Friday, May 27, 2011
Uncle Joe strikes again
So Liverpool has a new Lord Mayor, many congratulations to Frank Prendergast, and good luck for his year as Liverpool's first citizen.
After his instillation on Tuesday, I was invited to nibble some cheese with a few mates living behind the skirting board in the Town Hall ballroom.
So my little ears pricked up when I heard Joe Anderson get up to speak.
Uncle Joe decided to live up to his namesake's reputation for err, "redrafting history".
So says Uncle Joe, our new Lord Mayor was responsible for the development of Liverpool One. But Frank is a shy and retiring man, so he allowed the Lib Dems to take all the credit.
Even to my untrained ear this didn't sound right. So I did a little digging.
It's true that Frank Prendergast had a major influence on Liverpool One. He almost caused the whole thing to collapse!
In his last days as leader of the council Frank did a deal with a certain property developer who has a reputation for not developing the sites he acquired. He sold an option on Chavasse Park
to Bill Davies for a meagre £50,000.
Years later, just as the ink was drying on the Council's agreement with Grosvenor, up popped Bill Davies demanding the right to build a shopping mall on the park or £hundreds of millions in compensation from the council.
At this point most developers would have walked away, but luckily the Lib Dems managed to persuade them to stick around.
According to the Daily Post, it cost the council £2 Million to fight off Bill Davies option. So thanks Frank. As Uncle Joe said, you can really be proud of your contribution.