Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Liverpool's 800th birthday celebrations

As the only Labour councillor on the scrutiny panel looking at the plans for next year's 800th birthday celebrations I do feel a certain responsibility to ensure that they contain something for everyone and are well thought through.

I have enjoyed the experience, although it is a bit difficult to scrutinise something that has not happened yet, but that is part of the challenge.

I am convinced the plans will be well received although for some reason they are much less famous than the plans for o8 European City of Culture, even though they are of huge importance for local people. If 08 is about tourists, next year's celebrations are about Liverpool people right here in the city.

I am particularly excited by the proposed unveiling of the refurbished and magnificent St George's Hall on St George's Day in April with a big party for local people. I also enjoyed meeting the artist who has designed a special coin for every child in the city that they will be able to keep as a souvenir of this auspicious time.

There will be some great new museums opening too.

I have made a plea for the genealogists amongst us in particular, that there is plenty for people whose family came from Liverpool, or through Liverpool, on their way to the new world. It is the biggest hobby in the world and we could get almost more visitors through that route than through culture if we really wanted to (not that the "new" city will have been built yet, in 2007).

I am very happy to talk to anyone about the birthday plans and hopefully will be able to get hold of my own copy of the great DVD which details the history of the city over the last 800 years since King John granted the charter.

It is going to be great - and if it is not then you know who to point the finger at for her failure to adequately scrutinise!

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