Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Robert Hutchison, Chief Executive of Southern Arts

  I attended the Committee's session last Tuesday morning in which an hour was spent in conversation with representatives from the Arts Council of England. It was clear at the end of the morning that the Committee had not scrutinised the Arts Council's costly and far-reaching proposals for re-structuring the arts funding system. If it is to carry out its scrutiny function satisfactorily the Committee surely needs to analyse carefully the written evidence that it has received on the Arts Council's proposals and to take oral evidence from representatives from some of the Regional Arts Boards that have consistently argued for a better way forward?

  Since these are urgent matters—of central importance to the conduct of arts policy—I hope that you will ask some representatives of Regional Arts Boards to give oral evidence in the near future.

  On Tuesday morning the Arts Council representatives presented a limited and distorted account of the processes of consultation that there have been on their proposals—as well as the results of those consultation exercises. When the transcript of Tuesday's deliberations becomes available it may be necessary to correct the distorted picture presented by the Arts Council.

17 January 2002

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