I thought it might be a good idea to make sure some key facts were in the public domain about the decisions for the Southport Cultural Centre.
The decision- supported by the Tories and Labour and opposed by the Lib Dems -to rule out all the options on the table for a temporary Library meant that officers of the council stopped looking for premises. As the Labour Leader made plain 'the cabinet voted against a temporary Library'.
We were furious about this decision and challenged it by calling in the cabinet decision. Lib Dems -led by my Birkdale colleague Richard Hand- took the action needed to have that decision reviewed. The Tories did not.
As a result of that 'call in' cabinet 'took note' of the suggestion that political parties could add it to their budget proposals. This would not have happened without Richard's swift action. The cabinet's policy would have remain the decision not to have a temporary Library and for officers not to spend time or resources looking for one.
Clearly all the protracted discussions that Political parties may have been involved in would have been held in private and not necessarily in parallel. Books were disappearing off the shelves and being disposed of. Action was needed. Lib Dem Cabinet members David Tattersal and Iain Brodie Browne took that action and finally, finally we have hope that we will get a temporary Library.
The decision to agree the Cultural Centre funding passage was agreed by the whole cabinet. That means the Tory party supported it. Secondly the cabinet member responsible for these issues considered the matter at his meeting when the Tory spokesman was present. Tom Glover is the Tory spokesman. If he was dissatisfied with the plan he could have challenged the plan and 'called' in the decision.
(Now here the wretched state of the Tories personal relations is a problem. We now know because Tories have given us a copy of a letter from the Tory campaign manager in which he makes it plain that he has told their Parliamentary Candidate and leading councillor not to be in the same room as Tom Glover. This must make communication a tad fraught. This may also explain Mrs Porter's confusion on the matter)
Let us end with a bit of Milton:
'And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play on the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter'