Oct 25 2012 by Tony Leliw, Harrow Observer
Became a Herbert Lom fan in 1948
I WAS deeply saddened by the recent death of that great stage and screen actor Herbert Lom.
I became an avid fan at a very young age when, in 1948, I was taken to see one of his early films, in which he played a double role.
The film was Dual Alibi and was set in a circus. Lom played twin trapeze artistes, one of which commits a murder, but which one? Hence the title.
I can still remember my poor stepfather taking me to see the film three times during the week it was showing at our local cinema because I liked it so much.
He would meet me from school in Hindes Road and we would make our way to – Harrow’s then very plush cinema – the Dominion.
I would have been about 15 when, several years later, I received a lovely signed photograph of Herbert Lom, which I still have.
Email problems down to migration
Response to Conservative Councillors, Susan Hall and Paul Osborn’s letter (‘Email system is wasting money’, Observer letters, October 11).
DURING the Tories period in office one good thing they did was to commission PwC to report on the state of Harrow’s IT infrastructure.
In its own way it was damning, not so much about the technology but about the fragmented way that it was managed. The management was siloed and made inter-operative working across directorates almost impossible. There was no central data repository or effective disaster recovery plan in place. Even the so called ‘IT Group’ was little more than IT support with no ability or authority to impose correct IT disciplines on the organisation, let alone devolve an effective IT strategy.
All this was indicated in the report to the previous Tory administration and no action was taken by them.
The Capita contract was to address these issues. Centralizing the fragmented IT infrastructure into one organisation that will be responsive to the business needs of the council was essential if the council was to reorganise and make the efficiencies that the current cash strapped environment demands.
We could not have contemplated making the savings that we have currently made within the business without the changes that we have made to our IT infrastructure.
It is true that the change of email system has had a problem, some external email has been significantly delayed. Those of you that work in IT might understand the difficulty of migrating from Novel (including Groupwise) to Microsoft’s Active Directory (including Exchange).
Suffice it to say that to run the two systems in parallel for the period of the migration caused these problems and the period of migration has been lengthened significantly by having to accommodate the perversity of the Tory group of councillors indicated in their letter ‘we refused to transfer to it’. All other councillors have been migrated to Exchange many weeks ago.
By the way, alternatives were investigated, including Google Apps!
Performance, Customer Services and Corporate Services Portfolio Holder
Book a place with us for marathon
HAVE any of your readers been lucky enough to secure a place in the 2013 London Marathon through the public ballot? Or would they like one of our guaranteed charity places?
World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is appealing to those who have their own place or would like to take up a charity place to consider fundraising for us.
WCRF is the principal UK charity dedicated to the prevention of cancer research into and the promotion of a healthy diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight management.
So not only will taking part help you get into the kind of habits that can reduce your own cancer risk but the money raised will help us continue to fund our research and education programmes on cancer prevention.
Whether you are lucky enough to have had a successful ballot application, or would like one of our guaranteed golden bond places, we offer every runner the same outstanding level of support – training and nutritional advice; a welcome pack; a WCRF running vest; a personal online sponsorship page; a January reception with experts offering training and fundraising tips; regular team training runs; a post-race reception with free massage and shower.
Please apply by November 2 by visiting www.wcrf-uk.org/fundraising, calling 0207 343 4222 or emailing email@example.com.
World Cancer Research Fund
Answer please on Harrow footpath
FOOTPATHS are public land?
Residents of Harrow may be interested to know that the official response of Harrow Council’s planning department is that they are not necessarily.
Apparently, if a householders’ property runs alongside a walkway or footpath and the householder blocks the footpath to stop people accessing it, he or she can then enclose that land after a few years and claim that the land is part of the property.
They can then sell that parcel of land to a property developer and Harrow council will give planning permission for a whole new dwelling to be placed there.
Apparently the Land Registry will not be concerned at the ‘theft’ of public land from local residents.
This is apparently the case in a street in South Harrow and no-one at Harrow Council is prepared to comment on it – not the local councillor or the councillor in charge of planning and presumably footpaths!
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Sewer project that will cost a lot more
I HAVE just received a leaflet from Thames Water requesting £70-£80 per year added to my rates bill, which is collected by Harrow Council.
I have heard from residents in Barnet they did not receive the leaflet. Thames Water have probably spent over £1million on the production and distribution of this leaflet.
Thames Water wants this money to construct a new major sewer for £4billion. Thames Water’s costing is unsubstantiated as the project is over a lengthy period, the cost will double.
Has Harrow Council colluded with Thames Water or asked them for the full breakdown of costs, or will they assist local residents?
Consultation on area NHS closed
THE Shaping a Healthier Future consultation on proposals to improve the future of NHS healthcare in North West London has now closed.
It was really important that we heard from as many people in the area as we could so we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took time to speak to us, contact us and respond to the consultation.
We received over 16,000 questionnaire responses as well as tens of thousands of other responses in letters, comments, petitions and other formats.
All of these will now be analysed by independent evaluation specialists Ipsos MORI and their report will be published towards the end of November.
We are continuing discussions with a wide range of interest groups to ensure what people have said has been fully understood and also to test any ideas of how to address concerns raised during consultation.
If there are any groups who have health needs that you think have not been heard as part of the consultation, then please contact the Shaping a Healthier Future team via the email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the freephone number 0800 881 5209.
Final recommendations put forward by NHS North West London are expected to be considered in February 2013. It would then take about three years to develop out-of-hospital care in North West London’s communities before any changes to hospitals recommended by the programme as part of Shaping a healthier future were made.
DR ANNE RAINSBERRY
NHS North West London
Afghanistan focus of Poppy Appeal
THE Royal British Legion Poppy remains a symbol that is recognized across generations.
For its 91st year the Legion’s ever poignant mission continues to safeguard the welfare, interests and memory of those who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces.
The Poppy Appeal provides the main source of funds for the Legion’s many welfare and benevolent schemes which help over 100,000 people each year.
Since 2003 the Legion has helped more than 10,000 active, ex-service personnel and their family members who are part of the Afghan and Iraq generation. With the Afghan conflict continuing at its current intensity, additional support will be required, and that is the focus of this year’s Poppy Appeal.
Last year, over £39.5million was raised nationally and, despite the recession, Harrow residents contributed a magnificent sum of £62,185.09.
As First Citizen of the Borough, I urge all residents to support the 2012 Poppy Appeal in whatever way you can to enable the Legion to meet the ever increasing needs of the active and ex-service community.
I also extend a warm welcome to all, young and not so young, for the Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service on November 11 at the Harrow War Memorial outside Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road at 10.45am, joined by a parade led by the Glen Trew Pipe Band which leaves St Ann’s precinct at 10am marching to Harrow Civic Parade Ground.
Harrow is building upon its strong youth involvement, with young cadets playing an active role in Harrow’s parade and service, and 102 Harrow pupils have entered a Remembrance Poetry Competition, with four winning poets reading their poems after the observed silence at 11am.
MAYOR OF HARROW
Councillor Nizam Ismail