Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
I went to see Jason Arthur at his surgery last Saturday in the library. I was in luck as no other constituent turned up while I was there so I could hold forth at length on my chosen topics. Jason is clearly a man on the move, as a newly elected councillor he has immediately been appointed to the Cabinet as Member for Resources and Culture.
My two topics were 1) the project to save Finsbury Park Track and 2) Hornsey Town Hall.
The project to save Finsbury Park Track might not be of interest to all Crouch Enders, but very important to me with my athletic ambitions. If you want to read more about it there is a bulletin on the London Heathside website and from there you can discover the wonders of the rest of the Uk's leading running (and athletics?) club.
Hornsey Town Hall however is much closer to Crouch Enders hearts, something I have documented here, and which Jason assured me was a topic which came up very often during the run up to the recent elections.
My view on the Mountview / Hornsey Town Hall project is that it must be a very bad project indeed. If it contained any good at all then surely the project manager would be publishing good news left, right and centre. But no, we hear almost nothing. Even when we are promised lots of information what we mainly get is a stony silence, or tiny dribs and drabs.
Take the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for instance. To start with this looks like good news, until more than a year after the original announcement the same grant is announced again. The plan for Mountview to move in during the 2014-15 academic year was clearly massively wishful thinking.when as recently as March this year the plan had not moved beyond the concept stage.
While all this non-progress is going on obviously the condition of the building has not improved - here are some photos from last autumn.
Just to show I'm not the only one getting in a bit of a tizz about all this, this item contains a reference to both other criticism, and my being taken by what I thought was a good meeting, all the good news from which has since evaporated.
What Jason undertook to do was to get all the key players together this summer and make sure that there is much more engagement with the local public. We have heard that before, to little effect. Perhaps having a Crouch End councillor in the cabinet will make a difference
I've had this email from Jason. Perhaps slightly disturbing that the "Gateway Review" conducted before Christmas, takes quite so long to get to Cabinet, but very, very good news that we will be allowed sight of it.
Thanks for your email, it was great to meet with you too.
A report is currently being prepared for the Cabinet meeting on July 15th which will set out the recommendations of the Gateway Review. My understanding is that the report itself will also be released at the same time and I will discuss with Cllr Adam Jogee (the new chair of the Hornsey, Stroud Green and Crouch End Area Forum) about how we can make it available at the next Area Forum. I hope that’s helpful – let me know if you have any other questions.
Cllr Jason Arthur
Cabinet member for Resources and Culture
Councillor for Crouch End (Labour)