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The noble Baroness said: I want to speak to this amendment only to thank the noble Lord, Lord Darzi, and the noble Baroness, Lady Royall, for the way they are prepared to accommodate. The real problem with Part 2 is one of definitions and if I heard correctly, I believe that the Minister said there could be consultations between now and the next stage of the Bill to try and iron out some of this. There is still enormous confusion, even after the debate we have had today, and this would firm up in our minds how to proceed.

[Amendments Nos. 58 to 59A not moved.]

Clause 14 agreed to.

Schedule 4 [Schedule inserted in the 1990 Act as Schedule 3ZA]:

[Amendment No. 59B not moved.]

Schedule 4 agreed to.

Clauses 15 to 22 agreed to.

Clause 23 [Code of practice]:

[Amendments Nos. 60 and 61 not moved.]

Clause 23 agreed to.

[Amendment No. 62 not moved.]

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: I beg to move that the House do now resume. In moving this Motion, I suggest that the Committee begin again not before 8.38 pm.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Liverpool: European Capital of Culture 2008

7.38 pm

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty’s Government how they are supporting Liverpool in preparing for its role as European Capital of Culture 2008.



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The noble Lord said: My Lords, whenever I have been asked during my political career abroad, including my decade as the Wirral’s MEP, “Where do you come from?”, I have replied, “Chester, a Roman town near Liverpool.” Only then, with the mention of Liverpool, do eyes light up with a sense of awe and wonder. For Liverpool is indeed a world city, conjuring up images of the Beatles and modern pop music as well as its fame as a city of football. But Liverpool’s renown is built on more than the two modern cultural icons of football and music. Its history stretches back centuries, but only in the relatively recent past did Liverpool rise to prominence. The River Dee silted up, preventing slave ships from landing at my home town of Chester, and as Chester declined as a port so Liverpool rose, cornering the slave trade. That is a sorry story but one that is told so well in the International Slavery Museum, which opened this year in advance of Liverpool 08. We all hope that Liverpool 08 will be its annus mirabilis as it proudly takes stewardship of its year as European Capital of Culture.

It would be easy to say that Liverpool’s claim to cultural significance, like the emblematic liver birds, comes in twos: two wonderful art galleries in the Walker and Tate Liverpool; two splendid theatres in the Everyman and the Playhouse; two outstanding universities in Liverpool and JMU; two magnificent tunnels in the Wallasey and Birkenhead; two architectural masterpieces in the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals, and two wonderful football teams. Not Liverpool and Liverpool reserves; but Everton and Liverpool, the European Cup champions. How about a debate highlighting Liverpool’s European connections? Liverpool plays Marseille tomorrow night, another port town with which it shares a distinctive trading culture.

Liverpool’s heritage is deeper than such adventitious pairings of cultural icons. The Mersey poets number well beyond the trio of Henri, Patten and McGough. The buildings of Liverpool in their range, innovation and grandeur put Liverpool first among all other towns outside London in boasting an unsurpassed architectural heritage. I congratulate all those in Liverpool who have worked so hard not only to secure its designation as Capital of Culture but to bring the programme to the boil just weeks before the start.

Liverpool 08 will be a year-long celebration of the city’s cultural diversity. The year heralds a renaissance of a great European city. Those of us who celebrated Glasgow’s outstanding rebirth in 1990, as it rejoiced in the title of European Capital of Culture, are determined that Liverpool should succeed. We have an unexampled opportunity for Britain to get behind Liverpool 08 and show Britain at its best, especially in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics when the eyes of the world, not just Europe, will be upon us.

The people of Chester and Cheshire are backing Liverpool to the hilt and dedicating our own year of Cheshire Gardens of Distinction 2008 to Liverpool, which was itself home to one of the 1980s garden festivals supported by the noble Lord, Lord Heseltine. It will be an inclusive festival; the creative communities initiative will involve some 400,000 Merseysiders by the end of 2008. We believe that by making 2008 a success we will be confirming the European Union’s

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faith in the vital Capital of Culture programme. Our ambition is to rank alongside Glasgow, Bilbao and Lille in the pantheon of outstanding EU capitals of culture.

