The aftermath of the Hope & Glory Festival which trashed our City’s reputation and left trade creditors, including the Council, £900,000 out of pocket
I have just written written to Cllr Wendy Simon, the Cabinet Member for Sport and Culture asking her to immediately publish the report which the Council has had for two weeks into the Festival Fiasco of the ‘Hope and Glory’ event in William Brown Street in August.
In addition, I have asked the council to extend the enquiry to look at how the Council could have agreed to allow an event when the promoters of it had a record of failed promotions in the Isle of Man and the Midlands.
The reputation of the City has been trashed; trade creditors have lost at least £900,000 and safety appears to have been jeopardised by ill thought out implementation policies which were approved by the Council. It is vital that the people of Liverpool; the council and other councils which might be allowing other festivals from these promoters should not what went wrong and that lessons are learned from this urgently.
As I said in Council my 8 year old granddaughter was able to go onto Google and see within two minutes that there were reports about the two promoters of the Festival that should have started alarm bells going in the heads of the Council officers who approved this activity. We must examine why the judgement of the council was so wrong; why too many people were allowed into a space with minimum security and very easy illegal access; and why the facilities were so inadequate for those who managed to get in on the Saturday.
Mr O’Hanlon’s mum being ill is no reason to delay the report and learn the lessons which have cost the City so dear.
The text of the letter is appended;
Cllr Wendy Simon,
Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport,
Liverpool City Council
2nd October 2017
Re: ‘Hope and Glory Festival’
I have today been visited by Kerry Turley of the Advocates for Event Safety Group.
Kerry informs me that that the report into the safety aspects of the event has been sent to the council some two weeks ago. On that basis I am writing to you with two urgent requests:
- To publish that report immediately so that we can all learn the lessons from this not in Liverpool but in other areas where the promoters might be thinking of holding further events.
- To assure me that the role of the Council in agreeing to this ill-fated event is also being properly looked at. You will recall that at Council I made clear my concern that if we had even conducted only basic checks on the two promoters there would have been no way in which the event would have proceeded.
It is vital that both these areas are looked at and the results publicised. Liverpool’s otherwise excellent reputation for running these events has been trashed by ‘Hope and Glory’. It is also true that trade creditors alone have lost up to £900,000 including £70,000+ of council money. That does not even take into account the many individual ticket holders who wasted money coming to our City for a none existent event.
Would you please ensure that the facts behind this disastrous event are brought out into the open as a matter of urgency?
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats