GCSEs and A-levels to be marked more generously

Hundreds of thousands of GCSE students in England will be told their exam topics in advance and marked more generously under plans expected to be unveiled this week.

Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, could also announce that students who have had their teaching time heavily disrupted by coronavirus could also be given grades with asterisks to indicate to higher education colleges that they should look kindly on applicants.

It comes as universities began reducing entry requirements for undergraduate degree courses starting next year in recognition of the disruption to education caused by the pandemic.

The move by ministers will put an end to speculation that GCSE exams in England could be cancelled altogether, following the examples set by Wales and Scotland.

Under a plan due to be unveiled by the Department for Education and the exams regulator, grading will be made more generous for students taking GCSEs to allow for the fact that many of them will have had disrupted learning in this academic year.

Students taking exams will also be told in advance which topics will appear on 2021 exam papers. Exam boards will be required to tell schools which subject areas will be covered in GCSE and A-level papers, to allow teachers to prepare pupils to answer particular questions.

Education minister Nick Gibb said in the House of Commons this month that the Government was working to ensure that 2021 exams are "fair" and more details will be published "shortly".

A Whitehall source said: "This has been looked at intensively over the past few months. Ministers, Ofqual, exam boards — everyone working together trying to work together to come up with a package to offset and compensate for kids who have been self-isolating."  

In Wales, all exams have been cancelled on the basis that disruption caused by the pandemic has made it "impossible to guarantee a level playing field”.

In Scotland the National 5 exams — which are equivalent to GCSEs — will not go ahead but the Highers and Advanced Highers — equivalent to AS and A-levels — will take place.

The news came as a survey of Year 11 students found that they are calling for a range of fairness measures to be introduced for GCSEs in Summer 2021, reflecting the disruption to learning since lockdown in March this year.

The news will be welcomed by students in England. A survey of 2,649 16-year olds carried out by leading online content provider GCSEPod, found that “knowing which topics will be in the exam” scored highly as a fairness measure, with 66 per cent of teens believing this would make exams fair.

A similar proportion — 67 per cent — said that they would like to see grades being more generous, whilst a just over quarter — 26 per cent — favoured having more options on which questions to answer in the exam.

Anthony Coxon, chief executive of GCSEPod, said: “It’s clear teenagers are really tuned in to the fairness debate around their exams, and have clear views on what would make exams fairer. It’s important that amidst all of this we don’t forget who matters the most – the students.”

On Saturday, the University of Surrey said it will reduce its entry requirements by one grade for most undergraduate courses starting next year, in recognition of the disruption to education caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Grade requirements will be lowered to help "relieve the pressure and anxiety" faced by young people who will have seen their learning affected by the pandemic across two academic years.

Entry grades will be reduced by one grade for the majority of undergraduate programmes starting in September 2021, except for regulated courses such as Veterinary Medicine, foundation year courses, four-year integrated masters programmes and audition-based performance courses.

Earlier this month, the University of Birmingham also revealed it planned to reduce entry requirements for 2021 by one grade in recognition of the impact of coronavirus on A-level students.

‘Woke’ National Trust seeks Vote Leave help

The National Trust has hired a lobbying firm run by a former Vote Leave executive to “de-woke-ify” the charity in an apparent admission that it needs to cool the political row surrounding its controversial colonialism and slavery report.

Hanbury Strategy — whose company motto is "The world is changing. We can help you understand it, navigate it, shape it" — is understood to have hired in recent weeks after the publication of the 115-page report in September.

The Trust hired the PR firm after its members condemned the study which implicated Winston Churchill.

The charity commission also raised concerns about it and ministers said in a Commons debate this month that the report had been "unfortunate" and "caused offence" and urged the Trust to focus on its "core functions".

Hanbury Strategy, a strategic advisory company, was co-founded four years ago by Paul Stephenson, a former communications director in the Vote Leave campaign, and Ameet Gill, director of strategy in 10 Downing Street when David Cameron was Prime Minister.

