Dec 14 2011 By Ian Proctor
A COUNCILLOR claims closing Harrow Civic Centre for an extra day in order to reward staff for their performance is something local government can ‘ill afford’.
Michael Lockwood, chief executive of Harrow Council, agreed workers would get Wednesday, December 28, off because the authority was named Best Achieving Council Award at the Municipal Journal Awards 2012 in June.
However, leader of the Conservative opposition group, Councillor Susan Hall, said: “I’m frankly astonished. I think it gives the wrong impression, as though this is something the public sector can afford.”
Mr Lockwood said the award was the culmination of a year in which council services made ‘great strides from social care, adoption, schools, recycling and customer services amongst many others’.
He said: “Most importantly, resident and tenant satisfaction has seen a significant increase. This would not be possible without the hard work and enthusiasm of council staff and their continued willingness to serve residents.
“In recognition, we are allowing staff to take a day of annual leave on December 28, which is one of the council’s quietest days of the year.”
The civic centre in Station Road, Harrow, will shut but waste collections and meals on wheels will continue as normal. Civic Centre and Gayton Libraries will be open, with the other branches closed as usual.