Gary

Failed City of Culture bid

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Was Warrington right to go for the bid?

http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2017/07/14/cultural-drive-will-continue-despite-failed-city-of-culture-bid/

Personally I supported it, even though a long shot and it is good that we can now work on continuing to improve the cultural offering.

Certainly think as a town/city we are as good as those shotlisted.

 

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It will all be quietly put back in the cupboard Gary. The council will not spend one penny more than they have to on anything so culture spending will cease forthwith and Government funding cuts will be blamed as it is for every other decision they make.

 

The one highlight of the whole thing though was the Film Noir exhibitions, that certainly got people talking

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I replied on the news page,  cut and pasted below.

".........Warrington has got cultural offerings which can be built on." That just about sums it up Gary! Anything of heritage / cultural value in Warrington gets demolished and built on!  So not surprising that there are plenty of people who are presently negative about their home town.
Nobody was fooled into believing this 'City of Culture' bid was anything other than to give the town some kind of 'distinctive' identity for a later bid for "City" status.
Quote, Dan Price,  "Warrington’s initial bid submission was founded on the borough’s rich industrial heritage, with themes focusing on its development and regeneration, while embracing its unique location, character and traditions."
What's left of the town's 'rich industrial heritage'? except for the Cabinet Works, (now proposed as an 'area of development')  and a few filthy, polluting factories, for which there are plans to hide / disguise prior to building housing estates alongside them.
"Themes focusing on it's development and regeneration, while embracing its unique location..."  highlight the real motivations behind the bid - a selling point for growth and mass development with the destruction of our last green fields.
The supposed reference to the wire industry in the design of the grossly ugly new car park would not be in the least convincing of any interest in the town's history or culture - it more likely threw a monstrous 'spanner' in the works!
As for 'character and tradition', - the 'character' of the town has been destroyed by the continued demolition of our heritage buildings and the erection of ugly, cheapo, tin-pot-tack. The so called 'regeneration' of the town centre will result in more grossly ugly buildings to completely overshadow the last neglected remnants of our once fine & exceedingly distinct heritage.
The 'City of Culture' bid never stood a hope in hell's chance of being successful!
As for the proposed bid for "City" Status - the key to winning is 'Distinctiveness' -  for a town whose regeneration plans were refused the support of CABE -  applying for an award for 'distinctiveness' will achieve nothing but countrywide ridicule! 

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On 7/15/2017 at 8:50 AM, Gary said:

Was Warrington right to go for the bid?

http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2017/07/14/cultural-drive-will-continue-despite-failed-city-of-culture-bid/

Personally I supported it, even though a long shot and it is good that we can now work on continuing to improve the cultural offering.

Certainly think as a town/city we are as good as those shotlisted.

 

The thing is Gary, Warrington isn't. And not just by a little. It's a million miles behind even a city like Stoke, with all its challenges. Until the local media and council identify and accept that, nothing will change. As I said before, even a small town like Newcastle under Lyme has more to offer than Warrington. The town is a cultural backwater and it's only been the action of residents standing up to the council that has ensured Warrington has something left to offer culturally, however little. How many RSA reports and rejections do you need to see things for what they are?

If the council had its way, there'd be no libraries and no Walton Hall for a start. It's only residents and local groups that ensure there are any green spaces and cultural life at all. The council's vision is purely shit housing estates, out of town retail and business parks with everybody moving between them in cars on inadequate roads. No amount of sloganeering from the council and well-meaning but deluded councillors like Dan Price is going to cover that.   

I hope the council wakes up soon and people like you start to put real pressure on them instead of making statements like this. Until then, it's up to the people to preserve whatever culture and heritage the town has.  

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Gary did you or anyone outside the council see what was in the bid document?

Is their a link that we can access?

That will be the evidence to compare against the others and prove or disprove your theory of Warrington holding it's own against the others.

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A copy of the bid should be in the public domain - if Warrington won't give full details perhaps the 'city of culture'  judges would?

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1 hour ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

Gary did you or anyone outside the council see what was in the bid document?

Is their a link that we can access?

That will be the evidence to compare against the others and prove or disprove your theory of Warrington holding it's own against the others.

The bid document is irrelevant. You don't need that to realise that Warrington has been subject to years of cultural cleansing from the council. It hardly seems credible that months after the council tried to shut all of the town's libraries, turn down yet another chance to build a theatre and shrug when asked to find a site for a statue of Joseph Priestley, not to mention being named the least cultural place in the UK, it tried to enter this competition. 

