Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

"a dishonest Lib-Dem and UKIP linked campaign" and some myth busting

I'm not a member of a political party, nor a church. My whole view on life is just too pragmatic to subscribe to a doctrine, or to toe the party line. That doesn't mean I haven't developed a set of guidelines I follow for myself, which tend to be an amalgam of the 10 commandments (from the Bible, remember) and the Advertising Standards Authority mantra "legal, decenthonest and truthful". It makes life very hard work for me because each issue gets judged on its merits. I'm very slow at coming to a conclusion.

And I need help making up my mind about this one. I have been forwarded the latest Crouch End Labour party councillors' email, (Cllr Doron, Cllr Arthur and Cllr Elliott) which includes their New Year wishes, and I'm in doubt. This mail has been sent to all those who have signed up to the CE Labour Party mail shot, members and non-members alike.

I can't make up my mind whether this is a desperate attempt to divert us from some uncomfortable truths of the situation, including (but not limited to):

  • the oft repeated half truth that "it costs 350 grand a year just to keep the doors open" - surely there is quite a lot of income to set off against that, indeed the Hall might actually be making a profit
  • the oft repeated claim that the cabinet has consulted the people of Crouch End - it's true they have consulted the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust, who have flown in the face of their own consultation showing that a vanishingly small number of Crouch Enders think a hotel is a good idea
  • the claims that there will be an Arts Centre in the refurbished hotel - the words that FEC International themselves use to describe the spaces available are "communal areas", which to me are the hall, stairs and landing. Well, I suppose you could hang some prints. The problem here is that so far we've got no detail from the Press Releases.
  • the repeated refusal to provide information, even quite innocuous stuff, like the scoring of the rival bids (where's the harm - these are just numbers Haringey has made up), the details of the FEC planning application strategy (they knew what this was in October when the bids were scored, but not in December when the FoI question was asked) and the nature of the guarantee for the Arts centre (another factor that scored high in October but was unknown in December)

Or whether it is a brilliant political insight into the darker side of Crouch End, demonstrating that:

  • the Crouch End Festival is tainted with racism and right wing extremism " . . . . . a senior figure in the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society campaign (also one of the directors of the Crouch End Festival) met face to face with a Ukip assembly member . . . . " " . . . at a time of rising racial tension in London." "  . . . should see fit to sit down with a far-right extremist party, giving them a foothold in local Haringey politics."
  • very many people who care for the Town Hall, and thereby qualify as members of the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society a completely open, unrestricted Facebook group, have taken part in " . . .a very misleading campaign"
  •  " . . . a former Lib Dem Cllr [] did little to address the issue of Hornsey Town Hall in his eight years as a councillor in Crouch End." (A question - why have they not named this useless layabout? I have not recognised the description)
  • the attempts by many local people to determine the fate of the Town Hall are not carried out under the banner of good faith and citizenship, but are in fact "  . . . . . a dishonest Lib-Dem and UKIP linked campaign." I didn't realise either that the campaign was dishonest, nor that it was politically motivated. Perhaps I will need to look again at the list of leading participants which includes a solicitor, an architect , a professor, at least one member of the Labour Party and an athletics world record holder, and judge them anew.

The full text of the email is pasted in below, so you can read it as it was sent out. This is a link to the mailchimp original.

So back to asking for your help. Included here are some phrases that might describe the mailshot. Choose those you think most apt. Just to give you a clue as to which way I'm leaning, I call my image "The pot somewhat inappropriately calling the kettle black".

Pick from "brilliant political insight"  /  "puerile name calling"  / "a damning indictment of the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society"  /  "not worthy of an elected councillor" /  "racism and political intrigue revealed in Crouch End"

                   or add your own using this poll

Text and images below this point taken directly from the Crouch End...

January 2017 Update
View this email in your browser
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Crouch End Labour Councillors
January 2017 Update

Happy New Year! Here's your monthly update from your local councillors on news and events in Crouch End and Haringey.

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Hornsey Town Hall

We're continuing to work hard with officers to ensure that before contracts are signed, provisions and safeguards are put in place to ensure that both the wonderful art-deco building and much loved squared are invested in and remain accessible for generations to come. In the next few weeks, do look out for a new dedicated HTH website providing more information on the plans and opportunities for residents to engage with the project. We're also going to be organising a public meeting in February - we'll share more information about this in our next newsletter. 

Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society and Ukip

It was with regret last month that we heard about the news that a senior figure in the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society campaign (also one of the directors of the Crouch End Festival) met face to face with a Ukip assembly member in order to facilitate them asking a question about Hornsey Town Hall to our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan at Mayor’s Question Time.

We think this is a real shame, particularly at a time of rising racial tension in London. It is very disappointing that someone involved in what has already been a very misleading campaign should see fit to sit down with a far-right extremist party, giving them a foothold in local Haringey politics. Another leading figure in the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society is a former Lib Dem Cllr who did little to address the issue of Hornsey Town Hall in his eight years as a councillor in Crouch End.

The Mayor and his team in City Hall have been fully aware of how complicated the issue of Hornsey Town Hall is. The Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney praised Haringey’s handling of the situation in response to the Ukip question. Joanne also retweeted our explanation of the context back in October which is still relevant and which you can read here.


With huge budgetary constraints, a building that is in poor condition and surplus to requirements and a dishonest Lib-Dem and UKIP linked campaign against us it is important that Labour members help neighbours and friends in Crouch End understand the situation to help bust the myriad myths out there.

You can read more about the context and our response to community concerns here.
Campaigning this month


We’re kicking off the year by door-knocking in Crouch End this Saturday 7th January from 11am for an hour or two to discuss local and national issues. We'll meet at 28 Middle Lane, N8 8PL just before 11am. 

We will also be campaigning on Saturday 21st January, again from 11am, meeting at 28 Middle Lane.

If you’re new or not too confident we’ll buddy you up with someone experienced. The hard work of canvassing is how we won this ward back from the Lib Dems in 2014 and it’s how we’ll retain it.

Do get in touch if you have any questions about canvassing.
Haringey's Budget

The issue that has taken up the most of our time as councillors recently has been the budget. One of the most important messages that you as a Labour member can help communicate to your neighbours and friends is that we’re still living with Tory cuts. Cuts imposed by Central Government have seen Haringey’s budget reduce by 40% since 2010 and we still have a £20m hole in our finances.


Tory strategists would love nothing more than for Labour voters and even members to turn on councillors making difficult decisions as a direct result of Tory Government cuts. Help us avoid that and get the message out about how tough things still are for local authorities. If you are on Twitter, please do retweet this.


Our 2017/18 budget is currently out for consultation. You can read about the plans and have your say here

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Free Gym Use for Over 65s

Can you help us spread the word about our leisure facilities being free for people over the age of 65? You can find out more information here
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Fighting racism and intolerance in Haringey 

For those of you who missed it, Natan has written a post about his grandfather’s involvement in the Battle of Cable Street and the work it has inspired to build links between different communities in Haringey. You can read ithere.
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Community Ward Budget

We're really keen to support great community initiatives in Crouch End. In November we granted £1450 to Accumul8 - a project supporting young homeless people staying at the YMCA. If you or anyone you know is interested in bidding for some grant funding, please get in touch.
You can find out more about what we have been up to on the Crouch End Labour blog

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any local issues that you would like us to sort out for you or your neighbours. You can find our contact details below:

Jason Arthur | 07812 677736 | jason.arthur@haringey.gov.uk
Natan Doron | 07815 700588 natan.doron@haringey.gov.uk
Sarah Elliott | 07979 592878 sarah.elliott@haringey.gov.uk

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

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Replies to This Discussion

I feel quite shocked about this slur on HTHAS and feel the council are stooping very low.

The HTHAS are a decent bunch of people with no political axe to grind whatsover. They simply care about locals having a say in the future of OUR Town Hall.

Many of us in Crouch End are grateful to HTHAS for keeping a close eye on the detail of what is happening over the sale of the Town Hall and appreciate that they are doing their best on behalf of the 7000 people who signed the petition to hold the council to account for anomalies.

Along with Private Eye I am smelling plenty of rats over the Sale of the Town Hall.

With so many really important questions unanswered I wonder could it be that the Council - rather than answering these questions are creating a distraction by slurring the integrity and motives of HTHAS. 

The unanswered questions relate to  the wining and dining of senior members of the cabinet by PR companies associated with FEC, the issue of whether or not planning permission for the boutique hotel is legal or not, but most importantly the failure by the council to provide information about the income currently being generated by The Town Hall upon which the whole argument for the sale of the Town hall rests. I am guessing that it's because their economic argument doesn't stack up. 

Shame on the Council for not playing fair and square.

I too was terribly disappointed when I read the local Labour Party councillors' new year letter.

Mixing "racial tension in London"(sic) with a very genuine concern by many locals (of many many many years..) of the future of the Town Hall was very wrong. As I said I still cannot believe Natan nor Jason wrote this. 

As far as anti racism (any other prejudices) is concerned I feel I have no lesson to receive from anyone. If you know me, you will know how visceral is my dislike of any type of segregation.

I would urge the local councillors to write a letter to acknowledge that it was a mistake to mention racism when all it is about is a genuine concern for the future of a public building. Many of us felt profoundly insulted if not outraged.

Best wishes to ALL.

JC Lanoe


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