Council leaders in Birmingham have misled the public by covering up a report that "undermines" the decision for the city to have a split-site library, it was claimed.

Birmingham City Council's ruling cabinet will today back proposals to build a new lending library next to Baskerville House, off Centenary Square, and site the city's archives and reference section in an extension to Millennium Point at Eastside.

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The decision comes in spite of a report commissioned by the council which concludes that an iconic library at Eastside on one site is the preferred option.

According to the executive summary of the study carried out by Gardiner and Theobald, the option of a "new library building achieving international recognition and setting the standards worldwide is the option that best fits with all the objectives".

The report, which The Birmingham Post has learned cost the council #79,500, states that, because of its iconic nature, an Eastside library "draws the greatest amount of stakeholder investment resulting in the lowest financial requirement from the City Council".

The report was initially commissioned to examine a series of options for replacing the city's Central Library which included upgrading the existing site as well as looking at other options including Baskerville House and Paradise Circus.

The criteria for the study included the cost, how development would impact on residents, how and whether it would boost regeneration and how inspirational any new development would be.

Despite the findings, the city's ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition have said it helped them come to the decision for the #147 million split-site option although it is not listed as one of the background papers in the report being considered by the cabinet.

Labour leader Sir Albert Bore believes the report is not listed as it would have put in the public domain information that "undermines" the decision taken by the council leadership.

He said: "Right from the start the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition have been unwilling to make available information that should have been in the public domain. Also, when it comes to making a decision they are still not willing to put that information in the public domain because they know the work by the consultants undermines the whole rationale of what they are proposing."

Today's cabinet meeting is likely to see opposition members accuse council leaders of selling Birmingham short.

Labour says it will make every attempt to resurrect its plan for a 400,000 sq ft library at Eastside designed by Richard Rogers if they are reelected. The current administration has already declared that option as too expensive.

Cabinet member for regeneration Coun Ken Hardeman (Con Brandwood) said Labour had never properly examined the funding and that even if the report had favoured a #179 million "iconic" library, it had not specifically promoted the Rogers' option.

Coun Hardeman said: " Labour have been saying that the difference between the split-site option and the Rogers design is only going to be #25 million, but that is simply not the case.

"On the evidence that we have the Rogers library would have cost in excess of #250 million and the money simply isn't there."