I just hope that the council and local media are stung by this latest news and finally do something positive about culture in the town. Early indications are that this is the last thing that will happen. The council will continue to treat the whole place as a numbers game and the local media won't take them on about it. As ever, it will be down to local people to do and preserve what they can.

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7 hours ago, Geoffrey Settle said:

Gary did you or anyone outside the council see what was in the bid document?

Is their a link that we can access?

That will be the evidence to compare against the others and prove or disprove your theory of Warrington holding it's own against the others.

Despite searching I never found a copy of it anywhere online Geoff.  Although maybe it wasn't made public simply to stop all 'hopefulls' from seeing each others bids either before they submitted theirs or during the process out of fairness.

Now we are out of the equation there's nothing to stop the council making our bid documentation public.  Of course if they decide not to do that I/you/we/whoever could always ask for a copy under a FOI request.  Over to you..as I'm not really bothered what it said now the moment has gone :wink:

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I have been given a copy of the bid document which is very detailed and put together by the team which won the bid for Hull.

I was given it in confidence so I am afraid I can not share it.

RE Greyman's comments RE media needing to do more - I am consistently working hard helping promote the cultural offerings of this town and working on backing an initiative as part of our forthcoming 50th anniversary which will hopefully provide a major boost for our town's libraries at a time they need it most..

I also work closely with the town's Civic Society to try and ensure what we have left of our heritage is protected and that we can build on what we have got left.

There are plenty of cultural offerings in this town but more needs to be done to promote them and get the various interested parties all pulling in the same direction.

If any of you keyboard warriors out there want to get involved drop me a line.and i will get you involved.

 

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Fair enough, but maybe holding the council's feet to the fire more often will achieve something too. 

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Well apparently Hull has been given several plaques for on its buildings  & Humber Bridge as a result of being City of Culture.....i wonder if success for Warrington would have saved Crosfield's Transporter ?

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14 hours ago, Gary said:

I have been given a copy of the bid document which is very detailed and put together by the team which won the bid for Hull.

I was given it in confidence so I am afraid I can not share it.

That in a way is good to know as if you (who is not a council employee or part of the bid submission team) has already been given a copy then there is nothing to stop any of us being given a copy either if we now ask. If they say NO to us we can say 'Well Gary S was given one...'

 

Quote

RE Greyman's comments RE media needing to do more - I am consistently working hard helping promote the cultural offerings of this town and working on backing an initiative as part of our forthcoming 50th anniversary which will hopefully provide a major boost for our town's libraries at a time they need it most..

I also work closely with the town's Civic Society to try and ensure what we have left of our heritage is protected and that we can build on what we have got left.

There are plenty of cultural offerings in this town but more needs to be done to promote them and get the various interested parties all pulling in the same direction.

If any of you keyboard warriors out there want to get involved drop me a line.and i will get you involved.

 

 

Keyboard Warriors ?!?!? Oh my goodness ...... I guess we all now know what you think of us especially when we dare to air our own views and say something that perhaps you don't agree with Gary :unsure: :lol:

You'd best get that tin hat ready...........

PS what's this 50th anniversary you mention ?

 

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Gary... your somewhat bizarre retort is rather harsh to be honest. Not everyone on here is a keyboard warrior.... like you, I too joined the relaunched Civic society and attended a few meetings before realising that sadly, the culture and history has been absolutely decimated by the council over the past few decades.. At the very time when the Civic Society was needed to stand up for the heritage of the town, it was disbanded and there was no one left to air any kind of resistance. It took John, a young bloke from (Hull I believe - but certainly not from Warrington) to revive the society.... there were no parties interested in it and during the time it was dormant, we saw the devastation of just about every bit of heritage left in the town along with the threats of the likes of Walton Hall and the oldest public funded library in the country being sold off too.

 

You are in a unique position of being able to get your views out to the masses, a position which is something the rest of us do not have.

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23 hours ago, Bazj said:

Gary... your somewhat bizarre retort is rather harsh to be honest. Not everyone on here is a keyboard warrior.... like you, I too joined the relaunched Civic society and attended a few meetings before realising that sadly, the culture and history has been absolutely decimated by the council over the past few decades.. At the very time when the Civic Society was needed to stand up for the heritage of the town, it was disbanded and there was no one left to air any kind of resistance. It took John, a young bloke from (Hull I believe - but certainly not from Warrington) to revive the society.... there were no parties interested in it and during the time it was dormant, we saw the devastation of just about every bit of heritage left in the town along with the threats of the likes of Walton Hall and the oldest public funded library in the country being sold off too.