Paul Stephenson co-founded the group

On its website the firm says that "whether you’re an investor who wants to measure political risk, a CEO facing a difficult communications challenge, or a political leader who wants to better understand public opinion, we bring unparalleled experience to your most complex and challenging problems".

The Trust declined to say how much it was paying Hanbury, although industry sources said it was likely to be tens of thousands of pounds.

The news of the appointment comes just as the Trust is making redundant nearly 1,300 staff including curators to fill a £200million revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic.

Tory MPs questioned why the Trust had decided to spend large sums on the advisers to deal with a problem that its own executive team had caused.

Conservative MP Andrew Murrison said: "The Trust leadership shouldn’t need to hire an expensive PR consultancy to dig it out of a mess of its own making.

"The expenditure will distress hard working staff sacked by the Trust and members and volunteers who have seen properties close.

"This latest adds to the impression of an organization that’s out of touch and, to be honest, all over the place.

"The Trust’s leadership needs to get back on track fast, reconnect with its members and rediscover its simple, honorable task of being Clerk of Works to our most precious structures, artifacts and landscapes."

Another Tory MP added: “It’s clear that the clueless National Trust leadership has totally lost touch with its own membership.

“That they’ve got to hire premier-league outside help just to de-woke-ify themselves shows just what a hole they’re in.

“To ordinary members this just goes to show how urgent change at the top of the National Trust now is.”

A National Trust spokesperson said: “The National Trust cares for many hundreds of places and collections, welcomes millions of visitors every year, and communicates with a huge range of stakeholders and audiences.

“To be as effective as possible we sometimes need extra support from external organisations and agencies.

“All spending decisions go through a rigorous procurement process to ensure best value for money and long term benefit to the organisation.”

A spokesman for Hanbury Strategy declined to comment on its work with the Trust.

Cannabis card aims to protect legal users

Buying or growing cannabis for medicinal use will be effectively decriminalised for drug users who carry a new “get out of jail free” card to stop them being arrested. 

More than a million people in the UK will be eligible for an identity card, backed by police, that will allow them to grow their own cannabis at home or buy it from drug dealers.

Although cannabis is now legal to prescribe for some conditions in the UK, few prescriptions have been issued on the NHS, forcing patients to ask for the drug from expensive private clinics. 

Many choose instead to grow their own cannabis or buy it on the street. Patients say it alleviates symptoms of chronic pain, migraines and nausea, but they fear being arrested and prosecuted.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and Police Federation have backed the “Cancard” — a driving licence-style card designed by campaigners that can be shown to police to encourage them to be lenient.

The scheme is run by campaigners, not by the Government, but police bodies will ask officers to respect its users and their medicinal intentions.

Every police officer will receive an information pack from the NPCC asking them to use discretion if they encounter a medicinal user of cannabis, and suggesting they are not arrested.

Officers will be encouraged to contact a hotline to advise them to be lenient on medicinal users.

Growing and consuming cannabis outside specific medical circumstances will remain technically illegal, but police say their time is wasted pursuing users who are “simply unwell” and they will not enforce the law.

To be eligible for the scheme, which launches tomorrow with 15,000 users, patients must obtain a letter from their GP to prove they have a condition for which cannabis oil can be prescribed. Around 1.1 million people in the UK are thought to be eligible.

The conditions include PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, migraines and Crohn’s disease.

Campaigners say people with the cards will be able to grow their own plants or buy cannabis on the street and smoke it in a joint or e-cigarette, which can reduce their symptoms.

Jason Harwin, the NPCC lead officer for drugs and Deputy Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police, said arresting patients who are taking cannabis because of their health conditions “can’t be acceptable”.

“This is a really live issue, where the police service finds itself stuck in the middle of a situation where individuals should legitimately be accessing their prescribed medication, but, because of availability and cost they can’t and therefore to address their illness rely on having to use illicit cannabis,” he said. 

“This can’t be acceptable and places the service in a position where we could be criminalising someone because of their illness.”

The Cancard scheme was conceived by Carly Barton, a fibromyalgia patient who is eligible for a legal medicinal cannabis prescription but self-medicates with black market cannabis because of the cost of the drug.

