THE SHIT IS STILL FLYING AND MAKING NO INDICATION OF SETTLING IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS , OVER THE CANCELLATION OF THE MATHEW STREET FESTIVAL
WHY DID THE COUNCIL NOT INVOLVE THEIR OWN HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICERS?
WHERE IS IT?
THIS STORY IS GOING TO GO ON AND ON AND LIVERPOOL WILL SUFFER AGAIN.
SEE BELOW FOR A SELECTION OF TODAY'S FESTIVAL REPORTS.
Aug 6 2007
by Caroline Innes, Liverpool Daily Post
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.
“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.”