OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Hornsey Town Hall / Haringey Council - a public meeting 16th March - 6:30

Haringey has arranged a public meeting for 16th March in the Town  Hall to put forward ideas as to what might happen next, now that Mountview have dropped out. You may have seen the banner (below), or the notes in Haringey People inviting your presence.

You may also have been a recipient of an inflammatory and emotive email. I haven't but I've seen this email about Hornsey Town Hall on Facebook. It reads:

THE COUNCIL ARE SELLING THE TOWN HALL……MONDAY 16TH MARCH 7PM PUBLIC ONSULTATION MEETING AT HORNSEY TOWN HALL….

Re: Hornsey Town Hall
The council are pursuing selling the town hall off to a developer. To that end, they are holding a meeting on Monday 16th March at 7pm. They have called it a public consultation but have not publicised it or made it otherwise known. 
If what we want for Crouch End is an expression of the area, a focus around which the community can gather, somewhere that personifies us, then we have to lobby them to think again. 
To impose a block of flats onto this beautiful building would be hard to live with, an anonymous dead space in the middle of such a vibrant, creative community is a misplaced planning consent. We all understand that it will take money to maintain such a lovely place, and a commercial agenda is needed, but we can ask the council to think beyond flats, and consider models that would hold the council up as setting an example, where others may follow.

Come to Hornsey Town Hall at 7pm on Monday 16th March and voice your concerns.

Thanks for reading, and please pass this on to as many people as you can. 
Thanks!

I think this originates from here. Now, usually, 'inflammatory and emotive' indicates a lack of factual support or some element of desperation, but I wonder how much substance there might be in this. I went to one of the precursor meetings and I was hugely disappointed in the content and the conduct of the meeting. Some one who stayed all the way through (I was called away) said "I fear we may end up with a decision nobody wants". This coming on top of a massive Hornsey Town Hall charm offensive leads me to suspect we are being softened up for something. 

I'd also pick out from the slides accompanying the earlier Hornsey Town Hall meeting these words:

The Council and HTHCT have agreed priorities to guide the future of the Town Hall.

1. Restore Hornsey Town Hall in a way that respects its Grade II* listed status

2. Secure a long term sustainable future for the building

3. Ensure/safeguard public access and opportunity for community use

4. Should have a positive impact on the local economy

5. Remove the Council’s ongoing liability for the building

6. The Town Hall Square will be improved by integration into the final scheme, retaining public use

7. The Council wishes to balance financial and non financial benefits from the scheme

Are these actually priorities? Where does it say what is more important than something else? Where is it stated that something is an absolute essential, while some other thing is nice to have? I like my priorities just a bit more prioritised. To take the numbered points one by one:

1 - is it not an absolute given that the building will be restored according the diktats  Historical England's English Heritage? Is it enough just to respect the status? Perhaps Haringey has some influence with the body that is about to demolish the historic BBC studios at Ally Pally

2 - OK, granted. Sustainable presumably in the sense of it paying for its own upkeep, not solar panels

3. - trickier - just how important is this? And if 6) is achieved would that satisfy the criterion - a stroll across the square?

4. - Not strictly necessary, just so long as it doesn't have a negative one. Nice to have, in my book, a useful by product.

5. - Hmmm! Not only the liability, perhaps but also any sense of pride.

6. Good, unless these are weasel words to satisfy 3).

7. This sure as hell is not the statement of a priority. A generous interpretation would argue that the council would forego some financial benefit in order to achieve some intangible goal. A cynic might take completely the opposite view.

In the Facebook exchange mentioned above Crouch End councillor Jason Arthur has made the following offer

Jason Arthur Would suggest coming along to the exhibition on the 16th if you can make it. If not, I'm happy to speak on the phone (07812 677736) or to discuss it in person (my surgery is this weekend, 10am at Hornsey Library) rather than on Facebook!

Tags: hornsey town hall

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I have now received the email. I may have been wrong about the origin. It seems to be signed by Cara. I've taken out some of addressees.

Jxxx

20:57 (20 minutes ago)
to me,
Proposed Sale of Town Hall to Developer - we all remember the days when the Town Hall was a centre for our community.  Please try to come to the meeting, and let others know about it.

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: 
Date: 
To: 
Subject: Fwd: Please forward to as many people as you can!

THE COUNCIL ARE SELLING THE TOWN HALL……MONDAY 16TH MARCH  7PM PUBLIC CONSULTATION MEETING AT HORNSEY TOWN HALL….
Begin forwarded message:
From: 
Subject: Please forward to as many people as you can!
Date: 10 March 2015 14:10:47 GMT
To: 
Re: Hornsey Town Hall
The council are pursuing selling the town hall off to a developer. To that end, they are holding a meeting on Monday 16th March at 7pm. They have called it a public consultation but have not publicised it or made it otherwise known. 
If what we want for Crouch End is an expression of the area, a focus around which the community can gather, somewhere that personifies us, then we have to lobby them to think again. 
To impose a block of flats onto this beautiful building would be hard to live with, an anonymous dead space in the middle of such a vibrant, creative community is a misplaced planning consent. We all understand that it will take money to maintain such a lovely place, and a commercial agenda is needed, but we can ask the council to think beyond flats, and consider models that would hold the council up as setting an example, where others may follow. 

Come to Hornsey Town Hall at  7pm on Monday and voice your concerns. 

Thanks for reading, and please pass this on to as many people as you can. 
Thanks!
Cara

It does say 6.30pm - just to clarify.  Not personally sure of that, just going by the banner.

I have it on VERY good source that Fabien Riggall from Secret Cinema also put in a proposal to use the space as a creative place but was roundly out off by the council. This would have been great for the area but just shows what we're dealing with
Well if Haringey's capacity to manage the redevelopment is anything like their ability to host a public meeting it doesn't bode well!

I turned up 20 mins before the start of the presentation only to find it had already started and I could barely get in the crowded lobby and couldn't see the speaker.

There were rumours they might repeat the presentation at the advertised start time but as they'd only just started the questions, which had the potential to go on for some time, I didn't fancy the odds. As I left people were still arriving.

How could Haringey have failed to understand the depth of feeling over this and not use a larger space?

Disappointing and rather farcical. Describes the whole process really doesn't it?

See this related comment on the Haringey / Hornsey Town Hall public meeting and an assessment of an earlier meeting

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