We must save vital centre

Highbury Roundhouse is a remarkable thing – a community centre which has thrived for more than 30 years, right in the heart of Highbury, largely independent of council subsidy.

It has managed to do this because the big old building at the back of the site has allowed it to offer something for people of all interests and age groups: dance, drama, music; sport, exercise, play – or just plain social gatherings for children, young people, the elderly and parents/carers.

Its landlord, however, has allowed the building to slip into disrepair over time, such that the council has now slapped on a dangerous structure notice, forced the Roundhouse to move its activities into scattered temporary accommodation elsewhere, and is now threatening demolition – with no clear commitment as to if or where the centre will be re-built.

And who is this landlord? The council itself!

The Roundhouse has advice that demolition is unnecessary and expensive, and that the building could be repaired and restored more cheaply. We would urge local people to join the call for a binding council commitment to keep the centre where it is, so it can continue to serve the community for generations to come.

They can sign the petition at www.savehighburyroundhouse.co.uk but should also let their local councillors know in person that the Roundhouse must be saved. – Caroline Russell, Highbury team, Islington Green Party, via e-mail.