Dear Mr Cole,
As a Liverpool Council Tax payer I would be interested to hear your justification as to why my taxes should be used to subsidise your commercial activity within the Borough of Sefton.
I would also like to know why it was suddenly possible for your company to deliver its Summer Pops programme at a fraction of its previous cost (and presumably a fraction of the cost proposed in your original tender).
Like many people I view the recent tendering process as highly unsatisfactory and far from transparent.
The cancellation and subsequent rescue of the programme suggests careful choreography and the appearance of a rather interesting email on a celebrated Liverpool "blog" site (he means us, ed) only reinforces my sense of deep unease.
Do you believe it is appropriate for a commercial company tendering for a public contract to be communicating in this manner with the elected leader of the City Council?
Is this the way that you normally conduct business and do you believe this to be proper and transparent?
At what stage where you informed about the availability of public funds from The City Council and Culture Company to subsidise your proposal?
Who confirmed the availability of this money and on what authority?
At what stage did you enter into discussion with Aintree Race Course about the availability of this alternative venue?
Was this before or after the "decision" to cancel the 2007 Summer Pops programme?
Is there any truth to the assertion made on the Liverpool subculture website (hurrah! that's us, ed) that your press release to Radio Merseyside re the cancellation of the Pops was received prior to the posting of the Executive Board agenda on the Council website?
If this is true, how were you able to quote from this report?
Who disclosed its content and why?
How and when were the City Council first made aware of the details of your rescue proposal? Which officers did you communicate with and what was your understanding of the status of these discussions within the context of a tendering process involving two other companies?
Your email to Cllr Bradley talks about the opportunity to "run a positive story" in the Echo.
Had the groundwork for this story already been prepared and does this not suggest that you and they were prejudging a decision that had not yet been taken?
Did either Cllr Bradley or Mr Hilton reply to your email, and was the timing of the subsequent appointment meeting influenced by your communication?
If you had been one of the other potential operators would you regard your behaviour as proper and the process as fair?
You may well believe that you are under no obligation to answer these questions about your personal business activity.
However, you have been the beneficiary of very large amounts of public money and have recently been awarded a major public contract under circumstances that are at the very least unconventional.
I therefore trust that you will be more than happy to clarify these matters and put the mind of at least one local Council Tax payer at rest.
Alan K. Churchman.
Dear Mr Curchman,