Our Programme for Harrow


Harrow, like the whole country, is facing multiple challenges: climate change; providing a decent environment for all; tackling crime; and trying to ensure that everyone has a decent place to live. Everyone has their own list.

The borough of Harrow has limited powers and can do more in some areas than others. The Liberal Democrats, if we are elected, will use all the Council’s powers to deliver what is set out here. In doing so we will maximise consultation – knowing what people want and, perhaps more importantly, don’t want is central to our way of doing things.

For example, tackling climate change and improving the environment, however necessary, can be contentious, and we look to move forward with maximum consensus, without which reform will probably fail. We will not be driven either by narrow ideology or by narrow economic considerations.

That is what the Lib Dems can offer over and above the other two main parties.

OUR VISION

  • Greener housing without high-rise
  • A Harrow Card to deliver benefits to residents and businesses
  • Make life easier for cyclists and pedestrians, but not penalising car owners
  • Make Harrow cleaner and greener, and fight fly-tipping
  • Council tax as low as possible as Lib Dems have done in Watford

But always:

  • Consult and listen to local people views.

 

IN DETAILS:

Council Tax

Liberal Democrat-controlled councils like nearby Watford have kept council tax increases to the minimum whilst providing good services. Residents in Harrow have our word that we will endeavour to keep council tax as low as we can, consistent with providing good services. We will fight for a better share of Government funds. We will be vigilant against waste of all kinds.

Planning

Harrow Liberal Democrats will use the powers available to the Council to improve the built environment, in the interest of all residents. We want a greener housing stock better able to deal with the challenge of climate change as well as meeting the needs of people. The current spate of high-rise dwellings does not provide what the people of Harrow want and need, and will not be sustainable in the longer term.

We will use Council powers to make sure dwellings are not kept empty without good reason.

We will make use of the powers available to the Council to ensure that services for communities are maintained. Examples include ensuring good roads and rail services, maintaining green spaces accessible to inhabitants, and providing excellent local schools for our children.

We will make sure that the Council plans to meet our national net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 with sensible plans, taking into account the social effects that these might have on the communities.

Crime

We want Harrow to be a safe and secure place to live. Fighting crime is of course in the first instance a matter for the Metropolitan Police, with whom we will cooperate closely. But we will also use the powers the Council has to reduce crime in every possible way, whether by maintaining good street lighting or by providing facilities for young people to give them alternatives.  In particular we will use all our local authority powers to tackle knife crime; and we will set yearly targets for a reduction in crime in Harrow, so we can measure progress.

Refuse and Recycling

We have two aims on refuse and recycling which go together. First, we will try to get a cleaner Harrow; litter-strewn streets are demoralising and unhelpful to business. Second, enhanced recycling will help achieve our wider climate aims and militate against a throw-away culture, but it can also help make a cleaner Harrow.

We will make recycling centres more accessible and provide additional facilities to recycle.

We will fight against fly-tipping by pursuing offenders and using the full force of the law. But we are conscious of the cost of cleaning up after fly-tipping and will endeavour to create conditions in which fly-tipping will be less attractive to potential offenders.

It is important that as much waste as possible is composted, and we will introduce policies to help make that happen.

Transport

Transport is a key area to the life of Harrow. We want everyone to be able to get around Harrow as quickly and conveniently as possible. For some that will inevitably mean a car, and we will endeavour to make driving in Harrow as easy as possible. But many will want to walk or cycle or take public transport and we aim to make those choices, which can benefit the individual and the environment, as safe and convenient as possible. We also want to encourage the use of electric vehicles and reduce internal combustion engine use, in line with wider national policies. Pollution causes many thousands of premature deaths across the country, and we will aim to reduce pollution in Harrow, particularly where pollution exposes people directly to risk.

Cycles

We will aim to create usable cycleways which prioritise connections with stations, secondary schools, leisure centres, and parks to encourage cycling and protect cyclists. As well as upgrading existing cycle paths we will give them much greater publicity and encouragement.

We will provide more cycle stands in shopping areas.

We will ensure that all proposals are technically sound, improve the quality of life in Harrow and minimise the disturbance to road traffic. We will consult widely and encourage full involvement of the public in decision-making.

Cars

We will push for a rationalisation of the parking permit system in Harrow, currently patchy and illogical. We believe it is unfair that some people must pay a substantial fee to park in their streets if they do not have a driveway, or that others cannot find anywhere to park because the nearby areas require a parking permit.

We will provide free parking for essential needs for up to one hour but will not approve measures which would result in an unsustainable increase in traffic, which is already growing because of the increased population.

We will provide free parking for electric vehicles.

We will negotiate with Northwick Park Hospital with the aim of securing lower parking fees for patients and visitors.

Pedestrians

We will support pedestrians by making crossing busy roads safer.

We are committed to making sure that pavements are safe for all users. That means replacing uneven surfaces and making sure that obstructions do not impede users.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and other open spaces are an incredibly valuable resource for everyone in Harrow, as well as providing ‘lungs’ for our urban area.

We will ensure they are available for use to the maximum by residents.

We will increase tree cover wherever possible both to help the environment and because trees enhance the local area.

We will not endorse any decision which would reduce public green areas or reduce mature trees without pressing need.

We will promote planting of trees, new or as replacement, in the parks and along streets.

We will increase facilities for youngsters and adults such as outdoor gyms, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

 

 

 


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