Haringey Cuts

edited January 2011 in Local discussion

Thought I might list in one what is already known:

Cutting in training social workers for adults and children

Reduction of the planning department to “one of the smallest in London”

Council’s neighborhood management service scrapped

Walk-in customer services centre at Hornsey’s (CE) closed

No libraries are proposed for closure, but the books and staffing budget will be slashed by £200,000

Old folks’ homes and day centres reviewed with closures

Redundancies among parks and leisure staff will trigger a 50 per cent drop in maintenance regimes, leading to a “significant deterioration in the quality of open space”

conservation teams and enforcement officers that maintain the borough’s many woods and parks radically reduced

Outsourcing management of its leisure and sports centres

Households in controlled parking zones will be expected to pay up to £150 per year to park a single car outside their homes

Crouch End, Green Lanes and Muswell Hill, will have its pay and display parking tickets more than doubled from £1.40 to £3 per hour.

More than 1,000 council jobs - or 20 per cent of the council’s workforce – are at risk

Have also heard that SG School before/after school club is at risk. It is run by the council and they are probably not going to fund it. It possibly may be taken over by the YMCA.

From various sources. Think 7th Feb or there abouts is the big day everything is announced



  • edited 7:41PM
    Haringey's libraries are already by far the worst-stocked of the three services I use, so that extra 200 grand can't help but show.
  • edited 7:41PM

    Personally I won't miss the loss of the Crouch End customer centre. The most hopeless and inefficient service I've ever come across. Whenever I've been there, there have been more staff than customers but because of their multiple queue system you still wait 20 minutes to see anyone. I avoid it now and go to Wood Green.

    I know the parking charges have caused a lot of comment on this site, but if I had to make the sorts of cuts the council has to, I think I'd be looking at parking charges as a preferable thing to go at than closing libraries or playgroups.

  • edited 7:41PM
    If you are both talking about Hornsey Library, ADGS and Shaun, I couldn't disagree more.

    Re stock. As a musician, I rely on their excellent music library, upstairs, which doubles (trebles) as a reference library, and quiet study area - one of the few completely silent areas in the whole of north London, I suggest.

    It is a pity that there isn't a Dewey Decimal 'map' of the library. You have to be guided to a section by a member of staff. But the staff are first class, particularly the older ones - friendly, knowledgeable, and immensely helpful. And they have access to a vast second library of 'Reserve Stock' in the basement. Many more scores - scores of scores - and all sorts of other arcana.

    At the other end of the scale, they have the unbelievable facility of buying what the customer wants, if it's not otherwise available. History of Philosophy, limited edition, written by my tutor? Bought; taken out; renewed countless times. Brand new stuff, recommended by the superb Start The Week programme, on Radio 4? In your hands within a week or two. Modern novel, The Lacuna, say, which everyone is talking about? Free; I wouldn't be able to read it, otherwise.

    Do you ever venture upstairs, to spend an hour or two with their mind-boggling supply of newspapers and magazines? Or if your computer is down, there is a great bank of them up there, at your service - free. There's also the not-bad-at-all piano keyboard up there. Just ask for the headphones at the desk, and the ivories await you, Rachmaninov or Art Tatum, here we come (actually I can't play either, but even half an hour on my scales and arps keeps arthritis at bay).

    If the those cutting bastards dare to touch Hornsey Library, I shall join any protest going.
  • edited 7:41PM
    Islington buy in recommendations too; I don't know how reliably, but I've just read a hefty David Mazzuchelli book which was my first recommendation.

    I was actually thinking more of the Wood Green branch, where I'd been on Tuesday and which seems to have less and less in every time I visit. Hornsey and the one which shares premises with a swimming pool are pretty good (except for the inevitable chlorine smell in the latter). Stroud Green is convenient and has a lot of PG Wodehouse, but is otherwise not much cop. Muswell Hill and Alexandra Park are, I imagine, similarly popular with their locals, but otherwise pretty poor. But I do agree that the staff are generally very good in all of them.
  • edited 7:41PM
    Islington has 15 copies and one audio of The Lacuna, btw.
  • edited 7:41PM
    Hmm. If it's comparisons with Islington that we are talking about, I can't say I am much impressed with the two branches I occasionally visit. Both Archway and the one in Blackstock Road are dark and uncongenial. The staff are OK at Archway, but arrogant and slobbish, I find, at whatever the other one is called - which is a pity, as I have rarely found what I am looking for, there.

