Monday, 6 August 2007

LIVERPOOL LABOUR COUNCILLOR PAUL BRANT DEMANDS AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO FESTIVAL COCK UP.


THE SHIT IS STILL FLYING AND MAKING NO INDICATION OF SETTLING IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS , OVER THE CANCELLATION OF THE MATHEW STREET FESTIVAL


IT STANDS TO REASON THAT THE CITY COUNCIL CANNOT INVESTIGATE ITSELF.


NOT SO, ACCORDING TO THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!

THEY THINK THEY CAN FIND OUT WHAT THEY DID WRONG AND TELL THEMSELVES NOT TO DO IT AGAIN!

WHY DID THE COUNCIL NOT INVOLVE THEIR OWN HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICERS?



WHAT CONSULTATION TOOK PLACE WITH THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE?


WARREN BRADLEY PROMISED US A STATEMENT TODAY, OUTLINING HIS RESCUE PLAN!

WHERE IS IT?

THIS STORY IS GOING TO GO ON AND ON AND LIVERPOOL WILL SUFFER AGAIN.


BRADLEY SHOULD GO AND ALL OTHERS INVOLVED SHOULD BE SACKED.


SEE BELOW FOR A SELECTION OF TODAY'S FESTIVAL REPORTS.





Demand for new probe into Mathew Street Festival 'shambles'

Aug 6 2007


by Caroline Innes, Liverpool Daily Post


Cllr Paul Brant

A LEADING councillor last night called for an independent investigation into the cancellation of the Mathew Street Festival, claiming that the council’s own inquiry was unsatisfactory.

Liverpool City Council’s Labour’s deputy leader, Cllr Paul Brant, who has already called for council leader Warren Bradley to quit over the fiasco, said the council’s investigation was not independent and would not provide “ a full and frank disclosure of the facts.”

His comments came as Cllr Bradley was due to return from a holiday. He has vowed to rescue the annual festival.

A detailed plan for its resurrection is expected to be made public this week, possibly as early as today.

Outrage reverberated across Merseyside last week after the event was cancelled just three weeks before it was due to go ahead.

A leading expert on health and safety, brought in just over a week ago to examine arrangements, advised Liverpool’s Culture Company and the city council to walk away from the event on health and safety grounds.

Now Cllr Brant said the city council must take responsibility for their role in the “embarrassing situation” and ensure a totally independent inquiry was held to help restore faith in Liverpool’s administration.

He warned that failure to do so would not only permanently damage the city’s reputation but could impact on private sector confidence in the Capital of Culture year.

He said: “They tell us that the investigation into how we ended up in this shambles is going to be conducted by council chief executive Colin Hilton. That is not independent.

It does not seem right, in fact it stinks.

“We will never get a full and frank disclosure of the facts unless a totally independent investigator is brought in.

“We need to restore Liverpool’s reputation and faith in the people who run this city.”

Campaigners for an elected mayor for Liverpool also warned that while the festival could be salvaged, the city council’s credibility could not.

The chairman of amayorforliverpool.org, Liam Fogarty, added: “Council leaders have shown themselves to be both powerless and clueless when it matters most.

“ The people of Liverpool won’t forget this shameful fiasco in a hurry.

“Town hall spin that the council is now riding to the rescue should fool no-one.

“While the Culture Company has behaved disgracefully, the council cannot pretend it has had nothing to do with this is utter nonsense.

“Councillors Warren Bradley and Mike Storey sit on the company board.

“Liverpool council tax payers are bankrolling the Culture Company and council employees have been transferred wholesale to its Millennium House headquarters.

“The company is the council’s creation. To all intents and purposes, the Culture Company and the council are one and the same.

“People need to be reminded that Jason Harborow (chief executive of the Culture Company) was recently appointed as the city council’s executive director for culture, media and sport.

“A few resignations won’t restore the council’s credibility. Nor will it heal our city’s damaged reputation.”

  • READ more news from the Liverpool Daily Post



  • Talks start to save Mathew Street Festival

    Aug 6 2007


    by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo


    Leader of Liverpool City Council, Cllr Warren Bradley

    TOP LEVEL talks were taking place today in a bid to save the Mathew Street festival.

    Council leader Warren Bradley was due to meet Culture Company officials this morning to try to thrash out a compromise, which could see some of the outdoor events survive.

    The ECHO understands he was hoping to make an announcement this afternoon, when the future of Europe’s biggest free music festival would become clearer.

    Cllr Bradley’s rescue plan involves shelving the event’s outdoor alcohol licence to stop revellers drinking in the streets, although pubs and clubs would still be allowed to serve booze.

    It has yet to be seen whether this would be enough to overcome the significant health and safety concerns raised by an independent firm, which led to the festival’s outdoor elements being cancelled last week.

    Cllr Bradley was also due to meet representatives of festival founders Cavern City Tours, who have been working with the ECHO to find venues for bands due to play on the outdoor stages.

    Today’s meetings will also spark the start of an internal inquiry at the council into the circumstances surrounding the festival’s sudden cancellation last Thursday.

    Senior councillors and Culture Company board members claim they were completely unaware that the event was in jeopardy until the last minute.

    Some did not find out it was being axed until they saw ECHO headlines on Thursday afternoon.

    Other politicians believe a council investigation is not enough and want a fully independent, external inquiry.

    Cllr Paul Brant, deputy opposition leader, said: “Liverpool’s reputation has been dragged through the mud and jobs and investment will be lost due to this incompetence.

    “It is important we are open and honest about this issue, otherwise confidence in the city’s ability to deliver 2008 will be dented.”

  • READ more news from the Liverpool Echo

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