May 3 2012 by Mhairi Macfarlane, Harrow Observer
AS A concerned resident of Northolt Road I was delighted to learn that the much neglected rear alleys of this busy shopping street are soon to be gated off, according to new council plans.
I have been making my views known to councillors, police, Roxeth Safer Neighbourhood Team and anyone else who may be able to influence events.
This dates back to the major South Harrow Project of about 10 years ago.
This alleyway, which runs about half the length of Northolt Road, is where street drinkers congregate. They tend not to be too diligent clearing broken glass empties and are often seen using the alleyway as a toilet.
Shoplifters take refuge here to remove security tags and to discard unwanted items and to escape the store security officers. It is not unknown to see drug deals taking place. Burglaries are not uncommon. Piles of discarded furniture may be seen in abundance and rats are beginning to be a major problem.
The solution has always been apparent to me - and others. To gate off the alleyways and create a sense of territory for the local community.
So, we should be pleased with this initiative, shouldn’t we?
Well, I now learn that Harrow Council in its wisdom is in fact considering gating off all of the alleyways except the last section. That is, between Wyvenhoe Road and Roxeth Grove. The reason I am told is lack of funds.
This scheme is long overdue but now soon to be underway, will be seriously devalued by not finishing the job.
For the sake of what is, frankly, a very small sum of money, the council should complete the job and turn this from a response to a specific issue into a thoroughly worthwhile scheme to improve the lot of the residents and traders of this important trading area.