Hurrah! Good news for Jacksons Lane Arts Centre.
It has been under threat of closure since last year when Cllr Neil Williams and I went personally to beg the Arts Council to carry on with its grant – and got a one year reprieve. The year is up – and on Wednesday the Arts Council will decide its future. Haringey Council has been the absolute sticking point – unwilling to commit any extra money at all – which is the price the Arts Council has been demanding as they want to see council commitment if they are going to put in their money too.
We (myself and the Highgate councillors) sent out an email asking people to email Matt Cooke (Labour Exec Member in charge of this) to give more money and save the centre. Cllr Cooke by the looks of it is not happy to have had pressure applied and is trying to say Haringey was always going to find some money. And pigs might have flown. People power has really made the difference. Thanks to all those who responded.
Here’s Neil’s email update on the issue:
In a letter sent from Haringey to the Arts Council on Friday – after your huge response – Haringey has now relented, and finally upped its offer of funding! This is very encouraging, and the ball is now back in the court of the Arts Council.
Claims from Haringey Council that it was always prepared to meet the Arts Council’s demands are totally untrue.
The Arts Council has long since insisted that Haringey take more responsibility for the funding of the centre – something that Haringey Council has persistently refused to do. Over the past year, Haringey has refused to up the centre’s core grant of £55,000, as the Arts Council has urged. In their own report to their decision-making body due next week, the Arts Council states:
Haringey has consistently stated that it is not in a position to offer additional capital and revenue funding to Jacksons Lane.
When we asked again for the the extra £50,000 on 22 December, the lead councillor didn’t even reply. As recently as last week, Haringey Council was refusing to help, offering only to provide half a day in officer time – nowhere near enough to help Jacksons Lane.
It really is your pressure that has made the difference – so many may thanks! We will keep you updated on progress.
What exactly have the Lib Dems been doing since last year other than sending one email to those on its mailing list less than a week before the ACE are due to make their decision? Details would be helpful.
A great deal! Highgate LibDem councillors have been working all year with Jacksons Lane and pleading endlessly with Haringey Labour Council to put the funding in – without which the Arts Council made it quite clear they wouldn’t continue with their grant. Haringey have continually and explicitly refused.The email to local people asking them to lobby Labour Cllr Matt Cooke was a last ditch attempt by the local councillors to get him to change his mind and find the money by making him realise from the weight of emails just how many people would be angry if Haringey failed to come up with the goods. There was no sign of any money the whole of the last year – an extra year that myself and Lib Dem Councillor Neil Williams got when we went last year (when Haringey was just as intransigent) to the Arts Council to beg on Jacksons Lane behalf.I spoke personally to Matt Cooke just a couple of weeks ago about putting more money in and he was quite clear that his and the Council’s view was that Jacksons Lane would get no more money. I am absolutely delighted that Haringey found money at the 11th hour!
“working all year” and “pleading endlessly” isn’t especially detailed. How many times in the last couple of months have you and/or local councillors met with the Arts Council?How many times in the last couple of months have you and/or local councillors met with Cllr Cooke or his predecessor?When Haringey Council made it clear that they were going to increase funding why did Cllr Allison email JL supporters to continue to lobby Haringey Cabinet Members rather than the ACE?In your original post you said when “we” emailed on 22/12 “we” didn’t get a reply? Who sent this email? Did you chase a response to your email if you didn’t get a response?
Rachel’s email to local people was sent before Haringey’s 11th hour change of mind – and obviously the reason for sending that email was to inform local people that unless Haringey Labour Council did change their minds – the Arts Council would withdraw their funding as they would have done a year ago if not for myself and Neil Williams special pleading.Lots of people then emailed Cllr Cooke to tell him how important it was that Haringey Council find some money. So – Haringey Council only made it clear that they were going to up their funding after the emails piled in from local people – and I am glad Haringey Council responded to that pressure.It’s a shame that is the only thing that gets them to take it seriously. I can only assume because you post annonymously that you are trying to put a good spin on this for Haringey when the reality is they refused to put in the money at any point until a last minute u-turn. I note you take no notice of the conversation I personally had with Cllr Cooke only a couple of weeks before when he made it clear that as far as Haringey was concerned they were not going to put any money in. Thank goodness that’s changed – because that was an Arts Council condition.
Still we have no details, just further sniping at the Council…and now at me, a constituent of yours, for posting anonymously!The conversation you had with Cllr Cooke is poor evidence, given you (I assume) have no record of this whereas emails, minuted meetings, etc can provide evidence.
Anonymous, have you been asking the same questions of Labour? I’ve read about how the Labour councillor Matt Cooke refused funding, changed his mind at the last moment and is now telling everyone he never really meant it when he said no before. I am sure you could ask him a lot of difficult questions about all that if you wanted to!!