Shadow Culture Minister used Freedom of Information to reveal the impact of Government cuts on local authority spend on culture and libraries.
Art4Ü – Steve (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The most deprived of England’s local authority areas have faced an average funding cut of 18%, which has translated to a cut to arts, libraries and heritage of 22%, according to Shadow Minister for Culture Helen Goodman MP. The second poorest quartile of councils, which have faced an average resource loss of 10%, have so far implemented a 19% cut for culture. In an attempt to quantify the impact of local authority cuts on the arts, Goodman submitted Freedom of Information requests to every local authority in England. She also found that the 50% of Councils in the least deprived areas had seen an overall spending cut of 6%, including a 7% loss to culture. Speaking at the Prospect Seminar ‘Heritage in a Cold Climate’, she said: “The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have totally failed to persuade Eric Pickles of the case for culture and the arts. So, funding is dwindling across the country, as local authorities seek to protect statutory services. Just as the overall local authority cuts have hit the most deprived areas hardest, cuts to culture and arts are afflicting those who can least afford it.”