The events planned for the year have excited interest throughout Europe and the world. Indeed, in the aftermath we expect to welcome tourists who will in succeeding years spend some £200 million and generate many jobs and much prosperity for the region. Some of the highlights of the creative communities initiative include £1.2 million spent on public art, another programme celebrating street theatre, hosting the Turner Prize for the first time outside London, major retrospectives of Klimt and Koons at Tate Liverpool and of Le Corbusier. That is surely appropriate in a city which nurtured the unsung Liverpool architect Peter Ellis, who first showed in the 19th century how modern materials could be used to maximise light in new buildings. There will be classical concerts featuring Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the superb European Union Youth Orchestra and, fittingly, the Cologne cathedral choir singing Benjamin Britten’s war requiem. Sir Paul McCartney will preside over a pop concert, and Liverpudlian Sir Simon Rattle will conduct the Berlin and Liverpool Philharmonics. Sounds like thirsty work? Why not slake your thirst in another of England’s finest cultural icons, the recently refurbished Philharmonic pub?

Liverpool 08 is not just about buildings. It is also about building and rebuilding communities. Some £3 billion of investment will produce an estimated 14,000 new jobs. St George’s Hall restored to its former glory and the opening of a state-of-the-art conference centre and concert seating 9,000 people will enhance the already dynamic riverfront. Liverpool’s tourism infrastructure will be strengthened by the development of the Liverpool One shopping centre, helping to propel Liverpool from sixteenth to sixth most visited British city. Some 20 million visitors are expected during the year.

The involvement of young people will be secured by the imaginative flagship initiative Portrait of a Nation funded by the Urban Cultural network and the Heritage Lottery Fund and co-ordinated by the Liverpool Culture Company, whose leadership in the programme has been pivotal. That will attract young people from across Britain and beyond. I am particularly thrilled that a session of the European Youth Parliament will see 300 young citizens from Europe gather in St George’s Hall to share common concerns. Younger citizens will be catered for in the Little Acorns programme. Others will be encouraged to work with established artists to tackle problems for young people such as looking after health, promoting enterprise and dealing with the unwanted and unwarranted perception of Liverpool as a city of crime.

Liverpool is now up and ready for the challenge of being Capital of Culture 08. This is a rare opportunity for a British city to host the event and, like Glasgow, Liverpool will harness culture to transform national, European and international perceptions of Liverpool. 2008 heralds the start of the cultural Olympiad that leads to London 2012. In delivering the Capital of Culture, Europe’s eyes will be upon us to succeed not just for Britain but for Europe.



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It is a big financial commitment of some £100 million, with welcome contributions from the European Commission and from the Government directly and indirectly. I am impressed with the DCMS and the Arts Council England’s detailed help for Liverpool as listed in its five objectives. Local and regional businesses have been generous, as have the Government, particularly since the arrival of James Purnell as Secretary of State. Nevertheless, the local council, the central funder, still needs support from the Government to ensure that the funding gap is closed to bring a fitting conclusion in a year’s time. I ask my noble friend not to stint on helping to close that funding gap.

I also suggest to my noble friend that while DCMS has played an active supporting role, other Whitehall departments should put their shoulders to the wheel to fulfil broader themes of regeneration, health, education, neighbourhoods, crime, diversity and youth policy. Could DCMS also co-ordinate a programme of ministerial visits to Liverpool throughout the year to cement the active interest of the whole of Whitehall?

I am not aware that the European Commission has yet accepted Scouse as a working language of the European Community. I do know that Liverpool hymns an Esperanto of cultural diversity in the football chants on its terraces, in the chants and prayers in its churches, in the frozen music of its architecture, in the drama of its theatres inside and outside on the streets, in the beat of the Mersey sound and in the songs of the men who ferry visitors across the Mersey. For too long, the artistic and cultural variety of Liverpool—the city and its people—has been Britain’s best kept secret. Now is the time for us to celebrate its fascinating past, its pulsating present and, of course, its beckoning bright future.

