Monday, 2 November 2009

Liverpool Central Library Is to be Privatised? What a Mess.

Further on from Fridays post regarding the Central Library Violation, which will turn it into something that resembles a Liverpool One Extension. This is a GradeII listed building. DeJa-Vu 2004. Same plans only 20 million pounds more.
Please read some of the comments.
A third of our city centre was given to Grosvenor.
Whenever I write a piece of criticism I will always try to ensure that the people criticized have a right to see the article.
This was the case on Friday.
Vicky Anderson replied to my criticism.

Hi Wayne,
Do you suggest the local press do not report on this kind of development at all?
For your information, the council held a press briefing about the library development on Wednesday. Granada Reports and the BBC were also in attendance - are they going to get both barrels as well?
I do not "report on behalf of the council". Every single paragraph of my story today is either plain and simple fact or an explanation of the schedule to come, as it was when I covered the Stirling Prize the other week.

Both these stories had a news value that the local press could not ignore. It is as simple as that. If you're right, then these new plans are bound to spark debate, and if so, we'll cover that. But it all starts with the breaking of a story, and I'm getting pretty tired of being criticised for that as if I'm some kind of stooge.

What it's my job to do is to present the facts of a story to readers as they stand. Whatever Cllr Bradley says in quotes is his business, not mine. It's called reporting. I await my next disparaging mention on your blog.

We don’t have to wait long. I caught the news that evening on the BBC, just a brief part of the BBC article with Warren Bradley being grilled and replying to the tune of ‘Yes private financing in the public sector has not worked in the National health and other local government sectors, but here we are going to make it work'. This was also good news story but asked questions of the private sector involvment. The BBC showed pictures of ceilings falling down and reams of books and records at risk, part of which may have been the Chambre-Hardman archive that I put a hundred and odd hours of my time into lobbying out of the clutches of a trust who did not function.

Then the penny dropped Vicky had been tricky in placing this as a good news story but what the real reasoning should have been that the LIBRARY IS BEING HIVED OFF, TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. In those heady militant days when the Town Hall was to be sold to the Gnomes of Zurich they never even thought of selling off the Library. This is an utter disgrace to turn a bad news article into the usual Daily Ghost writer for the Council rubbish, that the public do not deserve. Tricky Vicky should sit next to Peter Elson for a while,    as it was he who received the Chambre-Hardman press release, which said its great we have found a home for the archive, in Bradford Museum and we will sell off his house in Rodney Street. This landing on his desk saved the slant being sold to us as he saw right through it. There was recently an exhibition of his work in the wonderfully restored Victoria Buildings.  So now, editorial out of control unfortunately at The Daily Council, we get a constant drip-feeding. I doubt if Vicky Anderson was even at the press conference and if she was, shame on her for allowing herself to be manipulated.
Why was this not explained that the Council, if they are, may be leasing the Library….and, I myself am speculating a bit because…it has not been explained properly and I only caught a bit of the BBC Northwest.
But the editors have to be culpable for not making things clear.
How embarrassing we have had a billion pounds of European money and we couldn’t even look after the library and it has come to such a sad state that the council are hiving it off. That should have been the story and shame on all concerned for not telling it in true and reflective manner which will have alraedy stifled any future debate or  consultation with headlines, that, in my opinion, do not reflect the true situation.

CODA What a cheek the Oldham Echo critisizing the BBC. They say;
The ECHO still values the BBC as a trustworthy brand and reliable provider of news and information, but its role as a public service broadcaster needs to extend to providing more content which is not simply assessed on a commercial basis.

It should not be scrambling after big ratings for the sake of them. Rather, it should allow ITV and the cable and satellite channels to provide us with the endless reality shows, dancing, singing and cookery contests.
Instead of Strictly Come Dancing, the Beeb should be strictly concentrating its resources on making far more quality dramas and documentaries, while also striving to win back some of the major national sporting events it has shamefully lost in recent years.


  1. I think that you at the Liverpool Preservation Trust have become a valuable addition to the news. At first I thought you were being unfair with the press but like the little boy that says The Emperor is wearing no clothes, I now see that we are being led a merry dance by the local papers. A plague on their rather awful building.

  2. What has been going on at the library for the last thirty years ? Reminiscent of spending £27 million on "refurbishing" St Georges Hall, when diligent maintenance over the years was neglected, thereby pushing the final cost up and up. Rather than trumpeting this as a good news story (in the style of the local rags) it is in fact an admission of guilt. Why was a public building allowed to fall into disrepair ? As for the so-called "improvements", any refurbishment should be consistent with the character of this Listed building. Even if it IS about dragging more tourists in (a rather feeble argument for a library) it would make more sense to retain the original style of interior. Capital of Culture anyone ?


    Our Cities campaigner Florence Gersten said parts of the plan were long overdue.

    But she added: “The scale of the proposed new building will be very expensive and only achievable through PFI [Public Finance Initiative], meaning that it will no longer belong to us for 30 years. I think that is sad in a city that pioneered public libraries.”

    She also expressed concerns over temporary arrangements while the building was closed.

    But Joyce Little, head of libraries, said: “We have been developing the project for several years, and to get planning permission and listed building consent is a major milestone.

    “We are looking at providing a small temporary public service within the city centre; we hope it will have a local history and children’s services.”

    She said the public would still have access to the archive.
    passed the 12.1.10 today by the planning poodles