Search

Highgate Library ‘being sacrificed’ in possible move to Jacksons Lane

PUBLISHED: 15:01 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 26 May 2017

Attendees at Highgate Library Action Group's annual general meeting greeted plans to move the 110-year-old library to Jacksons Lane with scepticism.

Attendees at Highgate Library Action Group's annual general meeting greeted plans to move the 110-year-old library to Jacksons Lane with scepticism.

Archant

The introduction of plans to relocate a 110-year-old library to a nearby arts centre has been met with resistance by users.

Members of the Highgate Library Action Group (HLAG) sat in silence as bosses from Jacksons Lane and council leader Cllr Clare Kober made the case for transferring the service and disposing of its home to fund it.

Explaining how visitor numbers have dropped across the borough except in libraries getting investment, Cllr Kober – speaking at HLAG’s AGM on Wednesday – said: “It’s about upgrading the library’s offer not a way of reducing staff or service quality.

“We support Jacksons Lane. There’s an opportunity to provide a much better service,” she said.

When questioned about the possible sale of a council asset, Cllr Kober said: “With difficult choices what do you privilege most - services or buildings? I know where I land in that debate - on the side of services.”

In response, Swarna Aiyar – who lives in nearby Priory Gardens – said: “It seems like the library is being sacrificed to a bigger project.”

But Crouch End Cllr Jason Arthur urged sceptics not to think about how great the library is now, but consider what it could become.

“I would urge you to have a more open mind,” he said.

About 30 people heard how Jacksons Lane first proposed the move eight weeks ago as part of a plan to strenghten its bid for Arts Council funding.

Highgate Library bosses were then confronted by three choices: oppose the plan, let the council and Jacksons Lane meet without them or join in discussions.

Having taken the third option, chair of HLAG – set up in 1988 to see off another possible closure – Susan Chinn explained: “This does not mean we have already agreed with the proposal.

“This does not mean we have made it easy for anyone. If our library is to survive, should it be in this building?”

A Jacksons Lane spokeswoman said today: “We wish to make it clear that a merger is not being proposed, nor has it ever been.

“This is an opportunity for two well-loved cultural institutions to imagine a future together and we are committed to having an open conversation to see if that is possible.

“If it looks like it isn’t, no change will happen,” she added.

But she disputed the Arts Council bid was strengthened by the proposal saying it was sent months ago and did not refer to the library.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 11:55

More than 1,000 fire doors were missing from the Camden tower blocks evacuated on Friday.

Mon, 17:10

Jerry Springer argued Donald Trump is destroying the American dream – as he spoke movingly about how his parents were saved from the Nazis and brought over to England from Germany.

Mon, 12:32

Hundreds came out with the sun for the South End Green Festival on Sunday, with music, food, drinks, a craft stall, a children’s fair, and a highly competitive dog’s show.

Mon, 12:00

The Hampstead Summer Festival kicked off with hundreds flocking to the art fair at Whitestone Pond.

Mon, 08:07

George Michael fans gathered outside the star’s home in The Grove, Highgate, to mark what would have been his fifty-fourth birthday on Sunday.

Mon, 08:06

A leaseholders association is claiming victory over Haringey Council after an apparent U-turn over residents’ rights.

Mon, 07:57

Around 200 residents who have refused to leave their homes in the fire trap Chalcots Estate tower blocks claim they are being intimidated by security guards.

Mon, 07:31

Sixty firefighters tackled a fire in Gospel Oak last night.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now