A new petition has been launched on the Downing Street website to call for an inquiry into the huge waste of taxpayers’ money on The Public in West Bromwich.
Its creator says the following;
There has been so much debate about The Public that I feel everyone should have the opportunity of making their voice heard and giving expression to their frustration in a positive way. And it is not just local people that feel this way; an architect’s website has judged it as one of the most staggeringly misconceived projects they had witnessed.
I am therefore petitioning the Prime Minister to launch a Public Inquiry into The Public Arts Centre in West Bromwich. I am appalled at the waste of National Lottery, Central Government and Sandwell Council funds on The Public Arts Centre which has so far cost £63 million, is still not fully open and is likely to require yet more funding.
The Public Inquiry should seek to establish what went wrong and to prevent this waste of public funds happening again. I have asked that the inquiry should cover:
1. The initial idea of the project, how it was conceived, its development and project management.
2. Whether local people were properly consulted.
3. The benefits to the people of Sandwell Borough.
4. The design of the building and its contents.
5. The awarding of all contracts involved in the project.
6. The initial budget, financing and budget overruns.
7. What alternatives the funding could have been spent on i.e. new swimming pools and leisure centres etc.
8. Recommendation for the future of “The Public Arts Centre”.
9. Recommendations on how to stop future waste of National Lottery funds.
I know that there have been repeated calls for spending on the The Public to cease immediately. Whilst agreeing with that sentiment; a proper inquiry should take place; it is not enough just to close the doors of The Public and simply walk away. First of all, exactly what has £63 Million been spent on? Has this money been well spent? Are there any lessons to be learned in the future use of National Lottery funds?
So everyone who pays tax in any form; buys lottery tickets; can think of better uses for £63 million, well here is your chance to express your feelings against The Public by signing the petition for a Public Inquiry at: