July 2011 Archives

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This week has been something of a cultural and artistic smorgasbord with the opening of the New Museum of Liverpool and the On the Waterfront festival this weekend.

I am yet to visit the new museum, so I can't pass judgment on it apart from saying the general reaction seems to have been very positive.

As a fan of technology and cinema The Macula Spectacular is the first public event since Capital of Culture that has truly got me excited.

IT is perhaps apt that the architect of the Big Society should visit Liverpool while a row rumbles on that gets to the heart of how the Big Society should or could work in practice.

Today political thinker Phillip Blond, author of Red Tory, and man who came up with the philosophy David Cameron used to create his Big Society idea, was in Liverpool.

Yesterday we reported how 20 job advisors have been left in limbo after a row between Liverpool council and a social enterprise Dingle Opportunities - essentially over who should pay to make half of them redundant.

This story is important for a number of reasons. More and more we will see the council trying to re-negotiate deals with social enterprises, or the third sector to give it another name.

THE Government wants us to believe there is no money for repairing schools.

Today we reported how the government has rejected a plan B put together by the city to replace the axed Building Schools for the Future project.

Schools minister Nick Gibb might as well have suggested that Liverpool schools will have to put a bucket under a leaking roof, because the country is skint.

However, become an Academy or a "free-school" and his boss, education secretary Michael Gove, will pluck some money off his magical money tree.

No wonder that schools are milking the academy cash cow - who can blame them?

The Anfield stadium debate continues a pace today, with naming rights continuing to crop up as an issue.

it is a massive issue, but before I get to that are we still to believe that everything between Liverpool council and Liverpool FC is still OK?

Today club chief executive Ian Ayre has fired the latest salvo, after council leader Joe Anderson's intervention yesterday.

Simmering tensions now seem to be coming to the fore, albeit it through coded polite language.

Many journalists have long suspected that Freedom of Information (FOI) Act requests are sanitised before being sent out.

Attempting to represent the data or information in a favourable context may be one thing, deletion of items requested is another.

As our story shows today Liverpool council actively covered-up information requested by me and now council leader Joe Anderson (who was leader of opposition at the time).

It goes without saying that cover-ups of this nature are deeply worrying. Perhaps some background would be helpful.

Liverpool FC's stadium saga is a story fans are well accustomed to.

Under the previous ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett it was one of delays and broken promises.

Now under the guidance of John Henry the club is keen not to over promise but is now facing considerable problems. But it is clear that Henry would prefer to stay at Anfield because of its heritage, and because it is cheaper than moving to an all singing all dancing new ground in Stanley Park.

But the club has come up against the city council that wants it to keep to its previous commitment to move to a new ground in Stanley Park.

While phone hacking by the News of the World continues to dominate headlines one Liverpool politician appears to have fallen victim to a different type of hacking incident.

Yesterday colleagues and acquaintances of Liverpool Liberal Democrat deputy leader Richard Kemp received an email claiming he had been mugged at gunpoint in Madrid and needed cash sending to him.

The email read as follows:

abdulqadir.jpgAbdul-Basit Qadir is the new Labour councillor for Picton.

How old are you?
I am 34 years old married with two boys (7 years and 5 Years old) and a girl (1 Year 10 Months)

What job do you do?
I am a qualified youth worker; I used to work at the Methodist Centre off Granby Street for the last 7 years. I decided to become a councillor to be able to make a difference for the community as I have been involved in the voluntary sector from a very young age.

Additionally, i feel it's important to influence the perception of the black and ethnic minority youth groups and show that it is possible to get involved in the political stage and that anyone can be part of it with the right aim and determination. I chose to represent Picton because I have lived and worked in and around the ward most of my life. I was extremely pleased to have been able to break a number of records which are'

1) To be the first councillor of Yemeni origin in Liverpool and maybe in United Kingdom. Yemeni's have been in the U.K since the late 18th century.
2) The most hilarious one is my name being missed out of the election results published in the local newspaper.

Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson has taken Liberal Democrat Flo Clucas to task over the 'bad deal' over Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL).

In a leaked email he tells Cllr Clucas that he's only just dried his eyes from laughing after reading her comments in the Daily Post that big questions needed to be asked over the deal.

Below is the full email:

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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