She said: “We all know that cases where patients have proved legitimate medicinal use are unlikely to make it to court, and if they do these cases are consistently dropped. 

“This is especially the case when a patient presents with a condition that is being privately prescribed for. There is currently no way of identifying these people before emotional distress has been caused and public resources have been wasted. 

“There is an opportunity to provide something that changes this by way of providing a service that benefits both the patients and the police. 

“Cancard should give patients peace of mind and police confidence in using their discretion before any stress has been caused to vulnerable people.”

Cuban artists end rare protest, say authorities agree to talks | Reuters

4 Min Read

HAVANA (Reuters) — A rare public protest in Cuba of more than 300 artists, activists and members of the public outside the culture ministry to denounce repression and censorship ended early on Saturday after demonstrators said they agreed with officials to open an unprecedented dialogue.

People gather in front of the culture ministry to show solidarity with dissident artists and to demand a dialogue over limits on freedom of expression, in Havana, Cuba, November 27, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Thirty of the protesters including performance artist Tania Bruguera and film director Fernando Perez met for more than four hours with Deputy Minister Fernando Rojas and said they had agreed to start a series of meetings to resolves differences.

The group said Rojas also agreed to review the cases of a rapper sentenced this month to eight months in jail on charges of contempt and a dissident artist detained since Thursday.

Cuba’s Communist government had previously dismissed both as mercenaries directed by its arch enemy the United States, as it generally does with dissidents.

Not all of the protesters outside the ministry were convinced by the non-binding reassurances, and were disappointed no officials came out to give a briefing on the meeting.

But most said it was already an historic achievement to have forced the government to talk with those who think differently and for some, broken the fear of speaking out in public in the one party state.

“It’s a special flame that ignited here today,” said activist and music promoter Michel Matos, who took part in the meeting with Rojas.

“We talked about freedom of expression, freedom of association, censorship and physical repression,” Matos said. “I don’t think there has been a dialogue like this in a ministerial space in 60 years.”

The government made no statement and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.

The protesters included citizens who usually shy away from talking publicly about politics but felt emboldened to join after seeing images of the crowd on social media, underscoring how internet expansion in Cuba is making it harder for the government to contain dissent.

As their representatives met with officials inside, protesters outside the ministry sang and clapped every 10 minutes to show their solidarity.

“Without the pressure that you exerted outside, without your applause while we talked, without your shouts we would not have been able to arrive at these agreements,” Bruguera said.

Trucks carrying police and security forces surrounded the area. Other than at one point firing tear gas to try to prevent some protesters from reaching the ministry, they did not intervene.

The protest was sparked by authorities’ crackdown on the San Isidro Movement of dissident artists and activists to which Matos belongs that formed two years ago to protest curbs on freedom of expression, often through irreverent performances.

The situation came to a head after authorities besieged the movement’s headquarters in Old Havana’s San Isidro district then on Thursday broke up a hunger strike there that had started to gain international attention.

Security forces forcibly removed and briefly detained the five members on hunger strike and nine other people in the house, citing violations of coronavirus protocols.

Those detained said their phones were seized so they could not transmit any footage of the raid.

Some Cubans reported that social media platforms in the country, where the state has a monopoly on telecommunications, were briefly shut down to prevent news of the raid from being shared online.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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TfL urged to review railway station name over fears of its ‘offensive’ association with slavery

Transport for London (TfL) has been urged to review the name of a railway station in the capital over fears about its "offensive" association with slavery.

Newham councillors have called on the transport body to consider renaming Maryland station during a discussion over electoral ward names in the borough.

If approved, the move could pave the way for other rail and underground stations to be reviewed, with stops such as East India and Canning Town also highlighted for its past associations with the slave trade.

Maryland, which sits on the Great Eastern Main Line connecting London with eastern England, was allegedly given as the station’s name through a slave-holding family who owned plantations in the Mid-Atlantic state.

The name has now been proposed as a new ward in the borough following a boundary shake-up, but Labour councillors say it could cause "deep disappointment" to Afro-Caribbean residents. An alternative suggestion of New Town has been put forward.

