the council claimed it would re-open in February 2016
I was at the Cabinet Member Signing (for the works) when I pressed the Council on this.
Finished in February? I said.
"End of Feburary" was the response. The Chair of the Friends of Marcus Garvey Library, Jasmin Taylor, was also present and heard that answer too.
Tottenham's main library will have been closed for 10 months. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but because the Council chose to convert much of the building into a "Customer Service Centre".
Liberal Democrat Party
So were they incompetent, or just lying?
Of course you're right, Michael, that until you start work under a floor, above a ceiling, or even behind the wallpaper, you don't know exactly what you'll find.
But Haringey's track record of delivering building programmes on time and on budget isn't exactly shining.
As I recall, with Marcus Garvey Library, from near the start of this project, the view of staff on the ground (literally) was that the projected date was way over-ambitious and highly unlikely to be achieved.
So let's be charitable and assume that perhaps Cllr Jason Arthur wasn't aware of Haringey's track record. Or maybe he wasn't told about the unrealities of the announced timetable. Or less charitably, perhaps he was told and preferred to believe - or at least hope - that the time 'slippage' could somehow be made up.
Whatever the truth, the fundamental problem, Michael, is a lack of trust. And I'm not talking about trust from someone like me who has seen and heard what goes on. I mean by local people who start off by assuming that what councillors and Council staff say, was said in good faith. But who have since formed their own more sceptical judgement.
Haven't the Council heard of contingency allowance ?
Pam I don't believe anyone was lying.
An owner normally wants the job finished sooner and contractors are often optimistic.
A completion date could only be an estimate. However, anyone who has contracted building-related work know that such projects frequently—if not normally—take longer than the builder or contractor estimates. Sometimes, much longer. This should be expected.
But here, we are talking about a much-used public library on which the community depends. I'm told that at this time of the year it would be greatly used by students, studying.
The original decision to force council customer service into the library—knowing the disruption it would cause—is where questions of competency arise.
Thanks to the change of use of approximately half the building, disruption to normal library use will not end when the building re-opens.
I fear that Council Customers Services will in many ways come to dominate a building that formerly was dedicated to the Library Service.
I used to live nearby and visit the library frequently with my child. It was a warm and welcoming place, and a social hub for a huge number of mums, specially from communities who don't usually attend cafes. From my point of view it played a crucial social role for mums and children, in creating relationships across communities, exposing children and parents to cultural, social and educational resources, together, as a family. I just hope that the 1 year closure and investment of 3 million pounds will expand that important role for the community and not turn it into a cold place, where people who are already limited in the social places they can conformable enjoy will not feel it is not "for them".