As posted on Harringay Online – see there for many replies:
A spokesman from LBH was quoted on Sunday on a short BBC News report on the imminent closure of Marcus Garvey Library in Tottenham:
“Haringey Council Statement: We’re very disappointed that a £3million investment to revamp and modernise one of our most popular libraries has been misrepresented. The refurbishment of the library will see it enhanced with new books and equipment, as well as additional services.”
It’s on youtube: clip as on earler post
This is the library that is being halved in size as they cram in most of the Customer Services from Apex House. Most of the books are being sold off or binned, including the much respected Black Triangle collection on Black history. The Young Adult section will be scrapped. The little children’s garden will be trampled into nothing. It will be closed for at least six months, and their ‘alternative provision’? a list of other libraries. The computer access, often so busy it has to be shared, will just not be there for the thousands of regular users. There was no consultation.
There is no way this work (‘revamp and modernise’) would be happening if the council had not sold the Apex House site to developer Grainger for £3.4million, necessitating its demolition. They obviously did not think through where to put the services, they were hoping it could all go online. There was some stumbling about last summer till they settled on MGL. The original plans claimed it would take 20% of ‘wasted space’ (ie the exhibition area) in the library, now it’s a whole floor. That £3.4million (which did not go to tender, for near half a hectare of land next to the best tube line in London) does not cover the cost of ‘revamping’ MGL and the Wood Green Library which is also absorbing some overspill, £3million and £2million respectively.
Oh and the librarians are having to apply for their own jobs, being redefined as ‘information providers’.
If LBH would just be more honest it would help a tiny bit. But to throw it back at us is a heap of nonsense, even by the LBH spin department’s notorious standards. Such a ridiculous smear makes them look worse. Cllr Arthur is on holiday, so can we get a name, Mx Spokesperson?
We’ve since had another look at the webcast of the LBH Cabinet of March 2015, where the decision to fill MGL with most of Apex House’s work and workers, was ratified. Watch here. Starting a couple of minutes in, the delegation from the campaign, then statements from Cllrs Kober and Arthur.
The Leader outlined the benefits of the £3m investment in Marcus Garvey, as laid out in paragraph 5.25 of the report, namely:
• No loss of library space
• Improved access to building
• Improved IT facilities for public use
• Improved toilet facilities
• Improved book stands and book stock
• Improved learning zones
• Bringing three customer services points into one and providing modern mobile technology based customer service
• Refreshed front door improvements
Arthur claimed that if things don’t go to plan, he will be accountable.
It’s time for him to resign. What they agreed, and what is happening, are miles apart. They have messed up, big time.
Support the Campaign to stop these proposals here:
Sign the Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/tell-haringey-council-to-save-tottenham-s-…
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (NOTE corrected email on 17.8.15)
and to see some of the removed books, check the tumblr page: http://friendsofmgl.tumblr.com/