle logo is £21, and advisory cycle lanes cost approximately 72p per metre. Harrow Council is committed to encouraging sustainable transport like cycling. It is a quick, healthy, affordable and non-polluting form of travel that helps to reduce congestion and our reliance on cars.


We are sorry that are crews have been leaving your recycling behind - this shouldn’t happen. We aim to collect all the recycling that is left out for us which is why we are now the 2nd best recycling borough in London. If you often have too much recycling to fit in your blue bin, please call Access Harrow on 020 8901 2600 to buy another recycling bin as our crews can only collect recycling from the blue bin.

Norman Grahame, Stanmore

The aim of cycle routes and markings on the roads is to help increase the number of people cycling in London, and to help reduce the disproportionate number of accidents involving cyclists. Roishin Hussan

Your Harrow, your stories


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 Harrow Camera Club Guide HQ, Leeway Close, Hatch End. Tuesday evenings 7.45pm to 10pm. Whether you are an amateur enthusiast or experienced photographer Harrow Camera Club has something to offer you. We are a friendly, welcoming group of people who share the love of photography. Through a mixture of competitions, talks and workshops we aim to enhance our technical and artistic skills. Visit our website to view the programme or contact Sam Curling on 07796 444644 for more details. www.

coordination, flexability and mobility as well as being a great fun social activity. St Peter’s church hall, Sumner Road, West Harrow HA1 4XB. 10.45am on Tuesdays. £3.50 per person. Harrow Arts centre on Thursdays at 1pm. Zumba Gold is now on in some nursing/residential homes and day centres in Harrow, using colourful bellydance skirts, pom poms and percussion instruments. For more information go to www. or call 07425148013. Sylvia Johnstone, 07793 769584.

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. Activities include planned theatre trips and holidays. Classes mainly held at the Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End. For more information go to 020 8861 3821 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). Class held at Pinner Free Church, 70 Paines Lane, Pinner HA5 3BL. Cost £4. 45mins duration. Visit website www.zumbawithtrisha. for full class schedule (Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning and Zumbatomic) or email trisha@zumbawithtrisha. for further details. Call Trisha Reid on 07919 276539.

Zumba Gold Latin-inspired dance fitness class aimed at the active older community. It improves

EXTEND exercise classes Come and have fun, and meet new people in at Holy Trinity Church, Wealdstone. EXTEND

was created to adapt exercises for people affected by aches, pain or stiffness to help delay the ageing process. Everyone can work at their own pace and ability, either seated or standing, as appropriate. For more information, call Gwen Batham on 020 8428 3855 who enjoys the challenge of making people stronger, more mobile, fitter and more confident. 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. Community fitness Tuesdays: Tap dancing adults 11am to 12noon Harrow Arts Centre, Hatch End. Wednesdays: Nifty fifty active senior fitness 10.45am to 11.45am. Wealdstone Methodist Church, Locket Road, Wealdstone. Wednesdays: Bums and Tums

8pm to 9pm, 19th Harrow Scout Hall High Road, Harrow Weald (nearest side road Claremont Rd). Call 07979 952277 or go to 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 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. Harrow Cine and Video Society Visitors welcome at weekly meetings. Whatever your level 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. Call 020 8866 3166. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided at no extra charge. First visit is free! Table Money - members £3 per person, visitors £6 per person. Crosier Investment Club Objectives are to learn more about the Stock Market and to improve personal investment skills. Meets 7.30pm on 3rd Thursday in month, at Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane,

Harrow Camera Club

Your Harrow, your stories


your essential guide to your area Pinner, HA5 1AA. Members make a £24 annual contribution to expenses and invest £25 to £50 a month into club. Further details from Secretary 020 8427 3559 email secretary@ 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. Georga Carter, 07961 321136 (sms). 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. Georga Carter, 07961 321136 (sms). 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! Walk for Health in Harrow is ideal for people new to exercise or more experienced walkers. 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.wfh. (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, stay-athome 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. 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. Contact us on 07506 363585 or 0845 269 9529 or check out the website for more information. Costs £149 per term. Rotary Club of Northwick Park Visitors welcome at weekly meetings which are held on Wednesdays, 7.15 pm, at the Travellers Rest, Kenton Road Harrow. An opportunity to meet professional and business men and women in social surroundings, and maybe become a member of this world-wide organisation. See for full details. Libraries Harrow’s Libraries will be joining in with City Read London this March and April, to encourage everyone in London to read, listen to or watch Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Lots of copies of the books will be given out and available in libraries, together with events and activities in Harrow, across London and online. We’ll be hosting a Dickens one man show and a graphics workshop. Look out at libraries or www.cityreadlondon. for the latest information. This is the first attempt to get everyone in London reading the same book, following on from other fantastic campaigns in the UK and worldwide. Medieval May Day Celebrations - 7th May 2012 There will be flying displays of birds of prey such as falcons, hawks and owls. Medieval Combat Society will entertain the audience with their combat tournaments and archery displays. Several

