Councils forced to sell off parks, buildings and art to fund basic services

From The Guardian: Analysis shows the financial predicament facing councils across England. Government funding has fallen by nearly 50% since 2010. Combined with increased demand for adult and children’s social care and homelessness services, as well as paying higher national insurance contributions for staff, growing numbers of unitary and county councils are relying on their reserves to balance their budgets.

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Arts hit with £14m local funding cuts in 2016/17

From The Stage: Local authority funding for national portfolio organisations has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

[Read full article on The Stage website…]

“Tories don’t give a damn about the arts”

Charlotte Cornwell writes in to The Stage: “What a transparent and two-faced excuse for a government that is all too aware that, when local authorities have faced cuts of up to 40% in central government funding – while at the same time being made to take responsibility for increasing items central government now refuses to fund – the arts are always the first to suffer savage cuts.”

[Read full letter on The Stage website…]

Five more years of the Conservatives will reduce the arts to a national joke

Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian: Our art is something to boast about – look at the acclaim for Sarah Lucas at the Venice Biennale. But five more years of Cameron will reduce the arts to a national joke. Proposals for further enormous cuts that have more to do with ideology than necessity, combined with the Conservatives’ politically desperate promises not to destroy the NHS or education, mean the cultural sector will effectively be demolished by a second Cameron government.

[Read full column on Guardian website…]