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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I posted earlier on HoL about the high levels of spin being applied to the pig's ear of a shambles of the mess-up that's going on at the Marcus Garvey Library in Tottenham Green.

We’ve since had another look at the webcast of the LBH Cabinet of March 2015, where the decision to fill MGL with most of Apex House’s work and workers, was ratified. Watch here. Starting a couple of minutes in, see the delegation from the campaign, then statements from Cllrs Kober and Arthur.

The Leader outlined the benefits of the £3m investment in Marcus Garvey, as laid out in paragraph 5.25 of the report, namely:
• No loss of library space
• Improved access to building
• Improved IT facilities for public use
• Improved toilet facilities
• Improved book stands and book stock
• Improved learning zones
• Bringing three customer services points into one and providing modern mobile technology based customer service
• Refreshed front door improvements

This is the document quoted from.

Nothing about consultation, and no mention of the library being closed for at least six months.

Arthur claimed that if things don’t go to plan, he will be accountable.

It’s time for him to resign. What they agreed, and what is happening, are miles apart. They have messed up, big time. They must freeze the closure planned for two weeks time, and rethink the whole doomed plan.

Support the Campaign to stop these proposals here:
Sign the Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/tell-haringey-council-to-save-tottenham-s-…
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1527639460848841/?fref=nf
Twitter: #SaveMarcusGarveyLibrary
Email:  friendsofmgl@gmail.com 


Tags for Forum Posts: apex house, cuts, library, marcus garvey, smear, spin

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Can I please suggest, Pam, that the thread on Marcus Garvey Library is kept in one place. I realise it will get lengthy.  But different discussions dotted around HoL mean it's difficult for new readers to follow the instalments in the "story".

For example, I was phoned today by friends who'd seen the item on BBC London and it would have been nice to refer them to one discussion thread.

But you're absolutely right about this being a mess-up, Pam.  Very sadly, in the words of Dr Seuss:

This mess is so big
and so deep and so tall,
they can not pick it up.
there is no way at all!'

And being stubborn, arrogant, closed-minded and apparently incapable of learning, the Koberlings are unlikely even to try, but will simply press on.  Spinning it as success, of course.

It is now time for the Council Leader to get a grip on this PR disaster and urgently direct the following:

  1. A full, open Public Consultation to be held. Residents of Tottenham deserve no less.
  2. The Communications Department to switch off their Spin Machine, at least temporarily.

    A warthog cannot be a swan, no matter how many times a warthog is described as a swan. The proposed alterations to our Public Library continue to be passed off as "improvements" and "refurbishments", without qualification.

    It increases cynicism. It's insulting as well as misleading.

Liberal Democrat
Spokesman on Libraries

Clive, instead of the Dear Supreme Leader stepping in to sort out this mess, I'd actually like to see Jason Arthur give some indication that he can think and act for himself. Cllr Arthur - described as "a rising star" by a Labour activist in Crouch End - seems to endlessly repeat the Koberfiction that this "refurbishment" will lead to a better upgraded library with extended services, rather than a badly designed, smaller library with clashing functions in a limited space.

I appreciate that his room for manoeuvre is limited since the Council leadership have painted themselves into a corner by doing the Apex House deal with Granger - entailing the relocation of the front-line services now housed in Apex House. There may not now be a feasible alternative. In which case honesty may be the best policy.

Sorry, everyone. We got it wrong. Now let's start really listening to people and see if we can try to limit the damage.

Of course, if he did say that, the Dear Leader would almost certainly sack him from her cabinet. But at least we'd know he has some principles, a mind of his own and the courage to speak out.  Maybe that would earn the respect of Labour's Crouch Enders more than stubborn determination to loyally do the wrong thing.

Alan an hour's meeting took place this afternoon between the Friends of MG Library and Council officers. I attended this meeting.

I endorsed the Friends' call for a full, open Public Consultation.

The officers went away with a number of questions to answer and some of them, answerable only by their political masters/mistresses.

No idea who this is - it's not me.

Not me either, Pam,  and I don't know who wrote it.  But congratulations to them as it's sharp satire, pretty accurate and funny too.

It was about time we got some new humorists poking fun at the hopeless mess Koberville has become. Naming, shaming and - in the process - giving local residents long chuckle at these Komic Klowns may be the only way to get them to change their behaviour and policies.

So bring on the cartoonists and the musicians, video makers and dramatists. There must be more than enough rich material for a hit show.  Foster's Award contender at next year's Edinburgh Festival?

Yes, I have just discovered this sardonic commentary on the Council's Q and A - sadly has the ring of truth about it:


the high levels of spin being applied to the pig's ear of a shambles of the mess-up

This is indeed, now quite a mess. It is time that there was a pause in the progress of the metaphorical bulldozer. It would be good if the Council now simply admitted they've got it wrong. It would be unlikely, but still nice, if the "Communications" Department would issue a statement along the following lines:

Sorry folks – hey, we're only human. We mucked up on this one but we're determined to put it right. First, we are postponing the closure of Tottenham Library and Second, we will now perform a full Public Consultation about improvements to Tottenham's main library. We should have done this at the outset and we apologise.

We accept that the proposed improvements go beyond "refurbishment" and in fact, would encompass major strucutral change. Although we still believe that co-location of services is a good idea, we accept that mixing up Council office space and customer service access, with regular Library Users, is a concept that we need to review.

Somewhere we may still have a yellowing old copy of a novel called "The New Line" by Mario Pomilio.  (Translated from Italian: "Il Nuovo Corso"). In it, a village in a totalitarian State receives its daily copy of the sole permitted official newspaper. Except that on that day the newspaper announces truly shocking news. The new Party 'Line' is that there is no  line.  Everyone is free to think and make choices for themselves. The following day this turns out to be a spoof edition of the newspaper, printed by persons unknown.

Could Haringey Comms Unit tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, swelpmeClaire?  If they did would anyone Adam 'n' Eve it?

The cracks in the labour party are showing. Lammy vs Kober and she will lose.

Anyone interested in the future of Libraries in our Borough should check out The Friends of Marcus Garvey Library, here:


Yesterday, books in the Childrens' Library apparently began to be packed away (tweet here).

Thus, the Council is bent on closing Marcus Garvey library – for at least half a year – rather than performing the needed Public Consultation.

When it re-opens some time next year, the interior of the building may look bright shiny and new – but Tottenham's main library would look a hollowed-out, shrunken shadow of its former self.

The boast of the Council was keeping all nine libraries open. It'll be eight and a half.



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