OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Are you a member of a local action group? Or choir? Or amateur dramatic society? If not, what's your secret? How have you escaped their clutches? There is just so much going on at the moment that surely few can have escaped the ravages of one of these socially minded organisations. Unless it's the same eight people populating them all. Come on - join a committee!

Here's a guide to just some of the local groups doing stuff about creativity, high rise blocks of flats and the Town Hall.

. Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum (CENF) (that's the website - this is Facebook, and this Twitter) 
A local initiative (supported by the local authority and central government) interested in the development of Crouch End, with membership open to all. The goal is to involve as many people across the area as possible and to prepare both a 'Neighbourhood Plan' and respond to local issues as they arise - of which the Town Hall is an important example. Some members of CENF have become particularly interested in the future of the Town Hall, but it's not the only issue.

Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society  (Facebook / Twitter)
A community group trying to respond to the Haringey's plan to dispose of the Hornsey Town Hall site. It began as a joint effort by CENF and the Crouch End Festival. They have tried a series of interventions, including the 'Asset of Community Value' status, letter-writing proposing a community asset transfer, and a petition to pause the process, all without success (Haringey aren't willing to even discuss a change in direction).
The main point here is that the process is driven by the timetable set in train by Haringey - and the key relationship will be between them as Vendors and developers/bidders as Purchasers. HTHAS' supporting role in the drama is predicated on a) the council's stipulations on continuing community use for the building, and b) whether developers should therefore want to talk to the community as represented by HTHAS..
The Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust will act as a scoring panel of point (a) in the process - though Haringey remain in charge of the whole evaluation and ultimate judges. The voters of Crouch End are not well represented in this process.

HTH Arts Centre (Facebook / Twitter)are the group currently supplying the 'meanwhile-use' of the building. And successfully too - with arts, community and over 70 micro-businesses all well served. They afford us a useful example of how the building can operate. As a commercial organisation they remain interested in continuing their work, but we don't know if they will be there in February, let alone 5 or 10 years time.

Hope that helps to describe just a skimming off the top of local groups.

Many thanks to one of the 8 people making up these groups for many of these words.

Tags: appreciation society, creative trust, festival, hornsey town hall, neighbourhood forum

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