Campaign covered in Hendon & Finchley Times

The campaign to Save the Old Barn and get it restored to the local community is picking up pace, with Pop-Up Photo Protests taking place across East Finchley and a stall at the East Finchley Festival about to take place on Sunday 19th June.

The campaign has started to make the headlines in the Hendon & Finchley Times, with two positive articles informing people about what is going on. It is good to see that the truth is out in the open, and that people are beginning to openly question Rev Munhro’s takeover of the premises. The Archer has also taken up the story as well.

Many people are outraged that 94 local residents have been excluded from joining the centre, especially as the centre has been in receipt of funds from Barnet Council. Every day this farce continues local residents are paying the price of having this venue out of use (1) the council are losing money on the building, which could benefit some of the services that have recently had to have their funding cut and (2) the costs of dealing with incidents involving youths in the area has increased as the displaced youngsters have nothing productive to do with their time. The Police Safer Neighbourhood Team have recently set tackling youth issues as one of their key issues in East Finchley.

The Old Barn Action Group intend to ensure that they continue to make headlines and are planning a letter writing campaign to get local residents to chase up Barnet Council to act swiftly to resolve the situation. We need to resolve this situation as soon as possible, at the moment the Monday Youth Group are using St Martin’s School field but come the end of summer they will need a venue to run their activities. It would be good to be able to have the Old Barn back in operation in time for Ramadan too, so that the Muslim group that have been locked out from the building can use it too. All this comes too late for Home Start who have had to relocate to new premises, to think how much money was spent equiping out the Old Barn for their use – more tax payers money wasted.

The article that appeared on the 25th May after the first series of PUPPs.

The first article that appeared on the 12th March.

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Drumming up Support for the Old Barn Action Group

Saturday 21st May Cllr Alison Moore joined local residents to drum up support for the Old Barn Action Group in East Finchley during a series of Pop Up Photo Protests (PUPPs) outside local landmarks to help raise awareness of their campaign to save the Old Barn.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness that the Old Barn Community Centre has been taken over by Rev Geoffrey Muhoro and that he appears to be excluding local residents from using the facilities. He recently doubled the rents of the existing user groups forcing them to quit using the building, and has rejected 94 applications from local residents to become members of the association that currently runs the building. Even Barnet Council are concerned, summoning Rev Geoffrey Muhoro to a meeting last Thursday to account for his actions.

To make sure that as many people as possible become aware of what is happening, the Old Barn Action Group are organising a series of events to drum up support for their campaign. The Pop Up Photo Protests (PUPPs) are aimed at generating a lot of photos that can then be posted via social networking sites to help raise awareness of this local campaign to save the Old Barn.

Please help us by sharing links to this post on your social networking sites – we need to get this story out there.

Next Meeting Tuesday 7th June 7pm Green Man Community Centre

Next event Sunday 19th June 12 to 6pm  East Finchley Festival.

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Further actions planned to Save the Old Barn

On Tuesday 10th May, a small group of local residents who are determined to save the Old Barn Community Centre and get it restored to the local community met up at the Green Man. Will Hudson who is leading the campaign reported back to the group.

As agreed at the last meeting, local residents had decided to join the Old Barn Association on mass, to demand that Rev Geoffrey Muhoro returned the centre to the local community. However it appears that local residents applications to join the centre are being rejected despite two attempts to deliver them (a) by recorded post and (b) by hand.

The next stage is up to Barnet Council who have called a face to face meeting with Rev Geoffrey Muhoro, for him to explain how he manged to acquire control of the centre without the apparent support of so many local residents. It is hoped that he will explain why he has doubled the rental charges for groups using the centre, forcing them out of the building. Already the muslim group that used the Old Barn, and the Monday Group have found themselves locked out of the building – and Home Start are soon to give up their offices too.

The Old Barn Action Group has asked Barnet Council for a face to face meeting to follow-up on the outcome of the meeting with Rev Geoffrey Muhoro, and hope that Barnet Council will act swiftly to resolve the dispute over the premises. In the meantime, the Old Barn Action Group intend to take the campaign to save the Old Barn out into the local neighbourhoods of East Finchley with a series of “Pop Up Photo Protests” at various landmarks around the area. The first PUPP is planned for Saturday 21st June at 10:30am outside East Finchley Tube Station.

In a bid to raise funds, and even more awareness of the situation the Old Barn Action Group are hosting a Bric-a-Brac stall at the East Finchley Festival on Sunday 19th June.  The group is serious, and it is getting itself organised. The meeting adopted a constitution, and is starting to plan for the day when the Old Barn will be returned to the Community. Members have been tasked with various tasks; raising funds, organising publicity events, sorting out the governance of the group and drafting plans for the Old Barn.

