Saturday 25 February 2017

The Saturday List #119 - 10 acts of corporate vandalism in and by the London Borough of Barnet

This week, the councillors of Barnet Council voted to destroy a large area of Green Belt in Mill Hill, to accomodate the expensaion of Hasmonean School. Whilst the Barnet Eye recognises that we desperately need more school places for local children, we strongly disagree with the destruction of the Green Belt to facilitate this. Sadly this is not the first act of corporate vandalism I've seen in my lifetime. All of these things below could have been prevented by an enlightened council and planning committees that cared.

 Here are my top ten.

1. Closure of Mill Hill Swimming Pool. This was bequeathed by a wealthy local resident to the people of Mill Hill to be used in perpetuity as a swimming pool. In the 1980's the then local Conservative Council ignored this and flogged off the site to become a Garden Centre.

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Derelict Watling Boys Club
2. Closure of Watling Boys Club. Watling boys club was a thriving youth centre in the heart of the Watling Council Estate. Sadly the council doesn't seem capable of understanding that if you don't provide activities for young people, you get social problems.

3. Redevelopment of Pavillion Way playing fields. Yet more lost recreational facilities in Burnt Oak. Yet again there was a covenant on the site that the council ignored.

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Derelict Claremont Road - Home of Hendon FC
4. The destruction of Hendon FC ground in Claremont Road. The Barnet Council Tories hate football and football clubs (unless they are Rugby Football Clubs). Hendon FC had a great little ground in Claremont Road, steeped in history. Barnet Council saw to it that the site was redeveloped and the club forced out.

5. The destruction of Barnet FC ground in Underhill. The Barnet Council Tories hate football and football clubs (unless they are Rugby Football Clubs). Barnet FC had a ground at Underhill, steeped in history. Barnet Council saw to it that the site was redeveloped and the club forced out. (note the crafty cut and paste job - they make blogging about their evil intent easy on occasion!).

6. The closure  of Mill Hill Library childrens section. It seems that the Conservative Councillors of Barnet (most of whom are well past child raising age), see no need for a dedicated space for mothers to take their toddlers to read. Mill Hill library has lost its childrens section. Unlike me, our councillors seem to think child literacy is rather unimportant. Sadly Mill Hill isn't the only library to be dismembered, but having done the cut and paste job once, I think you'd get a bit bored if I did it for all the libraries.

7. The demolition of The National Newspaper Library in Colindale. Some acts of corporate vandalism are just beyond comprehension. This is pretty near the top. Why on earth Barnet did not fight tooth and nail to preserve this important historical site is beyond me.

8. Closure of Church Farmhouse Museum in Hendon. A fantastic museum, oldest building in Hendon. Fascinating exhibitions and displays. Shut down and left to rot. Now just another bit of Middlesex University. Local kids have lost a fascinating window into the past of their community.

9. The monstrous sculpture outside Hendon Town Hall. Famously described by punk poet Pete Conway as "two tons of scrap metal on a pile of broken stone". Dumped there by the then Tory Council in 1980. The leader said "residents will come to love it and people will come from all over to admire it". This was to justify the tens of thousands they wasted on it. Do you love it? Has anyone ever come from miles around to admire it.

10. The Borough's pavements. Barnet Council used to have proper granite paving stones in most of our streets. Sadly the council decided that these were too expensive to maintain. So now we either have cheap concrete ones and even cheaper asphalt, where they could get away with it. This has nearly completed the uglification of the Borough.

I have come to conclude that the Barnet Tories hate football, children, young people, local history and anything which looks vaguely attractive. They also prefer to breath car fumes than fresh air. I usually try and refrain from using the Saturday list to make political points. Saturday is a day to relax and have fun, but I'm afriad that I cannot say nothing today about what is going on.


Anonymous said...

What happened to the poet,does he still live in the area?

Rog T said...

I believe he resides in Surrey

Rog T said...

And is the editor of Benchmark magazine