Abandoned civic centre would be ideal place for a casino

ISEE that Haringey Council intends shifting the Civic Centre up the road to Woodside House, which leaves the big question of what to do with the old Civic Centre in Wood Green High Road? This unlovely, uncared-for building needs re-development. Council le

ISEE that Haringey Council intends shifting the Civic Centre up the road to Woodside House, which leaves the big question of what to do with the old Civic Centre in Wood Green High Road?

This unlovely, uncared-for building needs re-development. Council leader George Meehan describes it as ''increasingly unfit for current requirements and inefficient, with an escalating maintenance bill.'' As for future use, he said: ''We can deliver further regeneration benefits by releasing the existing civic centre site for an appropriate development.''

Has the council considered converting it into a casino? Some councillors argued the case for a casino at Alexandra Palace in 2006, but were thwarted, at least temporarily.

The council chamber (renamed Casino Mayorale), would be a grand setting for roulette tables. The game with the highest stakes could be sited under the mayoral dias, with one-arm bandits located where backbench councillors now sit. The long committee-room wing could house a large number of fixed odds betting terminals, the crack-cocaine of gambling.


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Modifications would include removal of any clocks, blacking out windows, plentiful cheap food on site and lots of lavatories. The big car park would encourage punters to come from beyond Haringey, enabling our council to tax the residents of neighbouring boroughs! Punters could be dropped off at the front porch by taxis and chauffeurs, just like the side entrance of the Ritz casino.

The huge profits would take pressure off CPZs and parking fines as a means of lifting council income, and a casino would be a fitting use of premises that have seen such gaming in the past and such gambling with the future of the borough.

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Clive Carter

Stapleton Hall Road, N4

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