Teenagers and pensioners join hands to ‘save’ Muswell Hill Library

Young and old are gathering to 'save' Muswell Hill Library. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Young and old are gathering to 'save' Muswell Hill Library. Photo: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Campaigners blow whistles against ‘power corrupted by a lack of accountability’ with proposals to move the library from its listed building

Tens of students, pensioners and workers gathered in protest about plans to move the library away from the historic building – with the possibility of selling the asset.

Haringey Council is consulting on the future of Muswell Hill Library.

But there are only two options on the consultation – the first for the library to stay put, but with no investment for disabled access – and the second to move the library to a new site, where there will be access.

Speaking at the demonstration on Friday, Chris Roche of Architects 11.04, based in Muswell Hill, said: “This is our library and our children’s future.”

“Why then does a Labour council see this library as an asset which can be sold or traded?

He added: “The decision to keep the library is not their decision, it is our decision...

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“This is not democracy - this is arrogance.

“It is power corrupted by a lack of accountability.”

Haringey Council said it wants to move the library to the site of the former Green Man pub on Muswell Hill.

They say making Muswell Hill Library wheel-chair accessible would cost £680,000 – but Friends of Muswell Hill Library have costed the disability improvements at £60,000.

It is believed the current library could be sold-off as GP practices.

The Clinical Commissioning Group has looked at the Muswell Hill Library site in their own feasibility study as a potential future site, but this would have to be voted through by the council following the consultation.

Haringey Cllr Bernice Vanier previously said: “Making Muswell Hill Library accessible to people in wheelchairs and pushchairs with a lift to the first floor, accessible toilets, and improvements to the building would cost at least £680,000. That figure came from independent specialists.

“I am proud Haringey has kept all of its nine libraries open unlike many other councils in London and I’m confident in the changes we are proposing to give Muswell Hill a library which is accessible to all residents.”