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Letter: Wary of deal.

Byline: S T Shaw

I'M NOT so sure that Liverpool should rush to support the debtwiping deal offered by the multimillionaire businessman Albert Gubay, as proposed by your correspondent P Mather, in the Daily Post letters.

As we know, there is an old saying which states there is no such thing as a free lunch - and there's absolutely and certainly no such thing as a free pounds 20m gift horse, even if it removes Liverpool's Capital of Culture pounds 20m overspend. While we should not immediately dismiss this idea, Mr Gubay wants the chance to redevelop Edge Lane.

Caution should be the watchword.

What are his plans? If this deal goes ahead, it's fine for the council to box off this embarrassing matter of financial shortfall, but what will result?

Too often in Liverpool we see these developments, like the sheer awfulness of Mann Island's rebuilding with those black pyramid apartment blocks, done for the benefit of the authorities in the short-term. But they're foisted on the rest of us and remain for decades despoiling the city.

While Mr Gubay's astonishing proposal would wipe out the pounds 20m debt, one wonders whether it will be used to pay creditors, or if Liverpool Culture Company will find other daft ways to spend this possible windfall?

The other matter that is worrying is the precedent that is set for other developers, who will obviously be watching this matter with great interest. I'm sure they'd love deals to "help" other council cash crises, with carte blanche to do what they liked.

S T Shaw, via email
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2008
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