living history tents set up on the island near the Manor House will transfer the public into medieval times. Children can enjoy rides, face painting, storytelling and various other arts and crafts activities. Merry Dancers will add to the lively atmosphere and public will be able to try their steps at the Maypole dancing. Traditional and international food stalls will have a variety of food to choose from. On 7th May. Gates will open at 12noon and close at 5pm. Adults: £2.50, Children over 5: £1.50, Children under 5: free, Concessions: £1.50, Family ticket (2 adults+2 children): £7. Free parking in the field behind the Museum. At Harrow Museum, Headstone Manor, Pinner View, Harrow, HA2 6PX.For more information, call 020 8861 2626 or email: harrow.

Harrow Museum and Heritage Centre ‘Lost Places’ exhibition. On until Sunday 8 April 2012. A wonderful trip down memory lane to remember once wellknown places in Harrow and Pinner which are now gone or changed dramatically. ‘Olympics Celebration’ Monday 23 April - Sunday 29 July 2012 A fantastic way to celebrate the London Olympics 2012 a wonderful new arts project featuring new paintings of Olympic athletes past and present who have a connection with Harrow, a community arts project about the Games by local children and a touring Olympics exhibition. Open every day, except Tuesdays Open from 12 noon to 5pm weekdays Open from 10.30am to 5pm weekends Free entry! Call 020 8861 2626 for more information.

! N I W

Win the chance to spoil yourself, with a delightful afternoon tea at the Doll’s House set in the historic beauty of Harrow on the Hill. Harrow People has teamed up with the elegant, vintage inspired Doll’s House on the Hill to offer one lucky reader a traditional English afternoon tea for two. The lucky winner will enjoy possibly the best cup of tea you have ever had from delicately decorated antique cups, accompanied by an array of finger sandwiches. You will finish your afternoon with delicious warm freshly baked scones and a selection of the Dolls House famous cakes. This is the perfect chance to treat yourself and someone special, it would make a lovely relaxing afternoon for you and a friend or even a fantastic mother’s day treat. 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 March 14th, 2012. Your Harrow, your stories


Sat 19 May – Nalini in concert. See Nalini perform Bollywood classics and her own hits in aid of St Luke’s at the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth. Tickets range from £15 to £45. Sun 20 May – Pledge 2 Pedal. Get sponsored to cycle 15 or 30 £35 for families (two adults and three children).

Dedicated to personalised care If you are currently searching for a care home offering the highest standards of nursing or residential care as well as specialist care for people with dementia, come and visit one of our homes local to you and see how we can make a difference.

Fri 29 June – Ladies Midnight Walk. Join over 1500 ladies on a sponsored 3.5-mile walk around Harrow. There is a fun warm up from 10.30pm before the ladies set off at midnight. Entry is £20 and includes a free t-shirt, goody bag and breakfast.

Visit us or call: Buchanan Court Sudbury Hill Harrow HA1 3AR 0208 423 3311 Woodland Hall Clamp Hill Stanmore HA7 3BG 0208 954 7720

Sponsored Treasure Trail - Solve 20 clues along a 2-mile scenic route around Harrow on the Hill. Entry is £10 for adults, £5 for under 16s and £8 per adult for teams of four and above. The trail can be completed at any Œme before Sunday 22 April.

8000 or visit www.stlukes – www.stlukes

harrow’s heritage

Factbox • S  t Luke’s opened in 1987 as a day care centre • N  ow the hospice, based at the Kenton Grange, offers residential care and serves the community in their own homes. • A  s an independent charity, it provides all its services free of charge but needs to raise more than £3 million each year to do this. St Luke’s relies on the generosity of the local community for approximately 70 per cent of its funding. • I f you would like to donate to St Luke’s, call 020 8382 8000 or visit www.stlukes-hospice. org for details.

