News hot of the press – Rev Munro who took control of the Old Barn Community Centre (Fallows Close) back in 2010 has finally agreed with CommUNITY Barnet and Barnet Council to hold a public meeting to discuss how to resolve the situation.
This important meeting will take place on Thursday 24th May at the Old Barn, 20 Fallows Close – starting at 6.30pm.
Those who have been following the “Old Barn Action Group” campaign will know that we have been campaigning for almost two years to get the Old Barn restored to public use.
We simply believe that this building, owned by Barnet Council and leased to the Old Barn Youth and Community Association should be run by local people for local people, and to date a lot of local people in East Finchley have agreed with us.
Hundreds of local people have signed our petition calling on Barnet Council to act swiftly to resolve this appalling situation when groups including the Monday Club found themselves expelled from the premises, without a home to run their youth activities.
Many turned out to show their support for the campaign when Will Hudson and his team organised the first protest outside the Old Barn back in March 2011.
People have clapped and cheered as we demonstrated along the High Road and outside East Finchley Tube Station and The Pheonic Cinema to highlight what was going on at the Old Barn. Honking their horns in support as we collected signatures outside St Martin’s School.
The Archer, the Barnet Press and the Barnet Times have all made several enquiries into what is going on and featured several letters and news stories. Complaints have also be referred to the Charity Commission.
Attempts by previous users of the Old Barn to renew their membership have been rejected without good cause and new applications from local residents have been turned down. Which is why the Old Barn Action Group are calling on the Old Barn Youth and Community Association to open up its membership to local residents.
The campaign wants to see the constitution of the Old Barn Youth and Community Association upheld, which means that fair and democratic elections should take place as soon as possible to elect a management committee to run the facilities in the spirit that they are supposed to be run – for the benefit of local residents, adults and children.
The Old Barn Action Group is calling on all East Finchley Residents to come along to the meeting on the 24th May, especially those who care about the lack of provision for youth and community services in the area.
Hopefully if enough people turn out the future of the Old Barn can be resolved for once and for all.
“I certainly hope that the residents of East Finchley come along to this meeting and find out what is going on. This has been going on for far too long. Local people are suffering because there is a lack of youth and community provision in the area. In particular I know that the Maureen Clemetson who run’s the Monday Club has been struggling to keep the Monday night youth activities going – despite being forced out onto the streets and have access to her equipment (that is stored at the Old Barn) denied. I know the Muslim group that use to meet on Fridays have been evicted too.” Mark Healey
Watch this space for further updates and make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter.