Thursday, 10 July 2008

The best loos in Britain?

Sandwell's dilemma.
I felt really sorry yesterday for Sandwell Councils cabinet who were called upon to take another difficult decision on our new art centre The pUBLIC which opened it’s doors for the first time last week end. This building has been a controversial topic since its inception and I don’t want write anymore on that. I love the design and have supported the project since its inception but it has been dogged by problems since the architect went bust about 6yrs ago. Sandwell had a difficult decision then to bail it out and have continued to do so. I supported all that because I believe it will be the catalyst to revitalise the cultural centre of West Brom. I’m not often prone to being sorry for Sandwell Council in fact this might be a first I think it might be time for a lie down. I digress. Yesterday the cabinet were asked to stump up another £1M to cover its over spend on completing the building. They have in fact agreed to £3M over three years for running costs.
The deputy leader was quoted in the press explaining Sandwell’s dilemma. Refreshingly he came clean and said they never wanted this situation but because of the strategic importance of the building they need to do it. I still think I support this action except for a couple of nagging doubts. The building although it was open to the public this week end is not yet finished. Secondly I have not heard a good report from any of my friends or contacts who did attend. I’m going to a conference there on Tuesday so I’ll get a first hand impression.
My other little worry is that they claim the money is coming from Sandwell’s reserves and not from the tax payer. Aren’t Sandwell’s reserves tax payers money or have we suddenly found a rich benefactor?
The recent woos have given the Tory opposition the green light to switch on their whinge machine which is in fact the most boring diatribe ever.
The picture by the way is deliberately of the public loos these are so far free I believe and I’m told the best in country designed so that the girls don’t have to queue. Come on Sandwell have we got the best loos in Britain?

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