In a council report, politicians said they would consult with TfL with regards to renaming the railway station.

Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said the current Maryland name was a “disservice to the diversity of the borough”.

While Anthony McAlmont told members the use of Maryland is “offensive” because: “Anything that has some connection to slavery does offend some of us.”

It has been suggested the name originates with the merchant Richard Lee, who owned plantations in the American colonies, and may have brought back the name Maryland from his estates there.

A boundary commission report states:  “We received suggestions from the Council and a resident that Maryland ward should be renamed New Town because of the name’s possible links to a prominent figure in the colonial governments of North America."

It does however add that:  “Other evidence casts doubt on the origins of the name and points to earlier place name derivations.

“The Council acknowledges that there is uncertainty about the matter.”

It has been argued that British places deriving their names from American locales is extremely rare, and the most likely origin of “Maryland” is in fact the Old English word “mære” meaning boundary.

Company connected with Iraq abuse claims wins Covid marshals contracts

A company that employed private investigators to probe the conduct of British troops in Iraq has been awarded a series of contracts to recruit Covid marshals.

Red Snapper recruitment, which has a turnover of almost £30 million, is advertising for applicants for the posts across a number of local authorities in England.

Successful candidates are told they can expect to earn around £100 a day for the four-month, full time contracts.

They will be expected to patrol town centres to ensure people are not breaking the rules around social distancing and complying with the laws on wearing face coverings in public places.

With a new and varying tier system about to replace the lockdown, Covid marshals will also be on hand to explain what the rules are to those who are confused, but will not have the powers to fine people.

The use of Covid marshals is controversial and unpopular with the public and MPs alike.

Change in lockdown tiers either side of national lockdown

Tory MP, Steve Baker, warned that the introduction of marshals would mean a trip to the town centres would be like going through airport security.

Red Snapper is one of a number of recruitment specialists that have been hired after local authorities were handed £30 million by the Government to help with Covid enforcement plans.

The firm hit the headlines in 2016 when it emerged that it had been awarded millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money for helping to provide staff for the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).

They employed dozens of retired police officers to investigate allegations of abuse, torture and murder by the British military during the Iraq war.

But the IHAT inquiry came in for intense criticism over the length of time it took to carry out investigations, with many of those accused left in limbo for years not knowing what the outcome was likely to be. MPs denounced IHAT as a “witch hunt”.  Red Snapper, itself, was not blamed for the length of the inquiry.

At the time, the company — which supplied 127 investigators to IHAT — insisted their contract returned a small profit of three per cent, and that the company had other successful contracts.

Red Snapper has won the contracts to supply Covid marshals for at least five local authorities, but the company refused to disclose the full list.

Recent advertisements have appeared for roles in Sandwell in the West Midlands, Bedford, Slough, Staffordshire and Bristol.

Candidates are asked to demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills, and must be able to manage conflict and deal with difficult situations.

They are offered up to £103.76 per day for the role, and expected to work between 2pm and 11pm five days a week.

Major Robert Campbell, who was subjected to a lengthy investigation by Ihat — which is separate to Red Snapper — over the death of an Iraqi in 2003 and subsequently exonerated in a separate judge-led inquiry, said: “Red Snapper has shown there is no human misery they cannot exploit for a profit.”

A spokesman for Red Snapper said: “RSG is supplying a small number of workers to a small number of local authorities to fulfil the role of Covid marshal. We believe we are one supplier of many who are meeting this demand.”

Ethiopian prime minister announces military operation in Tigray is complete | Reuters

3 Min Read

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday that military operations in northern Tigray region have been completed, shortly after he announced federal troops had seized full control of the regional capital Mekelle.

Slideshow ( 2 images )

“I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region,” he said in a tweet. Less than an hour earlier, he said in a statement, “The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle”.

There was no immediate comment from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, who have been fighting Ethiopian troops for the past three weeks in a conflict that has sent shockwaves through the Horn of Africa.

Abiy said police were searching for the TPLF leaders.

“Federal police will now continue their task of apprehending TPLF criminals and bring them to the court of law,” said the prime minister, who has called the government offensive a law and order operation.

Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to the region have been down and access has been tightly controlled since the fighting began.

Authorities had said earlier that government forces were in the final stages of an offensive in the region and would take care to protect civilians in Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people.

Related Coverage

Ethiopian military has taken 'full control' of Tigray capital, chief of staff says

Abiy said the army had secured the release of thousands of troops from the Northern Command, a military unit based in Tigray, who he said had been held hostage by the TPLF.

Federal troops had taken control of “the airport, public institutions, the regional administration office and other critical facilities,” Abiy said.

State television said that federal forces were in full control of the city by 7 p.m.

Earlier on Saturday, a diplomat in direct contact with residents, and the leader of Tigrayan forces said federal forces had begun an offensive to capture Mekelle.

The government had given the TPLF an ultimatum that expired on Wednesday to lay down arms or face an assault on the city.

Thousands of people are believed to have died during the fighting this month, and some 43,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring Sudan.

The northern region of Tigray also borders the nation of Eritrea and the conflict has stirred concern about an escalation around the country of 115 million people, or in the region.

Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray. The TPLF says the attack was a pre-emptive strike.

Abiy told African peace envoys on Friday that his government will protect civilians in Tigray. The prime minister has said he regards the conflict as an internal matter and his government has so far rebuffed attempts at mediation.

Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom, Katharine Houreld, David Lewis and Omar Mohammed; Additional reporting by Baz Ratner and Seham Eloraby in al-Qadarif, Sudan; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Ethiopian military has taken ‘full control’ of Tigray capital, government says | Reuters

3 Min Read

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) — Ethiopian troops have taken “full control” of the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle, the government said on Saturday evening, a major development in a three-week-old war that is sending shockwaves through the Horn of Africa.

Slideshow ( 2 images )

“The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a statement posted on his Twitter page.

He said police were searching for the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who have been fighting federal forces in the northern region since Nov. 4.

“Federal police will now continue their task of apprehending TPLF criminals and bring them to the court of law,” said Abiy, who has called the government offensive a law and order operation.

There was no immediate comment from the TPLF.

Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to the region have been down and access has been tightly controlled since fighting began on Nov. 4.

Authorities had said earlier that government forces were in the final stages of an offensive in the region and would take care to protect civilians in Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people.

Related Coverage

Ethiopian military has taken 'full control' of Tigray capital, chief of staff says

Abiy said the army had secured the release of thousands of troops in the Northern Command, a military unit based in Tigray that was being held hostage by the TPLF.

The army chief of staff, Birhanu Jula, also announced that government forces had taken control of Mekelle, in a statement on the military’s official Facebook page.

State television said that federal forces were in full control of the city by 7 p.m.

Earlier on Saturday, a diplomat in direct contact with residents, and the leader of Tigrayan forces said federal forces had begun an offensive to capture Mekelle.

The government had given the TPLF an ultimatum that expired on Wednesday to lay down arms or face an assault on the city.

Thousands of people are believed to have died during the fighting this month and around 43,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring Sudan during the conflict.

The northern region of Tigray also borders the nation of Eritrea and the conflict has stirred concern about an escalation around the country of 115 million people, or in the region.

Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray. The TPLF says the attack was a pre-emptive strike.

Abiy told African peace envoys on Friday that his government will protect civilians in Tigray. The prime minister has said he regards the conflict as an internal matter and his government has so far rebuffed attempts at mediation.

Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom, Katharine Houreld, David Lewis and Omar Mohammed; Additional reporting by Baz Ratner and Seham Eloraby in al-Qadarif, Sudan; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies at 46 | Reuters

2 Min Read

Slideshow ( 2 images )

(Reuters) — Tony Hsieh, former chief executive officer and founder of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos, died on Friday, the company said in a statement.

The Las Vegas, Nevada-based company did not mention the cause of his death but TechCrunch reported tcrn.ch/3mgA9CN, citing a spokesperson for Hsieh, that he died from injuries sustained in a house fire in Connecticut.