‘St Luke’s is a haven’

Do your bit and take part in Pledge 2 Pedal Register your place at the family friendly cycle event which will run in conjunction with Harrow Council and the Harrow Cyclist’s Group. It takes place on Sunday 20 May from 9am at Byron Recreational Park. To request a registration pack, call 020 8382 8063, or visit

This year marks the 25th anniversary of St Luke’s Hospice and a host of community events are lined up to celebrate the massive impact its work has had on generations of local families. The help that one Harrow family received from St Luke’s during their loved one’s illness has spurred them to fundraise for the hospice ever since. Krupa Pattni, 28 is a firm advocate of St Luke’s. “Someone of my age might think of a hospice as a stuffy old place where people come to die – St Luke’s couldn’t be more different.”

with a smile from midnight feasts, if she fancied eating, to laughter and music.

Krupa’s 29-year-old sister Rinku Pattni died of cancer in June 2009. During her illness she was cared for at home by St Luke’s community team as well as the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit. Krupa and mother Nalini were so impressed by their experience with St Luke’s they have been active fundraisers ever since.

“St Luke’s was a haven for my sister. They were all incredible, so sensitive and aware of our feelings. The energy there was so positive and calming. People shouldn’t think of it as a place where people end their lives. For Rinku it was a place to get the medical care and attention she needed for a time and then come home. We were with her all the time, stayed with her, slept over and spent all of the time together. We have lovely memories,” she added.

Krupna said: “The love and support from the team there helped not only my sister, but our whole family. Nothing was too awkward for them. Everything was done

Since Rinku’s passing, mum Nalini, a Bollywood singer, organised a fundraising concert and donated the proceeds to St Luke’s.

She said: “It was just about giving a little something back to them. We want to make sure they are around for future generations of families in Harrow.” The Stanmore family have arranged for a second Bollywood Concert to take place this summer, again to raise funds for the local hospice. The concert takes place on Saturday 19 May at the Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth. Nalini will perform Bollywood classics and her own hits. For information and tickets, contact Jemini on 020 8382 8018, jvshah@ or visit www. Your Harrow, your stories


News and advice from NHS Harrow Why is antenatal care important? In this edition, our “Ask The Doctor” slot features an interview with Dr Genevieve Small. Dr Small is a Harrow GP and the lead for children on the new clinical commissioning group.



 r Small, can you tell us a little D about the antenatal care available in Harrow? There are three types of antenatal care available, depending on women’s health.

Midwife led care is recommended for women who have no health problems during pregnancy. Community midwives provide routine antenatal care for normal pregnancies and look after new born babies during the first four weeks. If necessary, women will be referred to their GP for treatment of illnesses. The second option is GP-led care although the women will need to book herself for antenatal care to have scans or blood tests at a hospital of her choice. Your doctor will be happy to help you to make a choice that suits you and will not be too difficult to get to later in your pregnancy. The final option is for women for whom pregnancy risks or health needs have been identified. These women are advised to have antenatal care in a hospital under a consultant obstetrician and hospital midwife. In addition to this routine antenatal care, there are some other clinics for certain groups of women. These include pre-pregnancy counseling for women with medical problems who are planning to get pregnant; an obesity clinic for women with weight problems before and during pregnancy; a Well Women’s Clinic for pregnant women of African origin who have special needs; and a clinic with specialist endocrinologist.


What are the main concerns about antenatal care in Harrow?


As a general practitioner I have noticed that some women from my practice book for antenatal care late and therefore miss some antenatal


Your Harrow, your stories

screening. Our local Public Health team has identified that over each year 40% of the 3,000 pregnant Harrow women receive their antenatal care assessment later than 12weeks. This is significantly worse than the England average. Secondly, a high proportion of babies born in Harrow are of low birth weight. This increases their risk of the child developing health problems both post-natally and later in their life.


 hy is it important to book for W antenatal care before 12 weeks?


It is very important to have the initial assessment as early in the pregnancy as possible. The assessment involves a number of tests and the mother’s health is assessed. This will allow women to make important decisions about their pregnancy and get the right type of antenatal care. The Public Health team and North West London Hospitals are working together to identify the women who book late.



 o when is the right time to S book my first appointment for antenatal care?

It is possible to detect your pregnancy at 5-6 weeks and make booking for antenatal care even before 8 weeks. Most women come to see the GP to tell us they are pregnant and we can then organise their antenatal care. However, the quickest way to register yourself for antenatal care at Northwick Park Hospital is by using the self-referral form, which can be downloaded from the hospital website. You can then email, post or take it to the booking office and they will send you an appointment at the appropriate time. Another alternative is to see one of the community midwives who are based at the children centres, they can make a booking for you.

Advice for women who are considering having a baby?


 ow often do I H need to see a midwife?


The number of antenatal sessions varies according to individual needs. It is usually up to 10 sessions for women expecting their first baby and up to seven sessions for women who have previously given birth. You will be given dates and explanations about forthcoming appointments by your midwife.


 ou mentioned folic acid supplements. Y Can you explain why folic acid is important?


