Lib Dem call to halt Highgate Library sale rejected by Labour dominated scrutiny committee

Last night, Lib Dem opposition councillors forced a review of the decision by Haringey’s Labour Cabinet to sell-off Highgate Library.

At a meeting of Haringey Council’s scrutiny committee, Lib Dem councillor for Highgate, Clive Carter, argued the Labour Cabinet should reconsider the ‘in-principle’ decision made on 20th June to sell Highgate Library and move the library service to Jacksons Lane Art Centre.

Cllr Clive Carter outside Highgate Library

Councillor Carter, who is also Haringey Lib Dems Libraries spokesperson, said the decision to sell the library should not have been made. He argued that the decision was flawed as the local community had not been asked their view of the plans in a public consultation. The Lib Dem councillor also said he was concerned that the decision had been made when a feasibility study to see if moving the library service was possible had not even been completed yet, let alone published.

After three hours of discussion and debate the Labour dominated committee rejected the Lib Dem call for Cabinet to reconsider the decision, hold a public consultation and publish the feasibility study before any final decision is taken. Instead the committee decided that extra scrutiny of the proposal was needed. The one Lib Dem member of the committee voted for the Cabinet to reconsider the proposal but was out voted.

Clive Carter, Lib Dem councillor for Highgate and Libraries spokesperson, comments:

“The Labour Cabinet are clearly putting the cart before the horse with this proposal to sell Highgate Library and move the service to Jacksons Lane. It is unbelievable that they are pressing ahead with these unpopular plans when they haven’t even finished the feasibility study to see if the move is possible!

“Local residents would expect there to be a public consultation on the idea of moving Highgate’s Library service, since a very similar plan for Muswell Hill Library had a full public consultation. I was disappointed that the Labour dominated committee did not send the decision back to the Cabinet and ask for a public consultation.

“The Lib Dems will continue to campaign to protect Highgate Library. We will keeping fighting for the feasibility study to be published and for the public to be consulted. The people should have their say!”

You can read the Lib Dem call-in requesting a review and reports considered by the Scrutiny committee by clicking here.

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