The Old Barn Action Group held their latest meeting at the Green Man Community Centre last night. It was a small meeting – Will, Michele, Maureen, Emily, Mark and two others but a lot was discussed.
Will started the meeting by welcoming those present, and passing on apologies from a couple of people who were unable to attend. He then cracked on with an update, covering the success of the recent Pop Up Photo Protests, Press Coverage, the Mass Application Strategy, the Council’s position and the Fighting Fund.
The group manage to sign up another 116 signatures during the first PUPP event, and got good coverage in the Hendon and Finchley newspaper, and another article in The Archer. It appears that the mass application by 94 local residents has been rejected by Rev Munhro – a point which is being raised with Barnet Council as it appears unconstitutional that local residents can not join a local community centre.
The group is requesting a copy of the Old Barn’s lease, and will be formally writing to Barnet Council to follow-up on recent developments. Emily is also submitting a Freedom of Information Request. It is hoped that Barnet Council will also follow-up with the Charities Commission as there is grave concern over the Old Barn’s accounts – there are questions regarding payments that were made by Barnet Council.
Existing members of the Old Barn are also being urged to put pen to paper and support the Monday Club and Al Karim so that they can be back in the Old Barn by the end of the Summer. Ideally the centre needs to be open by the start of September, although it would be better if it could be opened in time for Ramadan. The East Finchley Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel have just set tackling youth issues as one of their three key priorities so Mark is going to approach them on behalf the campaign.
The group needs to press on getting to grips with Google Apps, and social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and WordPress which will be used to help raise the profile of the campaign. The group is building up a huge mailing list of local people so that it can really start to put the pressure on.
In the meantime, the next action to take place in the stall at East Finchley Festival on Sunday 19th June. Michelle and Will are going to set up the stall first thing in the morning between 10am and 11am. Maureen to cover from 2pm, followed by Emily and Viv at about 4pm to the end of the day. There are leaflets to print and handout, and Bric-a-brac to organise. After that – the next meeting is at the Green Man on the 5th July at 7pm, and another PUPP event is being planned outside St Martin’s School on the 6th July 3pm.