Tuesday, June 12, 2007

JOE ANDERSON QUITS CULTURE - A MAN OF PRINCIPLE AND INTEGRITY



LABOUR leader Joe Anderson has resigned from Capital of Culture in disgust at its failures.

We agree with everything that Councillor Anderson says - which is why we are reproducing his entire statement from today's Daily Post...



CITY Labour chief Joe Anderson today walked away from his Capital of Culture role and accused the festival board of failing to deliver on its promises.
In a hard-hitting attack he said the Culture Board and the Culture Company were:
FAILING to engage communities and “real” people.
FAILING to provide a 2008 events programme that excited people.
FAILING to provide a worthwhile legacy for the city and missing the chance to kick-start creative industries.
He lashed the city council for “mismanaging” the 08 funding equation and leaving Liverpool £20m short.
Cllr Anderson vowed to fight on from his position as Opposition Group leader in an effort to ensure the city delivered the best-possible Capital of Culture.
He said: “Wherever I go I have community groups say that they don’t feel part of Capital of Culture.
“People are constantly complaining about over emphasis on city- centre investment and when you visit parts of Speke and see the dereliction there it really hits home.
“I’ve been going round mounting a robust defence of Capital of Culture but my heart hasn’t been in it.”
Cllr Anderson claimed 08 had moved away dramatically from the promises within the bid document that persuaded the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to award Liverpool the Culture accolade in 2003.
He said: “I met the judges – Jeremy Isaacs, Tessa Sanderson – and told them all about the communities and our bid’s aspirations for them.
“But these aspirations simply haven’t been met.”
And Cllr Anderson – born in the city centre just yards from the Paradise Street development – also refused to acknowledge that the so-called “2008 effect” had played a massive part in the city’s fast-paced economic renaissance.
He said: “It’s a myth. The renaissance is real but it was begun by European Objective One funding and maintained by government grants.
“Don’t forget that when the bid document was launched the Grosvenor shopping development was already in the bag as was development of the King’s Dock. Renaissance was kicking in anyway.”
Cllr Anderson also claimed arts organisations and creative companies have been betrayed by the way 08 has been developed and have suffered from lack of involvement and no worthwhile legacy.
He pointed to Liverpool’s literary legends Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell as people who should have been consulted and utilised, perhaps in the creation of theatre schools to develop young talent post-2008.
He said: “I ask myself what the legacy benefits will be and I can’t really answer that question. The Tall Ships coming back again? A bigger Mathew Street Festival?
“There is no cultural legacy – only lack of involvement and lack of vision.”
It was an open secret in political circles that Cllr Anderson was struggling to reconcile his role on a cross- party and public-private sector board with his position as the city’s premier voice of opposition to the ruling Lib Dem Group which controls culture activity.
He now believes he can work more effectively “unfettered” by collective responsibility.
He added: “I’m now free to make whatever comments I deem constructive – sometimes positive, sometimes critical.
“I’ve felt for months that talking to some members of the culture board is like banging your head on a brick wall.
“Everything is met by defensiveness or accusations of negativity.”
Cllr Anderson said he believed the culture board was guilty of building up unreasonable expectations about the festival from the word go.
He said: “This festival will not be the wealth-creating, job-creating panacea for all the city’s ailments that it was cracked up to be.
“There is still time to provide people with the opportunity to take part and also to give the cultural sector better opportunities to participate.
“And if there’s one good thing to emerge from all the money that’s been spent it’s that the city has got a re-branding. It might be money well spent. We now need to have confidence in what the city has to offer.”
Cllr Anderson said he would continue “with passion” to promote the city in a positive way.
“This isn’t about party politics. It’s about me as a person and a Liverpudlian. And about a city with a legacy of debt.”

Joe Anderson on .....

... ROBYN ARCHER

WHEN she was brought in everybody thought WHO?
But it was the Emperor’s New Clothes and no-one said much. Then we hardly saw her for 12 months – even though we were paying her. She then comes up with a programme and that’s when I came up with my remark that the only Aussie she hadn’t signed was Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. David Henshaw and Mike Storey brought her halfway across the world but she knew so little about Liverpool. She quits and we’re a laughing stock, giving her a huge pay-off while community groups are getting knocked back for £2,000.

... THE 2008 PROGRAMME

I’M not convinced there’s really anything outstanding in there.
There’s nothing that jumps out – no wow factor, no big theme. I’m terrified the 2008 opening ceremony is going to be all about B-list celebrities. And as for 2007 we’re already halfway through it and I don’t detect any great birthday excitement.

... 08 BOARD MEMBERS

PHIL Redmond and Roger Phillips were a breath of fresh air and I wish we had a few more like them. They are not controversial but they speak as they see it and as people in the street see it.
There should definitely be a broader mix of people on the board. In four-and-a-half years we haven’t achieved much.

... THE FUNDING DILEMMA

THE council has failed to prepare a war chest since COC was awarded in 2004. The Government has supplied more than the £10m requested by the city council in the Bid Document. Hoping that the Government would bail out the city if it let the problem fester until the last minute was a high-risk strategy.
The council should have been honest with the people and said “Look, this is what Cultural Year will cost and we will have to save for it between 2003 and 2008”.

... COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

VISITORS might like 2008 but I don’t think residents will.
Go to Dingle, Everton, Speke and you’ll find people who’ve come up with ideas but they are frustrated at getting neither financial nor physical support. It’s a failure that we haven’t encouraged them to participate.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a star!

Sickened spouse said...

Anderson deserves a fucking medal for this. The staff in the Culture Company are banging their heads against the wall about what is going on inside there. They are sick of the millions being wasted on consultants and people who have no affinity for the city and no knowledge about Liverpool or its people. It is an absolute scandal what is going on and Anderson has put his finger on it. there will be no legacy for Liverpool, just fat cheques for harbrow and his mates. they are busily paying themselves a fortune for doing fuck all and will be off to the olympics once 2008 is over. some good things are happening , but not enough - and they have no idea about how to communicate them outside. most of the staff are already looking for jobs elsewhere because they know next year is going to be a complete and utter mess. why haven't you looked at the relationship between harbhrow and the people who kmake all the t shirts, caps and souvenir cups and lambananas. that is an absolute disgrace as well. but people just shrug their shoulders because they don't care - its I'm alright Jack. thank god someone at last has spoken out

Tony Parrish47 said...

ermm, just be a bit careful about the language, folks, this is a family blog you know. we have left it in because he was obviously passionate and angry (which is good), but keep the number of four letters down, if you can.

Anonymous said...

I am not a political animal,but here we have at least a man who will stand up and be counted. Don't seen to be too many of them in the 'Ruling Lib Deb Masters'

Anonymous said...

The chinks are beginning to show - how much longer can this Dog and Pony Act keep going?

Watcher in the rye said...

Crap report on the Beeb - Bone Head couldn't even get his act together enough to talk about the Creative Communities Programme - he kept on talking about "Cultural Communities"! The man is an obvious plank. He doesn't even know what the only good thing about 08 is called. Tosser.

Anonymous said...

I gather Bradley refused to go on telly to defend the Culture Co. Hence Bonehead. But what is he doing to sort them out? Washing his hands of all responsibility, as usual....

Anonymous said...

Joe has given his reasons for leaving the board which most people in this city agree with. Shame that he felt that he could not fight this from the inside. what are we left with now?. I would like to invite the culture board to come to the outskirts of the city and then they will agree with joe. good on yer mate. keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

i just hope that this shakes the lib dems and culture board up before its too late

Vulture said...

If anyone thinks Bradley or Storey are big enough politicians to listen to a word Anderson said, they are kidding themselves. They only put him on the board to give the semblance of unity. in reality they have not paid the slightest bit of attention to him. and as the henshaw debacle proved, once these officials get hold of their huge pay packets it is alsmost impossible to get rid of them and get them to do anything which they don't want to do. Anderson gave it a good go, but had to admit there was no point in the end. better to get out of the tent, rather than be suffocated by it.

Anonymous said...

Good for Anderson. Hopefully this will rally the forces of dissent and opposition to this shambles

Anonymous said...

I hope that apathy doesn't set in and Anderson is as good as his word in todays rag - that hes not going to disappear into the sidelines but be actively commenting and Criticising the retards all the way

Anonymous said...

Of course they will blame him.....Joe Anderson
Instead of looking at the real problem....
i.e. people not up to the job!!....moneygrabbers first and
foremost....and not giving a toss for the real people of Liverpool.

'Real' people who don’t live in fancy 'yuppie'
apartments or in fancy addresses out of town.
I am talking about real Liverpool people...
the people who live on the Estates....
the people who live in Speke......
.the people who live in Dingle ...and elsewhere.

It been said before...The Capital of Culture
has been hi-jacked by highly paid managers.
highly paid consultants.

Where do the Elderly
receiving care come into this? Anybody know ?
Where do the Liverpool carers
(who's pay is about to be cut by 30%)
come into this ?

Capital of Culture has been
hi-jacked like a lot of other things in this City.
Well done Joe Anderson for standing
up and being counted.!

Tori Blare said...

WHO THE HELL IS TONY KING?

Tori Blare said...

Joe has always privately commented on the lack of any real ideas and the usual cabal suspects were just wasting Liverpool's money and time.
Joe has stood up for the people of Liverpool and for that alone he deserves congratulations.
The only problem now of course is the other resignation of today has confirmed to the rest of the country that Liverpool are useless.
I really object to these dick heads making me as a scouser, look like an idiot.
Why can't we sack the whole of the board and select others quickly, who will sort a decent event for Liverpool to be proud of.

YOZZA said...

I can waste money and think I'm more important than the rest of the world!

GIZ A JOB?

Tony Parrish47 said...

Tony King....no idea really, but we're not objecting to the good citizens of Noo Yawk finding out what a mess the Culture Co are making of things across the pond. We have a few top US bloggers who pay close and loyal attention and have linked to the site...so I reckon Mr King has found us through them...
it is an international, as well as a family blog, dontchaknow

Anonymous said...

Its all begining to show now....This was supposed to be Capital of Culture....Culture is about many things including people. Before all this nonesence and people bailing out..what had been planned to include people like the 'real' Liverpudlians...the vulnerable Liverpudlians......the elderly liverpudlians....the carers of Liverpool. Yes youve got it.......cut their pay and leave the elderly to fend for themselves...SHAMEFUL !!

How the council use Ripa to spy on you....

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