    Do you happen to know if any Islington branch has a music library as good as Hornsey's? I'd like to have a look, if so - but I don't think they have.
  • edited 7:41PM
    I haven't a clue, I'm afraid, having not a musical bone in my body (though having recently contributed backing vocals to a couple of forthcoming records nonetheless, which scares me somewhat). Agreed that the music library is a valuable facility, though - much like Westminster's excellent reference and reserve collections.

    The Blackstock Road one is called N4 and yeah, some of the staff are less than great. It's not a brilliant branch, particularly since upstairs got hijacked from being SF and crime and instead got repurposed into some sort of youth area. Still, I almost always find something I want to borrow.
  • edited 7:41PM
    Yes, Westminster is the tops, for music, although not exactly local. Ditto, at the Barbican, I gather, although I haven't been to that one.

    Not musical, ADGS? Nonsense! Everyone is musical - potentially. The problem is the number of fascist music teachers around - or who WERE around, when I was young. I can't tell you how many times I hear of would-be singers being silenced, because they are out of tune. I seem to remember that even the great Gareth? Gavin? Malone did it, in his first telly project, in a boys' secondary school. There was a shot of a Bengali family comforting their teenage son, for failing to get into the choir, I think. Ouch. But..I'm digressing.. and it's time to get up!
  • edited 7:41PM

    North Library is good, we've discussed it here before. No idea about the music collection though, sorry. Central Library down near Highbury Corner is also good and open Sundays.


  • edited 7:41PM
    Well, I've finally learned much the same lesson through the combined forces of a) lots of friends in bands and b) cider.
  • edited 7:41PM
    God, how embarrassing. Miss Annie's tactful link proves that I'm repeating myself, almost word for word. Definitely time to go!
  • edited 7:41PM

    Gosh, didn't post it for that reason. We all repeat ourselves on here I'm sure - I'm probably the worst culprit!

  • edited 7:41PM
    Everyone is warmly invited to join the the Friends of Stroud Green Library at friendsofstroudgreenlibrary@yahoogroups.com and keep up to date with what is happening at the library and what is happening to libraries locally and nationally.

    There are a lot of events / talks / activities planned at Stroud Green library so it is well worth joining the group.

    The message given out by the council leader at a recent area assembly was that the council is planning to increase use of libraries, eg increasing the number of services available through them, as a way of keeping them open.

    I would echo checksi's original comments about the use and value of our libraries and would point out that by going through the door of any small library does give you access to the wider stock across the borough in any case.

    Article and link to fabulous speech by Philip Pullman in defence of public libraries can be enjoyed here http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/27/philip-pullman-defend-libraries-web
  • edited 7:41PM

    Checksi, I'm with you on Hornsey Library, it's excellent and the 'reserve stock' section is a real hidden gem. And they open on Sundays making it easier for people who work during the week to get there. If any cuts are suggested there I'll be on the frontline of any protest.

    North Library in Islington is also good although unfortunately it seems a bit souless after its recent makeover. Definitely not worth a visit there if you're primarily interested in music as that section is tiny.

  • edited 7:41PM

    @checkski - just to clarify, my comments weren't about libraries at all, but the council customer service centres.

  • edited 7:41PM
  • edited 7:41PM
    "going through the door of any small library does give you access to the wider stock across the borough in any case" - but given Haringey doesn't do free reservations like Islington, you might as well just walk the extra 20 minutes to the branch that has what you want anyhow.
  • edited January 2011
    The closure of the Arthur Simpson Library on Hanley Road a few years ago by Bridget Fox and the LibDem wolves on Islington Council was a nasty piece of municipal vandalism and spite - the LDs would never get a vote in the local wards, so they were eager to sell it off no matter it was highly valued. The previous Labour adminstration had hardly supported it either but the staff were good (perhaps they moved to Blackstock Road).