7.50 pm

Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank: My Lords, I am delighted to join the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, as a prologue to a celebration, or a series of celebrations, throughout 2008. I have been living in London for well over 50 years but I am proud to be a Liverpudlian. I was born in Liverpool, like my father, grandfather, great-grandfather and beyond. I went to school in Liverpool and when I came to this place I chose my title in recognition of Quarry Bank High school, a local authority grammar school in Liverpool from which I greatly benefited. John Lennon was a much later pupil, hence the skiffle group, the Quarrymen, which was soon transformed into the Beatles. Another pupil at the school was the noble and learned Lord, Lord Goldsmith.

My Liverpool years were my formative years and I learnt much from Liverpool’s culture even if we did not use the description—books, painting, architecture and music. Two generations on, I hope that many young people will enjoy and benefit from the experience of this year.

It was almost seven years ago that I received an invitation from the Countess of Derby to support the early steps towards winning Liverpool’s prize of European Capital of Culture 2008—an irony because 50 years earlier I had been ejected from the 17th Earl of Derby’s estate for trespassing. “The land”, I said to his bailiff, “is the people’s”.



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Growing up in Liverpool I was excited by every aspect of one of the great seaports of the world. I also remember the impact on Liverpool of the 1941 May blitz, which took 1,900 lives in a single week. But as the war came to an end, I was able to visit the Walker Art Gallery, which had an important collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings. We still have the Walker and the collection, but we also have Tate Liverpool with the 2008 Turner Prize and, as the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, mentioned, a major retrospective of Gustav Klimt.

There is St George’s Hall, which has just been renovated. It is a great neo-classical building of which I have a fine 1854 lithograph that hangs on the wall at my home. Another former pupil of Quarry Bank is Stephen Bayley, the design critic of the Observer, who finds Liverpool “utterly fascinating”. I share his view that not all the recent building developments are wonderful but there are now top-quality architects working in the city centre. In any case, Liverpool is already rich in long-standing eclectic buildings, including a vast number of places of worship, reflecting the 19th century life of a cosmopolitan city.

I heard classical orchestral music for the first time as a schoolboy in the concerts at the Philharmonic Hall conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent, and I am delighted that Sir Simon Rattle, another Liverpudlian, will conduct the Berlin Philharmoniker.

When visiting the National Archives at Kew last week, I saw an original copy of King John’s 1229 Liverpool charter; and we have recently learnt that there was a Viking settlement on the Mersey. I am glad that the events will be within Liverpool’s long historic perspective but will also widen the life of the citizens and open the imagination of the next generation.

7.54 pm

The Lord Bishop of Liverpool: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, for putting this Question with such enthusiasm. The motto of the city of Liverpool is “Deus nobis haec otia fecit”, which means that God has given us this leisure. It is an extract from a poem by Virgil—a conversation between Tityrus and Meliboeus. I am sure that noble Lords will be interested in this. The former is bragging about his good fortune, explaining that God has given him all this wealth. Miliboeus, presumably wanting something for himself, asks, “But tell me about that God of yours, my friend”. Tityrus replies that the God who has given him so much is none other than a city men call Rome. It shows that the city fathers who chose this motto saw Liverpool as the latter-day Rome, not as second to London but as the centre of a new trading empire. Liverpool is making the journey from a 19th century capital of trade to a 21st century city in which there is huge investment from both the public and private sectors working together in unison with the leadership of the city council, the Liverpool Culture Company and the Regional Development Agency.

T S Eliot once defined culture as,

There is so much in the city of Liverpool that makes life worth living and the challenge for Liverpool, as for all the northern cities, is how to make that wealth flow

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through the whole city and to and through all the communities. Many cities today are threatened with the disease of urban diabetes where the blood pumps around only the heart of the city and its prestigious projects. The secret of good urban regeneration is to open the valves and ensure that the blood and the wealth pumps around the whole body. Otherwise the extremities—the outer estates—atrophy and die, and the limbs drop off.

One of the reasons that Liverpool won the city of culture was because it could demonstrate just how the whole city would be involved in the project, and benefit from it. My own cathedral—forgive me for boasting—is the largest Anglican cathedral in the world, with now the largest organ in the country. It will be hosting a number of events: a lecture by my noble friend the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of January on “Europe, Culture and Faith”; a performance of the “War Requiem” to be staged in both Liverpool and Cologne, our twin city; and the northern premiere of Sir Paul McCartney’s, “Ecce Cor Meum”.

