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X Factor’s Johnny lights up Harrow!

Thursday, 1 December, 2011 1 comment

Be quick if you want to catch Harrow’s Johnny Robinson switching on the town centre’s Christmas lights tonight!

The star from West Harrow will strike the first note of Christmas celebrations by turning on the lights at St Ann’s Road, near Katie’s Statue (the skipping girl sculpture near Debenhams), at 6:30pm.

But the show has already started with street performances, balloon artists and Sparky the giant robot entertaining kids at St Ann’s Road.

Ahead of his performance, Johnny Robinson said: “I’m thrilled to be able to come back to Harrow to help launch the countdown to Christmas!

“I had such great support from local people during the X Factor and it will be fantastic to say thank you in person, as well as give my backing to local traders during the Christmas shopping period. I look forward to seeing lots of you in Harrow Town Centre!”

The Christmas lights along St Ann’s Road and Station Road were installed by Harrow Council with the £860,000 won from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund to revitalise the shopping district.

Keith Ferry, Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for planning and economic development, said: “Johnny did Harrow proud during his time on the X Factor and we’re delighted that he’ll be joining us.”

He added: “The Mayor’s Outer London Fund aims to bring more shoppers to town centres like Harrow.

“It funds initiatives to dress up high streets and Harrow’s eye catching ‘light garden’ and festive lights caught the attention of the judges. We’re hoping you come and enjoy the lights, see Johnny, and shop for Christmas in the Town Centre.”

The ‘light garden’ art installation is now lit up outside St George’s Centre. It features giant snowdrops and lotus flowers around a giant alium flower. It was created by artist Jig Cochrane, who is responsible for October’s display of giant tulips for the Diwali celebrations.

Explosion blows roof off Ruislip house

Sunday, 27 November, 2011 Leave a comment

A maisonette in Ruislip had half of its roof blown off earlier this evening after a boiler exploded.

London Fire Brigade were called to the house, located on West End Road in Ruislip, just before 6pm. Witnesses reported nearing a loud bang which was reportedly audible as far away as Northwood. A fire then broke out in the damaged building.

The roof of the maisonette, which is being used as a 5-bedroom flat, caved in. None of the tenants were at home at the time. Two fire engines attended the scene and West End Road was closed off, re-opening at about 8.30pm.

It is not known at present what the cause of the boiler explosion was.

Trick or Treat?

Monday, 31 October, 2011 1 comment

According to a recent survey commissioned by Santander Insurance, 1 in 5 people would support banning Trick or Treating following the riots which swept across London earlier this year. 

Around 22%  of people surveyed believe that the yearly custom should have an outright ban, while 50% said that parental accompaniment should be compulsory in order to control the behaviour of children.

Furthermore, 43% of people would support a ban on people wearing masks which obscure the face over Halloween, and over a third of people asked would support a ban on people wearing hooded tops.

Andy Smith, head of media relations at Santander, said: “The summer’s riots resulted in a huge amount of innocent people becoming victims of crime. Our research would suggest that there is genuine concern about any more criminal damage or anti-social behaviour taking place in the period that surrounds Halloween and bonfire night – a period which many people already find intimidating”.

Are these fears founded or is it a lot of fuss about nothing? We want to know what you think: 

MPs split over EU vote

Tuesday, 25 October, 2011 1 comment

David Cameron faced what can arguably be seen as the biggest test of his leadership yesterday as a backbench motion calling for a referendum on Europe caused a massive rift within the House of Commons.

The decision of Cameron and Miliband not to allow a free vote within Parliament, opting for a three-line whip in the hope of controlling MPs votes, was met with fierce criticism from both The Commons and the general public.

After a five-hour debate on the pros and cons of EU membership and why the public should or should not be allowed to determine our future within Europe, 483 MPs voted to reject the motion, with only 111 voting in favour leaving a majority of 372 out of a total of 650 MPs in the House of Commons.

This result has sparked uncertainty over the future of several MPs within their parties. Grassroots reaction from Twitter and other social media sources suggest widespread public dissatisfaction with the result of the vote.

Twitter user Edward Butler-Ellis, who tweets under the username @EdwardBE1 and describes himself as an ‘avid Conservative campaigner’ said: “how is the #eureferendum a distraction for parliament? The EU is the single largest influence over the UK, don’t insult us. #referendumNOW

charlotteahenry, a self-described liberal, said: “Fuming about today’s self indulgent antics in Parliament, given what’s going on in the real world. Do MPs still wonder why nobody cares?”

Meanwhile, Labour supporter Shereef Abdallah (@Sheik74Shereef ) said: “Cameron is sleep walking to disaster. Even after the Euro vote, what happens if UK has d.dip recession ? Govt won’t survive till 2015.”