    The LD's rigged the 'consultation' , botched the sell off and opened the inferior N4 library miles away - totally unsuitable for young kids in SG to get to. My own brood used to do their homework in the Arthur Simpson to avoid the rowing and flumping at home.

    If you go past the site (which operated as a libarary since 1961) you will now find one of the ugliest cheapest modern blocks of flats in the area - the builders were so embarrased about it they did not even give it a number and there is a faded typed sign in one of the window.

    Crouch End library is a gem, but I fear it will go the same way.

    PS Does anyone remember Eileen Colwell?
  • edited 7:41PM
    ADGS - yes walk to other libraries by all means. Go through the doors of every single one - they all have differing attractions. But for some people, walking 20 minutes or more isn't possible. One reason why people might support the library service across the borough - large and small branches both - is to retain a service that helps people who need a very local service and wouldn't be access a library, however good, that is too far for them.
  • edited January 2011
    I do miss Arthur Simpson Library and since it went I haven't really used any libraries. I've always used the Islington Library system as they've seemed to have a better selection of books. North Library used to have a cult section that included books by Iain Sinclair, Stewart Home, William Burroughs etc.

    However, I got fed up of the reference sections. I remember this one guy who used to be always at the Arthur Simpson library and he'd have a pile of magazines and newspapers by his side, even though most of the time he seemed to be on the verge of sleep. I once asked him if I could read the NME as he wasn't reading it and he got quite aggressive with me. I didn't bother going there much after that.
  • edited 7:41PM
    I wonder if that was the same aggressive guy who used to sit in front of the catalogue-checking computer, just using it as a table? I had similar experiences with him a couple of times. Tosser.

    Arthur Simpson Library was incredibly convenient for me, and the sell-off was dodgy in the extreme, but the one meeting I went to about saving it appalled me. People were talking about Blackstock Road as if it were some great distance away (as against, what, half a mile at the absolute outside?) and there weren't frequent buses down the road. A lot of it seemed to be barely-coded references to Blackstock Road being 'a different community'. I was disgusted enough with this, at best, parochialism to think - even if it does inconvenience me too, these bastards don't deserve a library. It's clearly not done much to educate them so far.

    At least one of the Arthur Simpson librarians, the commendably thorough Asian guy, now works in Central rather than N4.
  • AliAli
    edited 7:41PM

    Of course if anyone remembers where the site Arthur Simpson is was once a sweet shop and was the site of the local Doodle bug missile attack during WW2. This was an interesting thread that some of the new comers might appreciate


  • AliAli
    edited 7:41PM

    Noticed that last nights Evening Standard picked up the effect of the comming cuts.

    You may find this interesting


    move the slide bar to your salary level and push the button

  • edited February 2011

    Haringey cabinet meeting live webcast here :


    I think it will be available in the archive later as well.

  • edited 7:41PM

    I've fixed your link, you'll get yawned at otherwise.

    You just need to put < > either side of something that you want to make into a link, and ensure that you have the markdown option selected below.

  • Thanks miss annie, I've edited now.

  • AliAli
    edited 7:41PM

    Seems like on Cameron’s Big Society push day redundancy notices have been handed out at SG School after school club. That is several people out of a very worthwhile job and approx 40 kids left with no club.

    Nice one Mr Clegg and Cameron !

    Anyone one here big enough in society to take it on ?

  • AliAli
    edited 7:41PM

    meant to say it is/was run by the Council not the school

  • edited 7:41PM

    Haringey have still found the money to renew the painting of the CPZ lines and yellow lines.

    This annoys me more than anything.

    The council is very annoying - easy to cut an after school club and blame the government.

    They could stop sending out their propaganda vehicle of a magazine for a start. Anything else they could cut easily? Like the hordes of people in the complaints department maybe?

  • AliAli
    edited 7:41PM

    Line painting is this years budget the cuts are in next’s years budget ie Post March.

    I noticed that they seem to have found the bicycles at the gated end of Marquis Road too difficult to repaint although they did do a Doctor Only parking which must have been a little difficult

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