Saturday, 22 December 2012

Newcastle arts debate

As most people will be aware there is a big debate raging over Labour controlled Newcastle Council's decision to slash 100% of its funding for culture and the arts.

I have stayed out of the debate as I have enough trouble with Northumberland County Council, from the greenbelt, equal pay for women and rural broadband - to name just a few issues!

The famous playwright Lee Hall has written a very passionate piece about the issue for the Guardian. Regardless of your politics I think it is well worth a read...

"What is clearly going on is a game of politics. In order to shame the coalition the council is willing to risk the future of the Theatre Royal, the Laing Art Gallery, the Tyneside Cinema and more. These are places open to everyone. These are the things which make Newcastle a place to be proud of, a place worth living in. This is not about some fancy stuff for a few people. It's about the identity of Newcastle as a city, a regional capital. No attempt has been made to save a single organisation or even a small part of their work. The council is willing to make Newcastle a cultural wasteland to make a political point."

You can read Lee's full piece here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/18/newcastle-arts-funding-cut-vandalism