I’d like to begin this column with an invitation to everyone in our area to attend a public event on September 30 to mark the formal reopening of the Hornsey Library Square.

The event, organised by the Friends of Hornsey Library and members of the Hornsey Library Square working group, will kick off around 10.45am, and include music, the formal reopening by the Mayor of Haringey, speeches and cake (kindly provided by Dunn’s bakery).

This project has overcome years of delays and setbacks since the square was first fenced off during the internal works on Hornsey Library but finally new paving is laid, fresh flowers are blooming and the (not a mermaid) mermaid statue is fully restored and back in place in the fountain.

Ham & High: The statue in the square Image: David Winskill

What’s more, a huge amount of underground work has been completed to resolve flooding, wiring, plumbing and all sorts of other issues so that the space can be enjoyed by the community once again - and hopefully used in even more ways in the future than it has been in the past. This is especially important given the sale of the Hornsey Town Hall Square to private owners, leaving the library square potentially playing an even more important role for public and municipal events in Crouch End than ever before.

I would, in particular, like to pay special thanks to a small group of dedicated individuals: Mark at Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum, David of Friends of Hornsey Library, Amanda at Crouch End Festival and Julie of Friends of the Zen Garden, who met with myself and council officers almost religiously every fortnight for the past two years to get the project off the ground with a small amount of funding secured, and then keep the project going through a significant number of setbacks, and eventually secure greater funding for a more significant restoration.

Ham & High: Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison will be celebrating the reopening of Hornsey Library Square on September 30Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison will be celebrating the reopening of Hornsey Library Square on September 30 (Image: D Tothill2018)

It has also been fantastic to see residents from all over Crouch End come and help out with the community planting sessions, organised by community gardeners GrowN22, over the past couple of months, which has really given a sense of local ownership to the space. Crouch End has been without any real public space for far too long, but I am sure that the community spirit which pushed the refurbishment project over the line will continue on, and bring us all together in the new space.

In that spirit, I’d like to repeat my invitation to the square opening and invite anyone with an idea to suggest how they would like the space to be used going forwards to email me on luke.cawley-harrison@haringey.gov.uk

  • Luke Cawley-Harrison is councillor of Crouch End ward and leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.