The Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society has had confirmation that Hornsey Town Hall and Square has been listed by Haringey Council as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), following on from the nomination put in by the Crouch End Festival.
We welcome the Council’s decision (http://wp.me/a6rSkI-N), as it recognises the huge value that the Town Hall and Square have for the people of Crouch End. However, it leaves little room for celebration as the council have informed us that they will not honour the spirit of the legislation by giving the community the additional time to put together a community bid for the town hall, which we want to do in order to bring the Town Hall into community – rather than private – ownership.
What an ACV listing should do is place a six month moratorium on a sale, so that a community has an opportunity to prepare its own bid. However, rather than supplying the community with this vital breathing space – the Council have declared that the timetable for the sale should be unaltered.
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.
Amanda Carrara, one of the joint signatories of the ACV application said:
“This is a vindication of the views of all those thousands of people who visited HTH for the first time during June’s Crouch End Arts Festival. They simply couldn’t believe that Haringey have started a process on such an important building which seems to have disregarded the option of an asset transfer to the community.”
Chris Currer adds “In tandem to the successful listing, we have recently applied to register a Community Interest Company which could become the vehicle for a community asset transfer. This is an option that dozens of councils up and down the country are adopting when planning new lives for old buildings. Why not here in Haringey?”
If you’re interested to find out more about what we’re trying to do – and be part of the campaign to bring the Town Hall into community ownership, join our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hthas/ , or follow our blog https://hthas.wordpress.com or drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org