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Liverpool festival boss 'leaving'

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Liverpool City Council is locked in talks to agree a severance package with Liverpool Culture Company chief executive Jason Harborow.

The boss of the company that ran the city's successful European Capital of Culture 2008 bid is expected to be officially out "within weeks". Events for the programme start next weekend (11/12 January).

Last year the council dismissed reports that it planned to dismantle the firm following political skirmishes after the longstanding Mathew Street Festival was controversially downgraded (LGC, 11 September 2007).

A council spokesman said: "He is in negotiations with the city council to agree a severance package. He is leaving, but he has not left yet."

The spokesman would not confirm reports that the council had authorised a£250,000 package.

Liverpool investigation

The Standards Board for England (SBE) has confirmed it is investigating Liverpool's leader Warren Bradley (Lib Dem) following a batch of allegations by Labour group leader Joe Anderson including that the former made Mr Harborow's position "untenable".

Cllr Anderson said: "The Standards Board need to take action because he has conspired to get an officer sacked. His behaviour has brought the council into disrepute."

Allegation 'spurious'

Cllr Bradley said: “I am not willing to comment on spurious allegations that haven't been substantiated. This is a claim from an opposition leader who has an unsuccessful record on reporting leading members from the controlling group.

”I will, in due course, be providing my response confidentially to the SBE, who incidentally haven't formed an opinion despite what might be peddled by certain politicians."

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