The group has quickly established itself, with page on Facebook, a Twitter profile and WordPress site all taking shape. The next step is to launch a petition and get as many people signed up to support the campaign.

Whatever you do now – watch this space for more details of further action.

Old Barn Action Group – Monthly Meetings

Are scheduled to take place on the first Tuesday of each month at the Green Man Community Centre, starting at 7pm. If you would like to attend please let us know by clicking on the relevant Facebook event page to confirm attendance or by contacting Will.

Next three meetings are:

Forthcoming Events and activities

Pop up Photo Protests (PUPPS)

To raise awareness of what is happening at the Old Barn and help the story  spread through social networking sites the Old Barn Action Group are going to organise several  ”Pop Up Photo Protests (or PUPPS).

The idea is simple – a group of people with banners, leaflets and cameras will turn up outside various local landmarks in East Finchley, hand out a few leaflets, snap a few photos and in a short space of time produce an album of pictures that can then be posted on various social networking sites.

If you want to join us sign up to our PUPP events on Facebook

East Finchley Festival – Bric-a-brac Stall

Yes the Old Barn Action Group will be at the festival on Sunday 19th June and will be running a “Bric-a-brac” stall. The team will be on hand giving out leaflets about what is happening at the Old Barn, whilst hopefully raising a few pennies to help the campaign to get off the ground. Come along and support us.

Got any cool ideas?

The Old Barn Action Group are determined to get the Old Barn Community Centre returned to the local community, and are committed to run a peaceful (but noisy if necessary) campaign to raise awareness and get everyone involved until we achieve our goal.

So come along and be part of our campaign to Save the Old Barn!

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Successful public meeting at the Green Man 29/03/11

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The Old Barn Action Group had a really good turn out at the public meeting that we held at the Green Man on Tuesday night (29/03/11), 18 members turned up to discuss how we are going to move the campaign forward.

Will Hudson fed back about our successful Open Day outside the Old Barn (13/03/11), revealing that over 100 people attended and most of them have signed up to support the group. Will talked about the next stage which is to submit a mass membership application to join the Old Barn, and the possible outcomes that could follow.

It is hoped that current occupiers of the Old Barn will come to their senses and work with the Old Barn Action Group and local residents to resolve what is going on. The main aim of the Old Barn Action Group is to get the Old Barn back for the benefit of local people. In the meantime we need to document everything that is happening, and present our findings to the Charity Commission, Barnet Council, the Police and other local authorities. Hopefully Barnet Council will act soon. If that fails then direct action and a legal challenge may be the final way forward.

Will went through the questionnaire results which reveal that residents want to see a diverse range of events and activities taking place at the Old Barn.

Mark Healey (Centre Manager of the Green Man Community Centre) talked about the longer term plan, to prepare and develop the Old Barn Action Group so that it is ready to take over the building once the situation at the Old Barn is resolved. It is planned that the Old Barn Action Group will evolve into the new “Old Barn Community Trust”. It was agreed that the new organisation needs to learn from the mistakes of the old organisation and ensure that the right people are selected to take it forward. What we need to do now is work out a business plan and strategy for the management and development of the Old Barn – and have some clear policy and procedures ready to put in place.

The meeting then divided into two working groups; the first looking at the governance of the group and the second looking at setting up an events working group. Both groups then fed back.

The eight aims of the group were formally and unanimously agreed, and it was agreed to go ahead with the mass membership application. The meeting also confirmed that Will Hudson, Maureen Clemetson and Mr Ahmed have their support to continue acting as trustees for the group (a fourth trustee was also nominated and agreed)

To help raise funds for the group it was proposed that each member contributes £5, and £70 in subs and donations was raised. A bank account will be opened by the Trustees. The meeting closed at 9.30 with an expression of thanks to the Green Man Community Centre for hosting the meeting.

Next meeting Tuesday 10th May 2011 7.30pm Green Man.

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Twitter profile set up too!

Yes you can now follow the Old Barn Action Group via Twitter as we have set up a Twitter profile called savetheoldbarn, and it is linked to Facebook and WordPress too – so everytime Facebook is updated it automatically feeds it to Twitter, and Twitter then feeds it to the Latest Tweets section on our WordPress page.

Now all we need to do is get as many people to follow us as possible!

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Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook

So far 17 local people have joined us on our Old Barn Action Group Facebook page. Please click this link for more details and see what is happening.

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Old Barn Action Group joins WordPress

Here it is – our new WordPress website for the Old Barn Action Group. Watch this space for more details of our campaign to restore the Old Barn back to the local community.

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