The dismay expressed by all the campaigners is offset by the repeated assertion from Haringey that “Strict bidding criteria will mean that any proposals that fail to demonstrate community access will not be considered.” Continue reading
We are delighted that Catherine West has written to the local press setting out a position on HTH that s closely matches our own. Catherine was a successful leader of Islington council and has a clear understanding of the problems faced by Haringey and the building, and of the possible solutions to them. Continue reading
The text below sets out why we think Haringey council is misguided in pursuing its current course – the EU procurement procedure – to dispose of Hornsey Town Hall. If you agree please sign our petition
Taken verbatim from the Haringey website on 16th August 2015
Update – 13 August 2015
“Community value” status for Hornsey Town Hall
Hornsey Town Hall and Square has been designated an asset of community value (ACV) in recognition of its cultural significance to Crouch End and Haringey.
Haringey Council confirmed the ACV designation following a community nomination from members of the Crouch End Community Arts Festival.
The status is formal recognition of the community value both of the much-loved Grade II* listed Town Hall and the public square and green in front of it – and underlines the council’s ongoing commitment to preserving the landmark for future generations to enjoy.
Cllr Alan Strickland, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
“We welcomed the asset of community value nomination and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to give Hornsey Town Hall and Square this official recognition.
“We share local people’s enthusiasm for the Town Hall, which is why we’re committed to finding the best possible long term future for it – one that will respect and protect its Grade II* listed architectural heritage, offer community access and secure its future.”
Work to find a sustainable future operating model for the Town Hall is continuing as planned. The Town Hall site will go to the open market later this year, with the council hoping to secure a long-term lease arrangement with a partner that will take forward refurbishment works to the listed building as well as redevelopment of the remaining land on the site.
The council will welcome bids to restore, lease and run the Town Hall, together with development of the remaining site, from any interested party – including community groups – that can demonstrate how they will offer community access while securing a lasting future for the building. Strict bidding criteria will mean that any proposals that fail to demonstrate community access will not be considered.
ACV designation means that if the site was put up for sale, there would be an initial pause of any sale for six weeks to allow any community group to make a written request to be treated as a potential bidder.
If a community group was to come forward as a potential bidder during the six-week pause, a further moratorium of six months would be triggered, during which time the asset could not be disposed of unless to a community interest group. Following the six-month period, the site could be disposed of.
It is anticipated that putting the Town Hall site out to the open market and securing the right partner will take longer than any moratorium period that could be triggered by the ACV designation. Should any community group come forward as a potential bidder, they would be able to engage with and respond to the open market opportunity. Further information on this process will be advertised in due course.
The headlong rush to dispose of the Town Hall site to developers is dependent on the EU system of publishing a tender in an ‘OJEU procurement’ process: a process which effectively bars community bids in favour of big business and wealthy investors. For the council in effect to say “the time allowed is long enough” does not meet the spirit of the ACV legislation, when the community is actually locked out of bidding in the process.
We fear that Haringey’s procurement process could result in an outcome that pleases nobody. We will continue to press Haringey for changes to the proposals and the process. Instead, we are continuing to offer Haringey Council a real solution that meets both the council’s objectives and the long term wishes of the community: community asset transfer to a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.