Liverpool vision’s former chief executive Jim Gill says the city must stay optimistic despite the new waves of government cuts.
Mr Gill left the economic regeneration body this month after nine years having seen the city transformed by developments such as the construction of Liverpool One and the Echo Arena and BT Convention Centre at Kings Dock.
But in an exclusive interview in this month’s LDP Business magazine, out tomorrow inside the Daily Post, he said the city faced a “big test” to stay upbeat when the Government axe swings. He said there was still much more work to be done in areas such as North Liverpool – and said the city needed to retain its sense of confidence and not sink into 1980s-esque despair.
He said: “I get much more of a sense of real activity, enthusiasm and optimism about the future now than I ever did in the 1980s.
“The major improvement in kids’ performance at GCSE level is another reason to be optimistic about the future. If it means kids think there is a point to studying, then that is very different.
“The despondency of the 1980s – all that is largely gone now. People are more optimistic.
“But we have a big test coming.
“It feels a little like the 1980s all over again. The drastic restructuring of the public sector will pose challenges to that sense of confidence.
“It feels a bit like we are entering into a period when the daily news will be bad news, not good, once more.
“And that has the potential to feed despondency.”
Mr Gill, who has worked in the regeneration sector in the city since the 1980s, took over as chief executive of Liverpool Vision in 2001 and stayed at the helm when it was merged with quangos Liverpool Land Development Company and Business Liverpool.
His successor is Max Steinberg.
Mr Gill said public sector bodies in the city had vastly improved the way they work with private sector partners such as property developers. He said: “Take it from me – I have been on the inside – it is a million miles away from where it was 15 years ago.”
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