Mill Hill East Transport (before the bean counters cut it all)


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Barnet Eye: "Guest Blog - Support our campaign to Save Mill Hill Library - By Richard Logue"

Barnet Council are planning to make severe cuts to our library service

They are currently consulting on three possible options:
Option 1 Massive reduction of size of library to 540 sq feet – approximately the size of a large sitting room. Possible relocation from the existing building to another site and our library building sold off.
Library hours extended but only staffed for 33% of the time.
Option 2 Our library would be closed
Option 3 Massive reduction of size of library to 540 sq feet – approximately the size of a large sitting room. Our library would be offered to our community to be run entirely by volunteers. Possible relocation to another site in Mill Hill and our library building sold off.
It’s the oldest trick in the book to give only poor options in the hope that the least bad is taken and that the discussion is immediately limited. If, like us, you feel that all three options are unacceptable and lack vision, please join us in protesting and coming up with more constructive, imaginative ideas.

Regarding the consultation document, paper copies are available in the library. You can also complete it online at, but take care, the questions are worded so that it is possible to innocently give the council data that they can use to justify cuts. 

Here are our suggestions for the questions to watch out for:

Q6 We suggest you Don’t Answer!!
It asks you to rank which days of the week you want the library to be staffed. We advise that you don’t answer because the results could be used to justify reducing opening hours on particular days of the week.

Q7 We suggest you Don’t Answer!!
This question asks you to choose a time of day when you want libraries to be staffed. We believe that libraries should be accessible to all groups and open as long as possible. Different people use the library at different times – e.g. parents of school children may prefer mid-afternoon opening, students may prefer evenings and working people weekends. 
Unstaffed opening times will restrict the time children can use the library. It will also deter elderly and vulnerable people and people with disabilities from using the library. We advise that you don’t answer this question because the result could be used to justify reduced staffing and more unstaffed hours.

Q8 Tick ‘I would not feel confident at all’ and put your reasons in the comments box at Q10 Asks how you feel about an unstaffed library. We believe that libraries should be safe places for everyone. Barnet has not explained how an unstaffed building would be either safe or secure.

Q9 We suggest you say ‘I would not feel confident at all’ An unstaffed library would offer neither the same level of  service nor be as safe as a staffed building.

Q23 Tick ‘Another option’ and explain in the Q24 comments box why you oppose all three options This is the key question which forces you to rank in order the council’s three options, which for Mill Hill are:
  • Option 1: Massive reduction of floor space to the approximate equivalent of the current computer room, possible relocation from the existing building, library hours extended but only staffed for 33% of the time.
  • Option 2: Our library would be closed
  • Option 3: Our library would be offered to our community to be run entirely by volunteers, but with a reduction of floor space to the approximate equivalent of a large sitting room, and possible relocation from the existing building.
We believe that all three options are bad ones, lacking imagination and vision, and we oppose them all.

Q25 Say No!
This asks if you would be interested in volunteering. While volunteers can be a good thing if they’re trained and supported, they should not take the place of paid professional staff. Because there’s no comments box to express this distinction we recommend saying ‘no’ to this question.

Q26 Say No!
This asks if you would be interested in running a community library. Expressing a willingness to do so gives Barnet an argument that a community can be denied a key service, available free of charge in other parts of the borough (paid for by your council tax), and asks us to run it ourselves, thus putting librarians out of a job. Running a community library is no easy thing.

We will be running a public meeting at Hartley Hall, Flower Lane on Wednesday 14 January at 7pm. Please come along to support your library and to bring your own ideas on the future of our library. 

Richard Logue is the Chair of the Mill Hill Residents Association

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"Taylor Wimpey to deliver new phase of development at north London former RAF barracks"

"House builder Taylor Wimpey has purchased five acres of land for the one of the next phases of development at the former RAF Inglis Barracks in Mill Hill, north London, according to a report in the Estates Gazette.

"The London Borough of Barnet granted outline permission in 2009 for the comprehensive, phased redevelopment of the 34 hectare site to provide a new district, named Millbrook Park. The wider plans include: 2,174 homes; a primary school with community facilities; 1,100 square metres of 'high street' retail space; 3,470 sq m of office space; an energy centre; and a new public park.

"Taylor Wimpey was selected to deliver one of the next phases of the scheme: the 114-home "Phase 4A". The reported acquisition of five acres of land from the Inglis Consortium will enable work to commence on the construction of 55 three- to five-bedroom houses overlooking the Totteridge Valley to the north of the site, and an apartment building with 59 units, underground car parking and communal gardens."

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Barnet Times: "New planning group to decide what the future should hold for Mill Hill"

Link to web site

"A new planning watchdog marks an 'important milestone' for Mill Hill as the group decides on what the future should hold for the area.

"The new Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum, launched earlier this week, will oversee planning matters and ask people for their views on new developments.

"Barnet Borough Council's planning committee approved the new independent advisory team at a meeting on September 17, and it has now officially started work."

