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Residents anger at planned sale of Crouch End nursery

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 October 2011

Red Gables Nursery & Family Centre has been shut down by Haringey Council. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Red Gables Nursery & Family Centre has been shut down by Haringey Council. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A Crouch End children's centre is to be sold off - sparking an outcry among residents who have accused Haringey Council of treating valued services as a "cash cow".

Red Gables, in Haslemere Road, was shut for good by the council last week and its services relocated to a centre in Tottenham.

But neighbours said they weren’t forewarned or consulted on the move and have urged the town hall to keep the building and garden which housed the centre in community use.

Sue Hessel, chairwoman of Haslemere Road Residents Association, said: “The cynicism the council has shown by doing this behind everybody’s backs represents a new low.

“No one even told us. No one consulted us. As far as I know nobody knew about it.

“The council is very aware that there was enormous support for this centre.”

Haringey Council in 2006 was forced to scrap plans to close the centre following a public outcry.

Dave Winskill, Liberal Democrat councillor for Crouch End, who was told of the planned sale at the end of September, said: “I am going to be talking to our lead on children’s services to see if we can recommend any continuing uses for the centre, either for families or children.”

The site was formerly an orphanage, and has been used to provide children’s services of one kind or another since the Second World War.

It was a children’s centre used as a contact point for children and young people looked after by local authority.

A council spokeswoman said: “This service has now been relocated to Keston Road, Tottenham in a building more suited to the work. Users of the family contact services were made fully aware of the change.

“Cabinet agreed that the building is surplus to requirements and will be sold.”

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