JLAC Feasibility Report – Done But Where Is It?

As we know, JLAC have been funded by Haringey to produce a report by Katy Marks, the architect chosen by JLAC to design their refurbishments and now to explore adding in the library service.
Their report is now apparently ready.
There has been a narrative of delays and lack of public knowledge through this whole process: a meeting with Haringey with no real advertising, until we did, JLAC delaying a deadline for survey responses, but not telling anyone, until we did, Haringey repeatedly saying they want to listen, but not holding a public consultation.
No wonder people are so upset and angry.
Last year the printer at Highgate Library didn’t work for most of the year, last month, the wifi and computers didn’t work for 4 weeks. With library users being asked to go elsewhere, to have these user numbers then be quoted as a reason to relocate, seems very disingenuous of Haringey.
Boosting the income of one local venue, which is a private arts centre, no longer a community centre, at the cost and loss of a local landmark public library, which offers a free and accessible to all 6 day a week service, doesn’t seem community minded, or fully engaging for the entire local community. As many have said, it seems divisive, greedy and worrying.
JLAC cite their 3,800 a week users as a success and a reason to co-locate the library. However the library has 1,150 users a week. It is open for fewer hours and is not using all it’s space, so more than half the size smaller. So how are these entry stats a success for JLAC, but not for Highgate Library?
We have asked for a date for the grand JLAC feasibility report reveal from Haringey Library Services, but told that they don’t know yet.
If they showcase that the relocation of Highgate Library into JLAC is feasible: which has always seems a moot point, as in theory we could all walk on a tightrope, but in reality only tightrope walkers can, then Haringey Cabinet will vote on this. Given they voted with no abstentions to agree the sell off in principle in June, before the feasibility report had even been started, there is real concern that despite of all our hard work and a clear strong desire for Highgate Library to best use it’s current location and remain where it is, that Haringey are proving single minded in their zeal to NOT listen to us, the library users, to NOT have a public consultation and now, NOT even have any real engagement with locals.
That is why our survey: www.friendsofhighgatelibrary.co.uk/survey is important to start showcasing our ideas for how to best use the library on Shepherds Hill.
We are collating ideas for how to respond to the JLAC feasibility report once it is public with our vision for Highgate Library Remains. We will be hosting a public event and detailing our ideas.
Watch this space.

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