Harrow Council’s Labour administration has announced their plans for a new Civic Centre with much fanfare without any consultation, involvement and scrutiny from opposition parties or affected businesses and residents.
The plans involve purchasing large pieces of land in Wealdstone, with Labour deciding against the less risky option of building on land the Council already owns and nearer to Harrow town centre.
Labour have insisted the new Civic Centre will be delivered at zero cost to residents, with the Council Leader David Perry saying “the price of these plans is nothing at all”, and their press release boasting of winning £8.8 million “straight away” from the Greater London Authority. However, this £8.8 million isn’t a donation – it’s a loan, received in stages, and it has to be paid back!
There are also logistical issues; the development will reduce the amount of car parking available in Wealdstone, which will be a disaster for local businesses, and absolutely no money has been set aside for substantial changes that will be needed for the road layout and re-routing of traffic during development.
Labour have a track record of settling for third rate developments such as the tower blocks planned for 51 College Road, and there is a real worry that, instead of properly embracing the once in a life time opportunity to finally deliver the Civic Centre that Harrow deserves, Labour will find another way to let residents down.