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Observer: "The solution to the UK housing crisis? Build on the green belt"

Link to web site

"Housing prices have become a prime driver of inequality. First, between generations: a thirty-something professional worker will now find it harder to buy a house than their exact peer 10 years ago. Second, within generations: the majority of people my age who own a house have drawn heavily on the Bank of Mum and Dad.

"They often end up letting out a spare room to a friend and the ultra-low interest rates of the last five years can mean the rent their mates is paying them is more than their mortgage. So the already well-off get an extra boost.

"Having parents who live in London also confers a huge advantage if you want to work in the arts, media, finance or law, because you can bunk up in the family home while you slog through unpaid internships or further study.

"This state of affairs should worry all the political parties. For Labour, there's an obvious story about social mobility going into reverse and about the rich becoming richer. For the Lib Dems, there's a chance to win back some of the young voters who defected over tuition fees.

"But perhaps the Tories have most at stake. The assumption has long been that homeowners become more conservative. More importantly, the Tories' core message – that with hard work comes rewards – is dented by a quick look at the housing market."

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Daily Telegraph: "Mafia-style behaviour [over Green Belt] in the planning system is traumatising villages, suggests Sir Simon Jenkins"

"Chairman of National Trust says planning decisions have led to eyesore developments that could only have happened in Sicily"

Link to web site

"Mafia-style behaviour in the planning system is ‘traumatising’ the English countryside, the head of the National Trust has suggested.

"Sir Simon Jenkins, the Trust’s chairman, said the planning decisions that have led to eyesore developments getting the go-ahead could only have happened in Sicily, the historic home of the mafia.

"In an interview with The Telegraph to mark the two year anniversary of planning regulations in the new National Planning Policy Framework, Sir Simon laid bare the damage being done to the countryside.

"He spoke of his sorrow at some planning decisions he says have wiped out scenes of countryside beauty and invoked the Mafia when he questioned how they have been allowed to proceed."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Barnet Press: "Property website boss changes ‘cheap’ benefits-bashing advert"

(Click on either image)

Before, and after...

"A PROPERTY website has agreed to alter a 'cheap shot' marketing campaign after it was slammed for using Mill Hill’s lack of benefits claimants as a selling point.

"An 'infographic', put together by estate agent marketing site, included the fact that less than three per cent of the ward’s working-age residents received jobseeker’s allowance, alongside statistics highlighting the proximity to central London and average earnings.

"However, following the image’s release online on Tuesday, chairman of Barnet Citizens’ Advice Bureau Tim Clark attacked the advertising campaign for playing on people’s prejudices about benefits claimants."

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

“Borehamwood is full” ... "There is no future of building in Borehamwood, the future has to be green belt sites.”

Link to Borehamwood & Elstree Times

" 'Borehamwood is full' was the overwhelming message as more than a hundred people gathered to make sure their views on development in the town were heard.

"Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council last night held a public meeting at The Ark Theatre in Thrift Farm Lane to answer questions about the recent draft of the Elstree Way Corridor Area Action Plan.

"Councillor Pat Strack, who chaired the meeting with Councillor Graham Franklin, made it clear the council had no control over development but could pass on the views of the townspeople to those who did."

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Guardian: "'Affordable housing' does not mean what you think it means"
Link to web site

"In the good old days, councils and housing associations built social rented housing – often called council housing. It was a simple idea in which rents were based on a formula that combined local wages and local property values so that, for much of southern England, rents would be set at around 50% of local market rents – even lower in very expensive areas. Social housing rents allowed people to work without being dependent upon housing benefit.

"No more. Now, councils and housing associations have been told to replace social rented housing with a new product called, confusingly, affordable housing.

"In a move worthy of George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, affordable rent will be higher than before, set at up to 80% of the local market rent. Across whole swathes of southern England affordable rented properties will simply not be affordable to people on low incomes."

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Barnet Society: "Green belt 'critical to the health' of Barnet"

Link to web site

"Barnet has probably more to thank the politicians and planners of the 1930s and 1940s for than any other town in north London. With protected Green Belt land on three sides, the High Barnet of today is blessed with some unrivalled countryside on our door-step.

"Therefore, in the light of two reviews into the future of London’s open spaces, the Barnet Society is determined to remain at the forefront of the campaign to preserve the Green Belt.

"We trust our submission to the reviews being undertaken by the London Assembly and an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Green Belt could not be any clearer:
"We believe the Green Belt to be critical to health and well-being, a defining part of the character of both Chipping Barnet and London, and likely to be even more appreciated as London grows."

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Barnet Times: "Building work to start on 2,000 homes development by Countryside Properties and Annington Developments in Mill Hill"

Link to web site

"Countryside Properties and Annington Developments are holding a ground-breaking ceremony, to mark the start of the first phase of the project at the former Inglis Barracks.

"A total of 2,174 homes, as well as a new primary school and community facilities, are due to be built in 11 phases at the Drew Avenue site, off Bittacy Hill."