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Old November 4th, 2005, 12:13 PM   #1
Nacho
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Future Library

This is going to need its own thread.Today's news.


Split-site library it is - or is it? Nov 4 2005
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

By Paul Dale, Chief Reporter


Leaders of Birmingham City Council have privately signalled their intention to press ahead with controversial plans for a split-site library, effectively sidelining a highly critical scrutiny report.

Senior cabinet members are understood to have ordered work to proceed as quickly as possible on developing the business case for the £147 million scheme - which involves building a lending and reference library at Centenary Square and a family history and archive centre at Millennium Point.


A project manager is to be appointed with a remit to do everything possible to deliver the split-site option for the council.

The move finally puts paid to hopes of resurrecting a £180 million proposal for a Library of Birmingham at Eastside by the acclaimed architect Lord Richard Rogers.


The split-site option was condemned by the council's main scrutiny committee, which accused the cabinet of rushing a decision on the library without considering the full facts.


The committee was particularly critical of the cabinet's failure to ask consultants Gardiner and Theobald, who advised on the Eastside library, to examine the financial case for a split-site solution.


By failing to ask the consultants to compare the cost of Eastside against the cost of the split-site option the cabinet had "defied common sense", the committee concluded.


Officially, the cabinet has agreed to an eight-week breathing space to consider the scrutiny report.


However, John Alden, the cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, told a full council meeting earlier this week that he was moving ahead with the split-site option.


His remarks appear to be supported by the council's own website which records the cabinet a week ago as having agreed to appoint a project manager to deliver the splitsite library.


Cabinet members are determined not to re-open the Eastside debate and will not, under any circumstances, order a further consultants report.


The cabinet's stance threatens to provoke a crisis between the council executive and scrutiny committees.


A possible compromise is being explored, under which a former city council officer would be appointed to negotiate between the cabinet and Gardiner and Theobald.


Michael Wilkes, chairman of the main scrutiny committee, stressed that the cabinet was yet to take a formal decision to build the split-site library.


"That is my crystal clear understanding," he said.


However, he added: "I am well aware of developing realities.


"I understand that phrases like kicking scrutiny into the long grass have been used. Well, the one thing you cannot kick into the long grass is the absence of facts upon which the move to favour a split site option was based.


"That evidence is singularly lacking."


Coun Wilkes (Lib Dem Hall Green), who is seeking an urgent meeting with Mike Whitby, the council leader, added: "This is a very significant moment in the relationship between scrutiny and the executive."


Sir Albert Bore, leader of the Labour opposition group, said it was clear that the cabinet was determined to ignore the scrutiny findings.


Sir Albert (Ladywood) added: "I think Mick Wilkes is being brushed off. He goes to see Mike Whitby, is given a soothing word or two, and he believes what he hears."
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Old November 4th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #2
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oh well looks like the rogers libary is over
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Old November 4th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #3
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I wonder what the 'or is it?' bit is about. The Post aren't letting something on...

Maybe it is just that the split-site won't get government funding.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 02:04 PM   #4
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too fucking long this is taking this should have been being constructed now
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Old November 4th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #5
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These people are arses of the highest rank!
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Old November 4th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #6
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This is effectively the death of Eastsdie!!!

It makes me so angry.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #7
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Don't worry Jolon - Eastside will go on without the library, and I am still putting my money on the library going in Eastside. Just a gut feeling that's all...
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Old November 4th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #8
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Even if this does happen, which lets face it all we have at the moment is things said 'privately', whispers in corridors probably; it will not be the complete end for Eastside.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #9
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I'm optimistic. I think we will get the rogers library and in Eastside. It's to Important an opportunity to miss. Come May next year it will become inflated into one of the big issues and if Bore gets back in he'll do everything he can to resurect it.

There zero chance of Whitby finalising a design, secure funding, and get through planning with a building of this importance within six months.

No one but Whitby wants a split site - the scrutiny commitee, the cost consultants, the political opposition, bham forward, the govenment and most importantantly the public have all said they would rather see a refurbished central library before a split site. No one could force this one through, not even herbert manzoni. He must realise this if he want's to retain control of the council.

FFS I really don't give a fuck who runs BCC all I want is whats best for the city but a the moment the current leaders seem hell bent on sticking to a decision they made last year and are too pig headed to admit they got it wrong.

