Senior councillors and officers have been bumping up the figures for the cost of renovating the Central Library. 

A schedule provided by Ayoub Khan in September 2002 quoted a minimum £27 million and a maximum £37 million including £5 million for a new roof and all external cladding panels, £2 million for taking out the escalators and installing a central stairway – unnecessarily in our view – and £5 million for future cleaning and refurbishment. 

Writing to John Madin in June 2004 Councillor Albert Bore offered a figure of a modest £25 million. 

The figure of £166 million was first quoted by Brian Gambles in October 2007 in the Birmingham Post and repeated in public a number of times despite being challenged by John Madin to explain how he got it. 

Council Leader Mike Whitby has also refused to justify the figure to John Madin who, as the architect who designed the Central Library, is rightly anxious to know why the building he designed should need so much money spent on it. 

More recently Clive Dutton offered another figure of £160 million when he was interviewed on Radio Four on 16 April 2009. 

Read more in The Stirrer[5.5.09]