Eight hundred years ago when King John gave his charter, he commanded the people to come to Liverpool

This is the priority of private and public enterprise—that we should build a city of prosperity and pride where people can walk the streets and parks in safety and in peace. We are not complacent. We have known sorrow in the tragic killings of Anthony Walker and Rhys Jones. But we also know the comfort of solidarity and the dignity of forbearance, not least in the extraordinary examples of grace to be found in Anthony’s mother, Gee Walker, and Rhys’s family, Melanie, Stephen and Owen. This community spirit is as much a part of our culture as all our artistic achievements.

Liverpool is a microcosm of our whole society. When it is Capital of Culture next year it will be holding a mirror up to the nation. It is the city of culture not just for Liverpool but for the whole of the United Kingdom and for Europe. It would be good if the Government recognised that explictly.

7.58 pm

Lord Hoyle: My Lords, first, I must thank my noble friend Lord Harrison. I thought that his eloquent tribute to Liverpool and what the people intend to do in relation to its becoming the city of culture was absolutely first class. He ranged far and wide over the ability of Liverpool. Its magnificent buildings are already there; the cultures already exist. I believe—and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Liverpool expressed it very well—that people’s perception of Liverpool will be different following the year of culture.

This is the first time that the city of culture has been in this country since 1990. Glasgow had it, and it changed Glasgow for ever. I am sure that the same thing will happen to Liverpool. Liverpool is determined that this will be the best Capital of Culture event that has ever been held. I am certain that it will be right in that.



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Immense benefits to Liverpool follow—not just to Liverpool, but to the region. That is why the Northwest Regional Development Agency has put millions into this venture, as the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Liverpool acknowledged. The agency supported it from the first, because it saw that it was not only about Liverpool—about speaking of the virtues of a city that deserves to be spoken about in that light—but also about the rest of the region. What we will see is not just the major cultural events, many of which have been described, but also street theatre and events in the community. Thousands of Liverpudlians will be directly engaged in the festival, a wonderful event that will not only change people’s ideas about Liverpool and its people, but make Liverpool a European capital city of culture in the future as well.

I am so pleased to be able to talk about this tonight. It is not just what we are doing now; it is not only that there has been something like £3 billion in investment. There will be the creation of 14,000 jobs, so there are lasting benefits. The lasting benefit of what is happening to Liverpool is that it will be not only the Capital of Culture but a Mecca for tourism in the future. That will go on year after year.

We are also seeing that, quite rightly, Liverpool will be the centre of what is occurring in 2008. In addition—and my noble friend Lord Harrison is quite right about this—others in the north-west are joining in. He was right to talk about it being the Cheshire Year of Gardens 08. Nobody knows better than the noble Lord, Lord McNally, about Lancastrian cuisine; it will be the Year of Food and Drink in Lancashire. In Manchester it will be Manchester World Sport 08. In Cumbria it will be the Year of Adventure. While Liverpool will benefit directly, so will the rest of the region.

I wish Liverpool well. After this, more and more people will want to go not just to watch Liverpool and Everton but to see the city itself and the magnificent buildings and, more important, feel the warmth of its people.

8.03 pm

Lord Roberts of Llandudno: My Lords, we have heard of the links with Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, but I remind noble Lords of the links with north Wales and mid-Wales. At one time, Liverpool was regarded as the capital of north and mid-Wales. For many of us, it still is.

So many of the builders of Liverpool were Welsh. They came and put Welsh names on the streets. They even took over the shops: Owen Owen’s, TJ Hughes’s and Lewis’s. The largest Welsh-speaking congregations in churches, particularly non-conformist churches, were not in Wales but in Liverpool. There were great cultural events such as the eisteddfodau; the Lewis’s Eisteddfod was a notable event for many years. I could take a long time speaking about this, but I must not, except to say that the links between Wales and Liverpool are historic and valuable and must be protected and expanded.


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