 

You are in a unique position of being able to get your views out to the masses, a position which is something the rest of us do not have.

I can sort of see where Gary is coming from. I'm active nationally in culture and the arts but it's an easy enough criticism to make of people commenting on an internet messageboard, Having said that I'm more than happy to communicate and meet with the people I talk about, and have done. It seems easy to suggest that people who go by monikers like 'grey_man' are hiding, but the truth is that most of us are perfectly happy to share our real names and contact details on a one to one basis, but just don't want them plastered all over the Internet. Judging by the number of people in the council who I have contacted and who've looked at my LinkedIn profile, they know who I am. :)

I just happen to think they get an easy ride from the local media. If you take an issue like the town centre development, they supposedly held talks with the cinema firm about hosting a theatre. I don't know why they thought this might happen, but there you go. The local media should have pressed the council on why IT wasn't taking responsibility for the long overdue creation of a theatre in the town, given the golden chance the development gave them.

Then you have to ask why the media didn't ask the council about the recently revised cost of the development. The council has always published the overall cost, until it went up yet again. So, what happened? It's up to us 'keyboard warriors' to speculate that it's because the business case is out of the window. 

We can all put in FOI requests but it's a waste of time for everybody involved, including the council, and there's an excellent chance the council will avoid sharing the information because they can always hide behind various arguments. It's up to the local media to ask these questions and make life difficult for the council when they refuse to answer and obfuscate. Generally the local media don't do this, so it's up to individuals to bitch about it on the Internet.The council should realise that withholding basic information invites speculation and debate, especially if the media don't make things awkward.  

Just my view.       

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PS. I've recently had a very interesting exchange of emails with Dan Price about the City of Culture bid and Live WIre etc. I maintain that he's a generally well meaning but deluded councillor, but he didn't half take exception to certain opinions and questions. Resorted to misrepresenting my opinions to create a straw man before degenerating into plain old abuse :) 

So, I was intrigued to read that Helen Jones shares my views on Live Wire and the libraries and have goaded him about that, for my own entertainment. :) That will be my last word with him. I just hope he's able to deliver on what he expects. He's quite the snowflake, takes everything personally, thinks disagreement is 'harassment' and is clearly happier punching out at voters than his fellow party members with the same views. Bless him. 

The reporting about the story on this is interesting. Although Helen Jones and Live Wire have both 'welcomed' the review, it's fair to say that they've done so from very different perspectives. 

 

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On 7/19/2017 at 7:12 AM, grey_man said:

I can sort of see where Gary is coming from. I'm active nationally in culture and the arts but it's an easy enough criticism to make of people commenting on an internet messageboard, Having said that I'm more than happy to communicate and meet with the people I talk about, and have done. It seems easy to suggest that people who go by monikers like 'grey_man' are hiding, but the truth is that most of us are perfectly happy to share our real names and contact details on a one to one basis, but just don't want them plastered all over the Internet. Judging by the number of people in the council who I have contacted and who've looked at my LinkedIn profile, they know who I am. :)

I just happen to think they get an easy ride from the local media. If you take an issue like the town centre development, they supposedly held talks with the cinema firm about hosting a theatre. I don't know why they thought this might happen, but there you go. The local media should have pressed the council on why IT wasn't taking responsibility for the long overdue creation of a theatre in the town, given the golden chance the development gave them.

Then you have to ask why the media didn't ask the council about the recently revised cost of the development. The council has always published the overall cost, until it went up yet again. So, what happened? It's up to us 'keyboard warriors' to speculate that it's because the business case is out of the window. 

We can all put in FOI requests but it's a waste of time for everybody involved, including the council, and there's an excellent chance the council will avoid sharing the information because they can always hide behind various arguments. It's up to the local media to ask these questions and make life difficult for the council when they refuse to answer and obfuscate. Generally the local media don't do this, so it's up to individuals to bitch about it on the Internet.The council should realise that withholding basic information invites speculation and debate, especially if the media don't make things awkward.  

Just my view.       

Unfortunately Greyman the media, like many other organisations have had to make cutbacks during a lengthy period of austerity which started way back in the 90s. They simply don't have the reources to spend hours digging deep on stories anymore and we rely on eagle eyed members of the public to help. There is absolutely nothing stopping you attending council meetings and submitting probing questions which would then be picked up by the media and reported. But I guess that would take time and effort and revealing who you are to the world. :rolleyes:

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He's already revealed himself (albeit by email) to Cllr Dan Price and he seems to have had quite a conversation with him especially to have assessed him as "deluded" - what's that all about?.