Folic acid can help to prevent birth defects, known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. You can get folate from your diet. It is found in green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread and brown rice. Some breakfast cereals, white breads and margarines are enriched with folic acid so please look at the labels. As many women don’t get enough folic acid through their diet, we recommend that women who are considering pregnancy should take a 400 microgram folic acid tablet every day for three months before they get pregnant and continue until the 12 week of pregnancy.


I ’ve heard that vitamin D is also important.


Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium from foods and to build bones as well as the immune system. We make our own vitamin D when our body is exposed to sunshine but it is also found in a few foods including oily fish and liver, eggs, with small amounts in butter and margarine. Some women have limited exposure to sunlight or inadequate amount of vitamin D in their diet. Your doctor or midwife might suggest taking a vitamin D supplement during pregnancy. You might be recommended to take “fresh air”. In England the sunshine is stronger from March to October between about 11am to 3pm I would strongly recommend consult your doctor before taking any medication. Your midwife should also be informed about your routine tablets, or pills that you have been prescribed because of your health condition. If you are planning to buy medications over the counter please ask advice from a pharmacist.


 here can I find a W community midwife?


Cedars Children’s Centre, Whittlesea Road, Harrow, HA3 6LS Tel: 020 8736 6222 Whitefriars Children’s Centre, Whitefriars Avenue, Harrow, HA3 5RQ Tel: 020 8861 3036 Hillview Children’s Centre, 2 Grange Road, South Harrow, HA2 0LW Tel: 020 8422 4692 Kenmore Park Children’s Centre, Warneford Road, Harrow, HA3 9HZ Tel: 020 8416 8400

Firstly, if a woman has any medical condition, it is important to discuss her pregnancy plans with her doctor. This will help her and her doctor minimize any risk to herself or her baby. Pregnancy is a challenging period in women’s life and you have to take care about your health before pregnancy • E  at a healthy diet - by this I mean regularly eating a variety of food such as cereals, bread, rice and potatoes; fruit and vegetables; meat, fish and alternatives such as pulses or tofu; milk and dairy foods and only sparingly eating foods containing high levels of fat and sugar. • T  ry to have a correct weight for your height (Body Mass Index) as being overweight can cause problems with both getting pregnant and with the pregnancy itself; • T  ake a folic acid supplement and check your dietary folate intake; • Exercise regularly; • Stop smoking; • Avoid alcohol; • E  nsure that you have had a rubella vaccination. • M  ake sure you are up to date with your cervical smears

Got a health question? Email

Your Harrow, your stories


Harrow Housewarmers aims to advise and support vulnerable residents living in cold homes this winter. Help can be provided in the form of: • Loft and cavity wall insulation • Benefit entitlement checks • Volunteer support • Debt advice • Handy Person service If you feel you would benefit from the support of Harrow Housewarmers this winter please call 020 8736 6030 or email





Don’t miss out call our approved contractor now! London Warm Zone is a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with Harrow Council to help homeowners and tenants renting from a private landlord with home insulation improvements.

FREE loft and cavity wall insulation for all homeowners and landlords. All insulation work and costs are subject to survey, funding and eligibility criteria. All work is carried out to industry standards and approved contractors are monitored for quality and customer care.

We make it easy for you with a free home assessment to check if your home’s insulation could be improved. Call us now to benefit from this limited offer. * Estimated saving of £265 a year is for a three bed semi-detached, gas heated property with full loft and cavity wall insulation installed.


0800 833 826 or apply on-line at

HOUSING BENEFIT CHANGES JANUARY 2012 Under 35s From January 2012, single people under the age of 35 can only get Housing Benefit based on the rent for a room in a shared house. The current Shared Accommodation Rate is £80.81 per week.

Non-dependant deductions If any adults live with you, except your partner, your Housing and Council Tax Benefit might be reduced by a non-dependant deduction. From April 2012 the rate of nondependant deductions are going to increase. For example, a non-dependant with gross earnings between £183.00 per week and £238.00 per week will mean Housing Benefit is reduced by £36.10 a week.

Discretionary Housing Payment If you have a shortfall between the amount of Housing Benefit that you receive and the amount of rent that you pay, we have a Discretionary Housing Payments fund that may help us help you. This fund allows us to top up Housing Benefit to the maximum allowable rent for your household. If you are a vulnerable household, have exceptional circumstances such as disabilities or you are working and finding it difficult to make up the difference in your rent, we may be able to give you some extra money. For more information please visit our website

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