In tribute to Hsieh, Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak said in a post on Twitter, “Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas.”

Hsieh retired this past summer after spending 20 years with the company, Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande said in statement. bit.ly/3mhPDGQ

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” Deshpande said.

Amazon.com Inc, which bought Zappos for $1.2 billion in 2009, said “We are deeply saddened to hear of Tony Hsieh’s untimely passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Tony was a visionary leader and innovator who will be greatly missed.”

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Cycle lane used by one cyclist an hour is Harrow’s busiest, council admits

The council behind an underused cycle lane exposed last week by the Sunday Telegraph has admitted that its other two cycle lanes are even quieter.

New figures from Harrow council show that Honeypot Lane, graced by just seven cyclists in six hours on November 20, is busier than the Sheepcote Road and Uxbridge Road facilities.

Honeypot Lane was used by 98 cyclists on a typical day in October, according to the council’s numbers, while Sheepcote Road attracted a daily average of 77 cyclists, a rise of 12 compared to June.

However, cyclist numbers on Uxbridge Road have actually declined since its cycle lane was introduced with 61 cyclists using the lane on average in October, down from 67 in June.

The low-traffic neighbourhood in Headstone Drive has also been subject to strong criticism, with council figures showing weekday queues have risen by 108 per cent.

It comes after the Labour-controlled council narrowly opted to retain its cycle lanes plus low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and "pedestrian space measures" during a fraught meeting held virtually on Thursday.

Representatives voted by 33 to 26 to defeat a motion brought by Cllr Paul Osborn’s Conservatives group that called for an end to the "Streetspace" schemes — which are funded by £683,000 of Transport for London cash — in the borough.

Cllr Osborn told his Labour counterparts “when you’re in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging”, before urging them to vote to “tear down these barriers”.

Cycle lanes Harrow

“I’m disappointed for the residents,” he told The Telegraph after the meeting. “I think the evidence is overwhelming that it just isn’t working, and the council are just refusing to listen.

“The schemes are badly designed and have been taken over by people who have had an agenda to do this for a number of years. Encouraging to get healthy has been subverted by activist groups.”

Cllr Varsha Parmar, Harrow’s environment portfolio holder, cited social distancing rules and the "climate emergency" in defence of the LTNs and cycle lanes she oversees.

“Your own transport secretary has actually endorsed the low traffic neighbourhoods and other ‘safe street’ initiatives,” she told Tory councillors, referring to the £2 billion allocated by Grant Shapps to encourage walking, running and cycling.

While Cllr Parmar promised she would eventually implement “some changes in due course”, she did not specify what these would be, and responded to a petition by saying “it is important to listen to all views, not just the loudest.”

Cllr Marilyn Ashton said that in 21 years as a councillor she had “never seen so many unhappy” over a local issue, while Conservative representative Arjana Patel claimed Labour was “out of touch”.

“This is not free money, this is hard-earned taxpayers’ money and residents are paying for it,” Cllr Patel told The Telegraph. “Our Government has given them so much, but this incompetent council wastes money.”

The mental health of those living near cycle lanes was suffering, the meeting heard, with one resident concerned he could lose his job because of his delayed journey to work.

The Streetspace schemes will continue to be reviewed on a month-by-month basis amid ongoing frustration and petitions from residents.

Documents produced by the council last month and seen by this newspaper said the authority’s own feedback portal “indicates a continuing level of unpopularity amongst the community towards these schemes”.

They cited a negative impact on tradesmen and visitors accessing restricted streets, and an increase in the time taken to drop off and pick up students by car.

A spokesman for Harrow Council said: "All feedback is considered as part of the monthly review process. Next week we will be publishing the figures used as part of the October monthly review. Ward councillors have been, and will continue to be, briefed throughout the process and their views taken into consideration as part of the review process."

Cllr Varsha Parmar, Environment Portfolio holder said: “LTNs have a place in Harrow and we are committed to creating schemes that work for our residents. We will continue to engage about the future scope of the LTNs ensuring residents’ views are listened to as part of the decision-making process.”