I know they've bought alot of the land round here but I've noticed AWM are keeping very quiet about this.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #10
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There's an article in the Post about the possibility of housing the archives in Curzon St Station. Sounds a bit tentative, but this would be a lot better than the "box-like" structure previously hinted at.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #11
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Here's the article.

Library at Curzon Street Station? Nov 8 2005
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::.

By Paul Dale, Chief Reporter


Curzon Street Station, the original terminus of the London to Birmingham railway, could house the city's new archive and family history library.

Council leaders are considering using the Grade l listed building at Eastside as part of a split-site library plan.

If the scheme is successful, a refurbished and extended Curzon Street Station would become the venue for a Heritage Centre, containing the city archives.

The new centre would link to a History Mile, depicting the growth of Digbeth and the birth of Birmingham.


It would put paid to an existing plan to have the Heritage Centre at Millennium Point.


The council was criticised after admitting that a proposed 15,000 square metre extension to Millennium Point would be a basic "box-like" structure.


Whatever happens at Eastside, the second part of the £147 million split-site scheme, a lending and reference library at Centenary Square, will go ahead as planned.


Ken Hardeman, city council cabinet member for regeneration, confirmed that consideration of using Curzon Street Station for the library was in the "very early stages".


Coun Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said: "A number of people have suggested that Curzon Street Station would be suitable for the Heritage Centre and we need to explore in-depth the implications of that.


"It is a listed building of course so there may be some difficulties in altering the internal structure.


"There is nothing of substance to this yet. It is just an idea that we are looking at."

The council cabinet will pledge £2.4 million toward refurbishing the 19th century building (pictured) and Coun Hardeman said he hoped grants from the EU, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council, promised for the Royal College of Organists scheme, would still be available.

There was no shortage of potential clients who viewed Curzon Street Station as a suitable venue for high-quality offices, he said.


Coun Hardeman added: "As the RCO have acknowledged, the city council made great efforts to try and help them overcome their financial problems and proceed with the Curzon Street project.


"However, this is by no means the end of the story for this historic building.


"The next step will be to try to re-secure the substantial sums of external funding previously committed to the scheme by bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim is to secure a quality restoration scheme which will attract potential occupiers."
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Old November 8th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #12
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It's just an idea and I doubt it will go through. I hope it doesn't - archives need to be kept in climate-controlled areas and I would hate to see this lovely little building butchered into something that it is not suited to.

And besides - WE WANT A SINGLE LIBRARY AT EASTSIDE! And the Royal College of Organists at Curzon St Stn would be nice.

I am going to have a chat with my local councillor if I see him this weekend - hopefully he will lend a sympathetic ear.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 03:56 PM   #13
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Keep it Together

Hi Gang...

I've been a lurker on here for ages and have really appreciated all the informed debate about Brum...

As an adopted brummie I have come to love this city and the Library debacle has moved me to become more involved than ever.

So... in addition to writing two letters to the council (that, like many of us, had sections included in the scrutiny committee report) I (along with two friends) have started a website as the focus of a campaign to change the council's collective mind (Iím not sure it has one, but Iím hoping!)...

If any of you are interested in getting involved - head over to:

http://www.keepittogether.co.uk

and get involved...

Cheers,

OLIx
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Old November 8th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #14
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Welcome Oli

Good work on the website and I think we all look forward to having your input!

Where are you from if you are an adopted Brummie?
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Old November 8th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #15
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Well done Oli. I'm pleased to see this issue being tackled in an assertive democratic way. I particularly like the idea of sending Mr Whitby one sock - I'll have to dig out a really old and smelly one from the back of my drawer.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of support from the forumers on here.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #16
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I'm from london, but been here for about 10 years now - bought a house and everything - so it's my home now...

Cheers for the supportive comments - and all suggestions welcome - we (the birmingham massive!) have to make these fools see sense...

Ps... can you email us to tell us what you send... Also we have made some flyers which we can send to you... if you can think of anywhere to put them...

OLIx
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Old November 8th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #17
U475 Foxtrot
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top stuff oli

you certainly have my support
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Old November 8th, 2005, 07:21 PM   #18
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brilliant mate.....
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Old November 8th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #19
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Good stuff Oli!
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Old November 8th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #20
pirlo_21
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well done!!!
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