OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

I've submitted a Freedom of Information request asking Haringey for some income figu.... I've already got the expenditure figures in this spreadsheet and it is on the basis of these that Cllr Strickland has assured the Overview and Scrutiny Committee that it costs "350grand every year just to keep the doors open". You can hear him saying it in the youtube clip at the foot of the page.

Now, I'm just wondering if Cllr Strickland has not over simplified things a little. It does seem as though there is a headline figure to be found here for the years 2014 and 2015 which is in the order of £350,000. When the full year is available for 2016 it may come quite close to that number. But what we are missing here is a statement of receipts. The word is that there are receipts from:

1) Film lettings - much loved of all and sundry in the area, we like to see the Town Hall in dramas of all sorts on the telly. I don't think I've ever spotted it in a film at the cinema, but then I'm an infrequent visitor to such places. The rumour is that a let to a film company brings in a good deal of money

2) The mobile phone mast - there is definitely a mast in there, you can see the planning application, and another for the upgrade to 4G - I believe mobile operators pay handsomely for such installations.

3) The Secret Cinema had a longish residence in the Town Hall - chances are they paid for it

4) ANA have been resident for some time now. Details of the financial arrangements between ANA and Haringey have not been made public, but the balance of probabilities seems to be that neither party has entered in the deal for altruistic reasons. We'd guess, wouldn't we that ANA are making a profit, and that LBH are collecting rent or a licence fee.

So I've asked a few questions about income at HTH. I'm trying to learn about FoI requests and I'm experimenting here with double negatives and other devices, such as a simple question made into many parts, so that I can't be brushed off with a simple, blanket "it's confidential" or "answering would prejudice commercial confidentiality". Any help in formulating such requests greatly appreciated.

So I'm thinking that Cllr Strickland's "it costs 350grand every year  to keep the doors open" is a tad disingenuous.

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, income, ojeu, tax haven

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I have just had the answer to my FoI regarding Income from Hornsey Town Hall. I've done some quick arithmetic which is on the image below. Suggests that never, in any year, has the cost of owning Hornsey Town Hall been 350 grand,even without knowing the amounts paid by ANA. 

     
 

Now that ANA are no longer n the running to operate the Arts Centre, I've resubmitted my FoI request to find out the income. Looking forward to a new reason for not telling me.

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