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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
Leader vouches '08 funds in place
Warren Bradley
The council leader says the funding gap will be bridged
The leader of Liverpool City Council has dismissed concerns that there will be a multi-million pound shortfall for the Capital of Culture celebrations.

However, when this year's council budget was set earlier this month, it revealed a 29m funding shortfall.

Now a number of Labour MPs in the city are demanding a meeting with the council's finance director.

But council leader Warren Bradley is adamant the budget for the '08 programme will be in place by October.

A total of 5m was due to be put aside this year specifically for Capital of Culture celebrations, but it has been deferred until next year.

Council loan

Now four Liverpool MPs have written to the financial director Phil Halsall asking for a meeting to discuss how the city will raise the money needed.

Councillors were due to hear how the funding gap would be bridged last week but the meeting was cancelled because the report was not ready.

It is now due to go before the council on 4 April, but opposition members claim it will be postponed again until June - after the local elections.

The leader of the council Warren Bradley insists front line services will not be cut to raise the cash but says the authority may need to borrow the money in the short term.

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