'We can make our civic centre the heart of Haringey'
Peray Ahmet, leader, Haringey Council
- Credit: Ken Mears
Steeped in a long and diverse history, Haringey Civic Centre is no ordinary council office.
This truly is an iconic building that holds a special place in the hearts of many people across the borough and it saddens me that we have not been able to use the facility for more than a year due to serious structural and safety issues.
Catching sight of the pictures on the hoardings as I pass by always reminds me of the many significant events that took place at this iconic and Grade II listed building.
Bernie Grant, the first-ever black leader of a local authority in Europe, standing outside the building, a sign draped behind him saying ‘Haringey Council – defending your services’.
George Michael also visited the building to help promote the thalassemia campaign and his Cypriot roots as this is an illness that disproportionately affects this community.
It’s this radical and progressive political tradition that the civic centre embodies, and I am proud we will be bringing it new life for the benefit of future generations.
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Next week, the cabinet will consider the next stage of our plans redevelop the building into a new civic hub. We have a fantastic opportunity to create a "heart of Haringey" civic headquarters.
This project enables us to not only bring the building back into use but also return it to its rightful place as a focal point for public life at the very centre of our borough.
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Our aim is to develop an accessible building that brings people together through high-quality community and public spaces. It can again be a home of dynamic, ambitious and thought-leading political debate.
This is also a place where the community can come and be part of the council’s work. In doing so, the restoration will support our priority of becoming a truly, genuinely collaborative council.
We also know that the climate emergency is an important priority for our residents. Redeveloping the civic centre will substantially improve the sustainability of the building and reduce our carbon footprint.
The building is a sharp reminder of past events and I want it to be an important part of our future.
Another reminder of Haringey’s inspiring past always comes during Black History Month.
We once again have a fantastic programme of events this year – both in-person and virtual. I urge Ham&High readers to take this opportunity to join in and find out more – Black History Events | Haringey Council
Cllr Peray Ahmet (Lab, Noel Park) is leader of Haringey Council.