The email, written on February 28th, is by Culture Company Operations Director Chris Green to the Harbarrowboy.
It concerns the fateful meeting on February 21st when Green met with Fireman Bradley, Story-teller and CoverUp to update all three on Mathew Street.
Green explains to Harbarrowboy that the cost of the new outdoor event Storey wanted - Son et Lumiere - had risen to £160,000 and that the budget for Mathew Street would need to be cut by £100,000, as a result.
Green then tells the Harbarrowboy:
"Given that the closure of the Pier Head had already introduced logistical problems for operating Mathew Street at the same scale as previous years..."
So Harbarrow was obviously in the loop and knew that there were problems with staging Mathew Street again this year.
Green then outlines a re-vamped proposal for Mathew Street,which has been cut by £100,000.
"This idea was presented to Warren Bradley, Colin Hilton and Mike Storey on 21 Feb and was not accepted. Warren and Mike felt strongly that we needed to find a way to run Mathew Street on Saturday and Sunday as well as Monday/Tuesday."
In other words, both Bradley and Storey were adamant that, despite the budget being cut by £100,000, Mathew Street should not be reduced from four days to a two day festival, as Green had proposed.
Fireman Bradley of course told the world that the first he knew of any problems with Mathew Street was when Hilton phoned him on holiday in July.
Not true Fireman.
Both CoverUp and the Fireman were at the same meeting in February when the problems were raised and proposals for reducing Mathew Street were put forward.
But according to Green's email, both the Fireman and Story-teller insisted that the Festival should go ahead as they wanted, despite them having cut the budget.
The email - which is reproduced in full below, demonstrates that both Bradley, Storey and Hilton too, have repeatedy and outrageously lied about their knowledge and involvement in the Mathew Street debacle.
The Harbarrowboy responds by promising Green that he will raise the issue at EMT - the city council's Executive Management Team which is chaired by Hilton, who reports to Bradley.
Perhaps Jase forgot to raise it?
Or perhaps Hilton was hiding under his desk with cotton wool stuffed into his ears?
Perhaps CoverUp had a severe attack of laryngitis and could not speak to Bradley about it for six months?
Perhaps someone could ask for the minutes of the EMT?
You may also find it strange, dear readers, that this email exchange is not included in the official report?
Why do you think it has not been included?
Perhaps the Gang of Four are suggesting that Green, who has since quit of course, is really the liar and that his email is a complete fabrication?
But what motive would he have to lie?
He wrote his email six months ago.
It is a contemporaneous account of what happened - as opposed to the convenenient memory loss apparently suffered now by Bradley, Storey, Hilton and Harbarrow.
This is the truth:
All four of them knew about the problems at least six months before Mathew Street was cancelled.
All four of them knew that the budget cuts had compounded the problems.
All four of them have repeatedly and consistently lied about their knowledge and involvement.
All four of them - because they are disgraceful , dishonourable and sickening cowards - have sought to blame Lee Forde for what went wrong.
Lee Forde is the one who has told the truth.
Lee Forde is the only man who has acted honourably.
And Lee Forde is the one who is now being scapegoated by these bastards.
Here is the email: Judge for yourselves.
From: Harborow, Jason
Sent: 02 March 2007 00:06
To: Green, Chris
Cc: Forde, Lee
Subject: Re: MATHEW STREET FESTIVAL
I will raise at EMT
Liverpool Culture Company
PO Box 2008
Tel: + 44 (0) 151 233 5441
Fax: + 44 (0) 151 233 6333
Web: www.liverpool08.com/www.liverpool.gov.ukLiverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008
----- Original Message -----
From: Green, Chris
To: Harborow, Jason
Cc: Forde, Lee
Sent: Wed Feb 28 11:31:01 2007
Subject: MATHEW STREET FESTIVAL
I've reviewed the overall events budget and the operational options with Lee and the following is a statement of where we stand.
Do you want this to be put to the Strategic Steering group this week?
In the planning for 'one off' events for 2007 in the second half of lastyear we started to look at the feasibility of a major public event duringthe week commencing 23 April. The steering group agreed that we should progress the idea of a week long 'Son et Lumiere' event, the initial cost for which was estimated at c £70k. This was not in the year's budgets.
A more accurate costing has since produced a budget need for £160k.
This wasreported to the Mike Storey and he asked us to try to find a way of re-allocating budgets so that we could pay for this event and an increase in the budgets for the Pageant and Squares activity on 28th August.
Following the budget review at the Culture Co Awayday on 14th Feb all of the Events Budgets for 2007 had been reviewed and where possible savings made.
However, the only substantial budgets where significant savings were feasible were:
Mathew St Festival £500k
August 28th Fireworks £375k
Police Costs £250k
Given that the closure of the Pier Head had already introduced logistical problems for operating Mathew Street at the same scale as previous years, it was provisionally agreed that for 2007 Mathew St Festival could consist of five stages in and around the City Centre on Monday 27th August, with two ofthose stages being retained for the 'party' on Tuesday 28th August.
This would produce an estimated saving of £100k, which together with smaller scale savings fro some other event budgets would fund the 'Son et Lumiere'event.
This idea was presented to Warren Bradley, Colin Hilton and Mike Storey on 21 Feb and was not accepted.
Warren and Mike felt strongly that we needed to find a way to run Mathew Street on Saturday and Sunday as well asMonday/Tuesday.
Lee and I believe that if Mathew St is to remain in the City Centre there are only two realistic options and with both of these options there will still be a significant number of other agencies required to approve this before we go ahead.
Two stages on Mann Island/the Strand for Saturday Sunday and Monday,increasing to five with the addition of Derby Square, Dale St and Williamson Square for Monday and the retention of the Derby and Williamson Square stages for Tuesday.
The main logistical issue here is the closing of the Strand for three days,which the police have already intimated will be objected to - not least byGrosvenor.
This would not produce any cost saving on the budget of £500k.
A stage on St George's Plateau for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,with additional stages on the Strand and Derby Square for the Monday; DerbySquare to be retained for the Tuesday as well.
The main logistical issue with this option is that the capacity of St George's Plateau would be limited and it may require the closure of Lime Street at some times - this was objected to by Merseytravel last year.
This is unlikely to produce any saving on the budget of £500k.
We have looked at a third option where we operate MSF through indoor venues across the City on Saturday and Sunday and have the five stages as per Option 1 for the Monday, reducing to two on Tuesday 28th August.
However, this would require significant increase in admin effort to organise and ticket the events in venues and we do not believe the capacities exist in venues.
All bar venues already operate at full capacity and programme activity.
In terms of the major venues the only exception last year I think were the Royal Court and RLPO who in themselves would not produce enough capacity to deal with the expected crowds.
We have not been able to identify an option which would allow the festival to operate for 3 days and produce the saving needed to cover the costs of the Son et Lumiere event.
The only option therefore appears to be to reduce the budget for fireworks on the 28th August. However, this would undoubtedly create a serious PR issue if we were not seen to undertake a decent display.
Liverpool Culture Company
PO Box 2008
Tel: +44 (0) 151 233 1106
Fax: +44 (0) 151 233 6333
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7841 295 254
Liverpool - European Capital of Culture 2008
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