On culture cuts
Wednesday 23rd June 2010
Following the news in yesterday’s budget that the government hopes to cut some 25% from most departments over the next few years, it’s time to ask again those thorny questions: which theatres should get funding and for doing what? Likewise, the best minds in the field of arts admin will surely be asking: how should subsidy be organised? For example, it would not surprise me at all if Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is ideological a Tory as the rest of the crew, would rethink the structure and functions of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Does this government department really have to look after drinking licences, public ceremonials and the built heritage? Do we really need the Arts Council at all? The next few years will certainly be tough, but won’t they also be an opportunity to reduce the numbers of arts bureaucrats? Are we to spend all of our time complaining, or can we also use this emergency as a time for innovative thinking?