Memorandum submitted by East Midlands
ARTS REDEVELOPMENTTHE REFORM OF THE
The Board of East Midlands Arts was deeply concerned
about how the announcement was made by the Arts Council of England
on 15 March 2001. It felt that the speed and manner of the announcement
did not help to create a positive and constructive environment
for such a critical and crucial debate.
The Board did, however, support the aims and
objectives as outlined in the initial Prospectus but wanted more
detail before it could be confident that the proposals would deliver
a better service for the arts in the East Midlands. The Board
has, therefore, engaged fully in the debate with an open mind
to ensure that EMA has had a positive influence in the shaping
of a new and better arts funding system in England.
The Board made public statements at each key
stage of the discussions and consultations. They are attached
as appendices 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the process the Board has
felt that ACE has listened to their views and concerns and has
acted on most of the key issues it raised. The final Transfer
Document which the Board considered at its meeting on 24 January
2002, did tackle, to the Board's satisfaction, the 10 critical
areas it had identified. The Board, did, therefore agree the following
That East Midlands Arts, on the basis of the
Transfer Proposal dated 15 January 2002 agrees in principle to
transfer its staff, assets and liabilities and to this end will:
inform its staff of its intention,
as required by TUPE;
prepare a full schedule of its staff,
assets and liabilities;
consult its staff and their representatives
as it believes appropriate, recognising that there are no measures
by East Midlands Arts requiring TUPE consultation.
in the full expectation of meeting in March
to confirm its agreement to transfer to be effected by 31 March
Below I have summarised the Board's views on
each of the issues that the Culture, Media and Sport Committee
EMA has always held the view that the reorganisation
should be about developing a better and more coherent service,
not about making savings. It believes EMA to be a leanindeed
historically under-fundedorganisation, and cannot imagine
that the restructuring and increased delegation will result in
less work for the organisation. The Board has always been very
clear that staff are not an administrative cost but an essential
part of the delivery of a vibrant and vital regional cultural
The Board welcomes any reduction in administrative
processes. It does believe that there could be some rationalisation
of services and processes which could make systems more coherent
and simpler. This could be more easily achieved in a single organisation.
EMA already operates a simplified system with
a small number of grant schemes which are clearly defined. It
welcomes the opportunity for this to be replicated across the
system and believes that a single organisation should be able
to tackle this issue more effectively.
The current system has financial accountability
at its heart, so it is hard to see how this can be strengthened.
Boards are subject to public scrutiny through their annual reports,
AGMs and by the Arts Council. A single organisation could bring
greater clarity around financial planning and decision making.
This has been the key, most critical issue that
the Board of EMA has focussed on. In its response to previous
documents the Board had expressed its concerns that the plans
did not demonstrate how this would be achieved. In the Transfer
Proposal, however, a much clearer articulation of this issue has
been provided. The power of the Regional Councils are to be enshrined
in an amended Charter and there is a clear statement that: most
of our services will be delivered regionally. The Regional Executive
Directors will all sit on the national Executive Team and the
Regional Chairs will all have a place on the national Council.
This will ensure that the voice of the regions is taken into the
heart of the new organisation.
Local authorities and government already play
a key role in the work of EMA. The Board does hope that this will
be further strengthened in a new organisation.
30 January 2002