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<b>Thursday 12 February:</b> New library for Manchester, music man dies and 59-year-old gets ID'd for cigarettes

Published on February 12th 2009.

KEY CIVIC BUILDINGS in Manchester city centre have been allocated £165m for refurbishment. The plans will inlcude the town hall complex, Central Library and St Peter's Square is to be remodelled. The restoration work is scheduled to start this year and finish in 2014. The Grade II-listed Central Library will be also be restored and a new library called City Library is to be built.

MANCHESTER MUSIC MAN, Randolph Mike, 50, from Didsbury has died after contracting malaria in Africa. The former production manager for 90s Moss Side girl band Cleopatra was helping to organise a national festival in the Gambia. He has also previously worked with hip-hop star Akon and ran Bop Top records in Moss Side. His funeral is to be held at noon tomorrow at Christ Church in Moss Side.

TWO TOP WRITERS will be debating 'Britishness' tonight at Manchester University. Author, Martin Amis will discuss nationalism, multiculturalism and identity with Prestwich-born novelist Howard Jacobson. The debate starts at 6.30pm at the Whitworth Hall, Oxford Road. Tickets cost £5, £3 (concessions). Audience members will be able to ask questions in what is set to be a thought provoking debate.

A 59-YEAR-OLD MAN has been refused cigarettes because he couldn't prove he was over 18. James Earl, who walks with a Zimmer frame, was asked for ID at a Tesco Express store in St Anne's, Lancashire. Tesco say they are currently asking all customers buying age-restricted products for ID, but apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

BowksFebruary 12th 2009.

Jinkies, congratulations on the single most uninformed rant that has appeared on these pages for some time. Anonymous has provided a sound explanation as to why this is a positive step from the council so no need for me to harp on about the benfits. Suggest you direct your comments towards Radio 4 and the daily Mail where they will be far better received numb nuts.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2009.

You should put that in a press release anonymous, not that I'm assuming you work at the council or anything ;)

Ali McGowanFebruary 12th 2009.

I advocate spending the cash, recession or no recession. This will never be a world-class city if we don't start to properly invest in some of our finest old buildings. The fact that the Council couldn't manage its way out of a wet paper bag is another issue. (Do we have a nice big tram system yet (the one promised before the 2002 Games)? Does it want to blow up the most amazing piece of art (B of the Bang)? Spend the £165m but for f*cks sake do a good job. Restore things properly, don't cock it up.) Toodle pip!

JJFebruary 12th 2009.

Of all the work that needs doing, the Peters Sq/Library/Town Hall combo cannot feature that far up the priority list.The only thing that needs redeveloping round there is the old Odeon and the building which houses Alan's Fried Chicken!

scoteeeFebruary 12th 2009.

In my eyes £165 million is a welcome allocation to lubricate the stiff cogs of the local economy. It just beggars belief as to why that level of investment has to be spent on council buildings as opposed to answering the many screaming requests from alternative areas of the city and it's surrounding suburbs. I saw a Jeremy Kyle show recently where the JK team basically begged (through free radio)local independent workers to help improve a deprived community centre in Wythenshaw .As you would imagine, they were highly appreciative and the work gone in since has produced some excellent results for local teens etc... Where is the logic in allowing the council to put up another statue or piss our funds away on the Big Bang letting that annoying rather annoying Jeremy Kyle fix our community centres in the poorer areas only to highlight what a bunch of selfish twats the council really are. It’s just wrong isn’t it? or am I missing something?

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2009.

Civic spending is a *good* thing in recession it creates...1/ Jobs (during construction)2/ Jobs (after construction to staff new areas)3/ Trade (components, materials, etc most of which will be sourced locally)4/ More areas of pride for the city and hopefully then further trade/jobs from tourismits not an uncommon strategy, andone which i think works extremely well.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2009.

I will await 'shock' exposee in a few years time - "Italian craftsmen employed to repair Central Library - we could not find local workers capable of repairing a dome says Council". The reality is a large part of the £165m budget will leak out of he local economy.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2009.

far from it anonymous, its not "PR Jargon" but merely a reflection of one of the classic strategies used by governments worldwide as stimulus in recessions, Obama has done the same with his infrastructure package (albeit on a grander scale) and in the UK, we're doing it too.... While consumers and businesses often "hunker down" in recessions, its important that civic organisations and governments do continue spending as its that flow of cash and investment and creation of jobs which can often help stave off the full depths of recessions.

JinkiesFebruary 12th 2009.

Ah brilliant, the country's in the worst recession in history and the council decides to do up it's offices. Can anyone say 'out of touch'. Surely they should be SAVING money by NOT SPENDING it?

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