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LIVERPOOL DAILY POST: Countdown Group with work to do.

THE Countdown Group, we are told, is "empowered to take tough decisions" in its mission to ensure that Liverpool is all ship-shape for visitors next year for the Capital of Culture celebrations.

If this is a tactful way of saying that it will, if needed, apply its collective shoe to the nether regions of those who look like backsliding, then we can only wish more power to its elbow, or perhaps knee.

No doubt something like the Countdown Group has been on the Capital of Culture agenda since the early days. But, as far as the general public is concerned, we can only wish that it had come into being last year, or even earlier.

Project after project has been started in Liverpool in the last couple of years. Some of them will still be under way in 2008.

Taken one by one, the observation that the omnipresent tower crane or yellow JCB represents an investment in the future, and it's sad but unavoidable that work will spill over into '08, may sound like the voice of sweet reason.

But multiply that by the number of city centre projects on the go, and a slightly panicky feeling sets in. It becomes an article of faith that everything will be all right on the night - but that faith is just a little bit wobbly

At this stage, there is no way in which the Countdown Group or anyone else can bring about the early completion of projects like the Pier Head canal link .

Given the high-powered line-up of personnel on the Countdown group, though, there should be a degree of confidence that it can deliver in those areas where it has a chance of doing so. It's time to get stuck in.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2007
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