The list of rebels is as follows:

Conservative

Stuart Andrew

Steve Baker

John Baron

Andrew Bingham

Brian Binley

Bob Blackman

Peter Bone

Graham Brady

Andrew Bridgen

Steve Brine

Fiona Bruce

Dan Byles

Douglas Carswell

Bill Cash

Christopher Chope

James Clappison

Tracey Crouch

David T.C. Davies

Philip Davies

David Davis

Nick du Bois

Caroline Dinenage

Nadine Dorries

Richard Drax

Mark Field

Lorraine Fullbrook

Zac Goldsmith

James Gray

Chris Heaton-Harris

Gordon Henderson

George Hollingbery

Philip Hollobone

Stewart Jackson

Bernard Jenkin

Marcus Jones

Chris Kelly

Andrea Leadsom

Jeremy Lefroy

Edward Leigh

Dr. Julian Lewis

Karen Lumley

Jason McCartney

Karl McCartney

Stephen McPartland

Anne Main

Patrick Mercer

Nigel Mills

Anne-Marie Morris

James Morris

Stephen Mosely

Sheryll Murray

Caroline Nokes

David Nuttall

Matthew Offord

Neil Parish

Priti Patel

Andrew Percy

Mark Pritchard

Mark Reckless

John Redwood

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Simon Reevell

Laurence Robertson

Andrew Rosindell

Richard Shepherd

Henry Smith

John Stevenson

Bob Stewart

Gary Streeter

Julian Sturdy

Sir Peter Tapsell

Justin Tomlinson

Andrew Turner

Martin Vickers

Charles Walker

Robin Walker

Heather Wheeler

Craig Whittaker

John Whittingdale

Dr. Sarah Wollaston

Labour

Ronnie Campbell

Rosie Cooper

Jeremy Corbyn

Jon Cruddas

John Cryer

Ian Davidson

Natascha Engel

Frank Field

Roger Godsiff

Kate Hoey

Kelvin Hopkins

Steve McCabe

John McDonnell

Austin Mitchell

Dennis Skinner

Andrew Smith

Graham Stringer

Gisela Stuart

Mike Wood

Lib Dem

Adrian Sanders

Democratic Unionist Party

Gregory Campbell

Nigel Dodds

Jeffrey Donaldson

Dr. William McCrea

Ian Paisley Jr.

Jim Shannon

David Simpson

Sammy Wilson

Green

Caroline Lucas

Independent

Lady Hermon

POSITIVE ABSTENTIONS (Went through both Aye & No lobbies) 2

Ian Stewart (Conservative)

Mike Weatherley (Conservative)


Fire in Belmont Circle, Harrow

Monday, 3 October, 2011 4 comments

A car dealership opposite the Esso petrol station on Belmont Circle, Harrow is on fire.

Belmont Service Centre, located on the site of a former petrol station, caught fire at around 6pm this evening. The cause is not yet known. The dealership is located almost opposite an Esso petrol station and a Tesco Metro, neither of which is on fire.

It is unknown whether the site’s petrol storage tanks were filled in or removed after the former filling station franchise ended several years ago.

London Fire Brigade have confirmed that a storage yard behind the car body workshop is where the fire began. Six vehicles were parked in the yard, which contains six propane cylinders and one acetylene canister, requiring a 200m exclusion zone in case of explosion. Locals report that homes and businesses nearby have been evacuated.

Police have enforced road closures in the nearby area. Kenton Lane is closed, with traffic from the Locket Road direction being diverted northwards along Beverley Gardens.

Video and photos from the ground showed giant clouds of black smoke belching from the site. The video below was prepared by hyperlocal site belmontcircle.co.uk.

Help save the RAF’s Battle of Britain HQ

Monday, 19 September, 2011 Leave a comment

The Prince of Wales has launched an appeal for £1.8 million to save the historic nerve centre of RAF Fighter Command during World War Two.

RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore, was closed down and sold to developers in 2008. Funding problems mean that although plans were submitted to the local council to build over the Priory and its 40-acre gardens, nothing has yet happened.

However, a charitable group called the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust has been hard at work behind the scenes to keep the priory itself as a museum. The RAF had preserved several key rooms in their original state, including the operations room from which the Battle of Britain was directed.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, chairman of the appeal, said: “At the heart of our capital is Trafalgar Square, which commemorates a battle that saved England. But the Battle of Britain saved the world, and that is why this building is so important.

“We are almost at the culmination of six years’ work. Renovation has already started and we now need to ensure that the important stories that Bentley Priory holds within its fabric are exposed to public view.”

Prince Charles, acting through his Prince’s Regeneration Trust, has taken a keen personal interest in the fate of Bentley Priory. Writing in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, the Prince described Bentley Priory as “… a unique blend of wonderful architecture, a rich social history and the compelling effort of men and machines in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

“While each of these facets has importance in its own right, together they represent an unparalleled blend of such significance that future generations need to find accessible. Otherwise, they will fade from living memory and our ‘island story’ will be incomplete.”

To donate to the appeal, please visit the Bentley Priory Trust’s website.

Photo via mr_robd_lon, Flickr.

Do you know these people?

Thursday, 1 September, 2011 1 comment

Harrow Police are asking if anyone recognises the couple in this photograph after recovering a stolen digital camera.

The camera was found after a 25-yr-old man from Ruislip was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. He has been bailed until later this month.

Detective Sergeant Gerri Mannion, from Harrow CID, said: “We are very keen to identify the rightful owner of this camera and reunite them with it.

“We have very limited information about the two people captured in this photograph, however they appear to be in their early 20s and might be tourists or could be from the London area. It’s not clear when the photograph was taken but we are hopeful that someone will recognise them.

“If you have any ideas who the two people in the photograph are, please call Harrow Police on 020 8733 4349 in order that the camera can be restored to its rightful owner.”

Police have also reminded the public that comprehensive crime prevention advice can be found on the Met Police website at www.met.police.uk.