Surely he will not have addressed an email with the hope of getting a response unless he actually signed off the email after all it's a bit more personal than a chat room.

Obviously you give good advice and if he wants to get a full answer then that is a valid course of action - he has until September to think and act if grey-man is so concerned about digging deeper :ph34r:

 

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Like I said, a lot of people know who I am. I have no problem with that. And as a journalist myself, I also understand the restrictions. 

I'm just not sure that it takes much time and effort when the council issues a press release to say that it has increased the budget for its largest investment to ask 'by how much?' Doesn't take hours to ask, nor to type the sentence 'Although the council has revealed the costs in the past, it has now chosen not to'. It's like it doesn't take much work to have a look at Live Wire's accounts and raise your eyebrows at some of the numbers. 

So, I suspect that the decision not to dig into uncomfortable matters is based on politics and the need to maintain relationships (which I do understand) than it is about resources. I am reminded of the great work the Rothpol blog has always done with its local issues, purely because it is not constrained in the same way as the local media by commercial and political expediency. This is not a criticism. I do it myself in my own sphere, whereas some independent bloggers don't have to. I wouldn't try to argue it's because I don't have the time, however. 

As for Dan Price, I didn't need to experience him behaving like he did to know he was deluded. That was apparent about him and everybody else who thought for even a moment Warrington would even be shortlisted for City of Culture. All I'll say about the two exchanges we had is that he exhibited classic DARVO behaviour. As I said to him, however, I hope he's right that we're in a new era for the town with regard to culture and heritage. It's long overdue.   

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11 hours ago, grey_man said:

Like I said, a lot of people know who I am. I have no problem with that. And as a journalist myself, I also understand the restrictions. 

I'm just not sure that it takes much time and effort when the council issues a press release to say that it has increased the budget for its largest investment to ask 'by how much?' Doesn't take hours to ask, nor to type the sentence 'Although the council has revealed the costs in the past, it has now chosen not to'. It's like it doesn't take much work to have a look at Live Wire's accounts and raise your eyebrows at some of the numbers. 

So, I suspect that the decision not to dig into uncomfortable matters is based on politics and the need to maintain relationships (which I do understand) than it is about resources. I am reminded of the great work the Rothpol blog has always done with its local issues, purely because it is not constrained in the same way as the local media by commercial and political expediency. This is not a criticism. I do it myself in my own sphere, whereas some independent bloggers don't have to. I wouldn't try to argue it's because I don't have the time, however. 

As for Dan Price, I didn't need to experience him behaving like he did to know he was deluded. That was apparent about him and everybody else who thought for even a moment Warrington would even be shortlisted for City of Culture. All I'll say about the two exchanges we had is that he exhibited classic DARVO behaviour. As I said to him, however, I hope he's right that we're in a new era for the town with regard to culture and heritage. It's long overdue.   

Well grey man - there you have it - if you are a journal;ist yourself feel free to submit some investigative articles in your name (which I will protect) and I will happily publish them if I can verify them to be accurate and reliable. While I work with all partners in the town, they ALL understand that if they get something wrong I will report on it in a balanced and fair way -which includes giving both sides of a story. You can email me your news items to garys@warrington-worldwide.co.uk in confience.

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9 hours ago, Gary said:

Well grey man - there you have it - if you are a journal;ist yourself feel free to submit some investigative articles in your name (which I will protect) and I will happily publish them if I can verify them to be accurate and reliable. While I work with all partners in the town, they ALL understand that if they get something wrong I will report on it in a balanced and fair way -which includes giving both sides of a story. You can email me your news items to garys@warrington-worldwide.co.uk in confience.

If I send something, I'll put my name to it. I have no problem with that. You must even know what it is and what I do. 

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and you can do that without even outing yourself :ph34r: BTW the way I'm useless at guessing who's who - so we look forward to reading an exclusive on WWW or on your blog or wherever it is your work is published :huh: who know we may have already have done so without making the link, other media sources are available in the interest of balance & impartiality but would a WWW be a 1st  for grey-man :?:

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How about something about the ways members of the council are helping to 'put Warrington on the map'. Could be the ways being planned by the cultural team? Or the ways chosen by David Keane, who has today put Warrington back into the mainstream national news for the second time in a matter of months?

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